Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Some incredibly non-stressful events that stress me out to the point of a panic attack. Or, some insight into the crazy part of my brain.

Irrational fears are fun, right?  For the most part, I would argue that I handle stress in my life well.  That actually, I seek it out, because without the pressure of multiple deadlines, and a meticulously timed schedule, I will not find the motivation to do much of anything.

With this nice ability to be able to handle a fair amount of responsibility and challenge myself however, comes times when I am doing nothing of consequence that absolutely make me freak out.  This includes...

1. Waiting for my checked baggage to roll down onto the baggage carousel.

There is almost nothing more stress inducing than watching bag after bag come out on the conveyor belt and none of them are yours.

I have no idea why this causes such panic.  Until I see my bag, I am convinced that it has been lost, accidentally put on another plane, or picked up by a stranger who didn't bother to read the luggage tag.  Realistically, were any of those things to happen, it wouldn't be the end of the world.  I've had my bags delayed before, and delivered by the airline the following afternoon.  I have my contact information on the bag, so that it can be returned to me.  And I rarely pack anything of substantial value for the very fear that it will be lost, so it could all be easily replaced. Doesn't matter. My fists are clenched, my teeth grind, and my heart pounds until I see my bag.

2. Announcing myself on conference calls.

Ok, this one makes a bit more sense.  I already suffer from the millennial generation imposed fear of the phone, which I have learned to deal with, or avoid entirely with the internet. But conference calls, which ugh, are the worst, bring out the awkward, shy, middle schooler in me that was too nervous to initiate conversation with strangers.

That moment when you dial into a conference call, and they tell you to announce yourself, and then you know there's that dinging noise announcing that someone new is on the line? That moment is awful.  I have to pep talk myself up for conference calls.  No problems with speaking in public, but having to say my name on the phone to a group of people makes my stomach drop.

3. Being convinced that I am suddenly going to faint.

Look, I used to sing. And anyone that sings in choirs knows all about fainting, because it happens. And if it doesn't happen to you (it did), then it happens to the person standing next to you, or to 14 kids over the course of an hour while standing for a staggering 3-hour-Welsh-Oratorio (true story).  Any good choir conductor tells you what signs to be aware of, and to leave the stage, or at the very least, sit yourself down so you don't crash and knock over any of the other kids.  This hyper-awareness of how lightheaded I may or may not be feeling however has come to haunt me in my adult life as a completely paranoid, fictional, affliction.  There I will be, standing on the bus, when all of I sudden I find myself wondering, "Do I feel lightheaded? Have I been locking my knees? AM I GOING TO FAINT IN PUBLIC ON THE BUS?!?

Were this to happen it would be pretty embarassing. And the fear and very thought of being that chick that fainted on the bus, sends me into a blind mode of panic that causes me to hold my breath until I realize that I have talked myself into feeling faint by forgetting to breath.

You've been warned in the event that I ever have to be on a conference call, while standing at baggage claim.  I'll probably faint.

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