So I was talking to The Mom earlier and over the course of the conversation she chided me for being a bit obsessive about minutiae.
This from the woman whose influence has led for me to stop everything I’m doing to make sure I know where my keys are.
I responded with, “Thank you, Tree, I didn’t think I had fallen that far away from you.” She will probably pinch me later.
As our conversation continued she went on to describe a student of my brother’s (Yes, both my brother and I have transitioned from the lucrative field of Performing Arts to the even more flush-with-cash opportunity that is Education.) She said the student sounded a lot like me except the student had severe anxiety.
I didn’t realize that it wasn’t apparent (at least not to MY parent) that I have anxiety issues. I thought everyone on the planet had noticed that I’m a bit high strung and although my panic attacks are less frequent, they are still there. (I just don’t have them at The Gap anymore.) I have a special emergency stash of extra anxiety pills that my neurologist prescribed after I gave him the rundown on exactly how delightful the past year had been. (What he actually said was, “Would you like something stronger for anxiety?” I said, “Where were you in April when I was having chest pains from the stress of finishing the school year?” He said, “And you want to know why I won’t let you try out for the roller derby?” I hate it when he’s smarter than me.)
I am reminded of a dark time during my college years when a friend and I were both so depressed by recent break-ups that no one else could tolerate us so we hung out with each other. We would laugh uproariously at each other’s grim outlook and then figure something out. We once went out in search of a Dallas Observer so we could peruse the personal ads. I was on the last day of a juice fast (Don’t ask) so it probably wasn’t an ideal time to search for a mate (I was so hungry, I was pretty close to just bashing a cute guy over the head and dragging him, dazed, to my car. To be perfectly honest, I have had moments like that without the juice fasting. My Amanda Friend told me that I couldn’t drop my stack of books on the cute guy at the library as an excuse to meet him.
Anyway, my friend and I took our Observer to IHOP, so I could have juice and torment myself with the smells of yumminess while we read the ads aloud to each other. At one point I was reading, “Must be intelligent and rational.” My friend was momentarily distacted and I began to shout, “DO YOU THINK I’M RATIONAL?!!” whilst bopping my friend on the head with the paper.
Everything went quiet as I realized I had just answered my own question.
At least now I’m medicated.
I have been actively trying NOT to beat myself up about things I can’t control. You wouldn’t think this would be a difficult task for someone is a reasonably sound, mostly functional adult. (While I am an adult, I’m not going to commit to being a grown-up til the last possible moment. ) However, in addition to my tendency towards parenthetical hyperbole (Newest Hipster Bar) I also have the unerring ability to blame myself for just about everything. (There is that recurring dream I have where my teeth inexplicably fall out. I have had this dream so many times, I have actually added the solution to this problem to my subconscious. You put the teeth in a glass of milk until you can get to a dentist. Also, the tooth loss dream means you’ve either said or eaten something you shouldn’t have. This should tell you what kind of shape my subconscious is in.)
There has been a lot going on in my world. The school year is ending and with it are coming a lot of changes that I didn’t see coming. I have a lot of stress in my life that is new but and not one bit improved. Into the usual blame spiral, I can now toss in a major family crisis.
Because I come from a large family, there is always something going on. My cousin Cindy said the reason every event in my family is usually accompanied by another event of equal or larger proportion of angst, food and anxiety is because there are so many of us and and there is a finite number of days in a year. Her husband died and her sister got married within a few weeks of each other. (During that time, I also had a brain thing, so there’s that)
My Amanda Friend and AOG celebrated their wedding today. One of my aunts is in a coma. And my grandmother died today.
All of this has happened within the last two hours. People are offering me condolences and I have been knee jerk responding “It’s ok.” I talked to my principal and told him of my plans to come in until I have a specific family task. He told me to not worry about it and be with my family. A few minutes later I picked up my phone to call my friend Steve.
Steve Garrett, my good friend who died five years ago last Thursday.
So it’s ok.
But clearly, I am not.
I have often thought the universe mocks me and I have mentioned a time or two that I strongly suspect that I am the pawn between good and evil.
I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to finish a thought, let alone an actual project. Now it is the first night of Winter Break and I am taking some time to reflect. (I actually really hate using “reflect” as a verb.)
The stress zit that I used to get every September in celebration/consternation of the Fall Show at Fort Worth Theatre. It took me years to convince my skin that I did not need a memorial blemish.
The stress zit finally caught up to me and my new schedule.
The Winter Play went off, not hitchless but it was well received. It was largely student written and directed and featured 50 students. The parents loved it and their were only two diva meltdowns(neither of them mine.)
The big post show let down was that I still had to teach a full day today. I am over the firm belief that students should be sedated at noon on the day before a break as the teachers slowly ride out the day.
On the way home, my sluggish transmission started making a horrible sound.
My stress zit was so huge I think it actually grazed the windshield. It is possible that it grew when I heard the sound my engine was making
As I look back on this week, I am tired. Several of my students said they love me. I told them I love each of them individually, as a group, they drive me crazy.
I may be able to make more sense tomorrow.
The cat wants me to stop typing now.