Somewhere along the way, anxiety became my security blanket. I don’t know if it was while I was working two jobs through grad school or what, but at any given time, I’m operating at an anxiety level of 65% or greater, and don’t know how to stop. I feel like I need that anxiety to survive, so I find new things to be anxious about all the time. Now, I know there is no official anxiety scale, but just know, that I’m always at least 65% stressed out about something or a group of things. I know this isn’t healthy, and that classes like yoga exist to help people like me. But then I stress about the cost of the class, making it to class on time, and then (God forbid) accidentally farting in class. See? It’s best not to even sign up. So, what is it that gives me anxiety? Well, it’s pretty much everything.
I’m well aware that I live an insanely privileged existence, and everything that worries me can fall into the #FirstWorldProblems category. (Can I just say that the incessant need to call people out on having first world problems via social media is, in and of itself, a first world problem? So just put that in your hashtag and tweet it.) But here’s a list of the top ten things (in no particular order) that are currently stressing me out:
That smell coming from my car vents. What is it and where did it come from? It smells like the love child of vinegar and refried beans. How do I get that smell out?
Facebook friend requests. I’ve been on Facebook for like 10 years now. It came out my freshman year of college, and back in those days, you had to have a “.edu” email address to get an account. Since then, a lot of changes have been made to the network, and I’ve changed my own account a lot, paring down my friends list to ONLY people I know and hang out with. This doesn’t stop all these people who I used to go to high school with from sending me friend requests. Aside from the fact that I don’t hang out with these folks anymore, the fact that I was an antisocial snark beast back in the day should be enough to prevent them from wanting to be my “friend.” But no. Their requests pile up in my notifications, and I have to see them every time I log in. Just leave me alone, everyone. The internet is my Walden Pond. Your requests are frittering away at me.
The current state of my pedicure. Sandal season is here. My toenails are in a state. And while I love getting pedicures, I worry that the nail techs see my mangled talons and are judging me. Just like I’m sure people judge me when they see my janky at home pedicure when I wear sandals in public.
My 401k. How does this thing work? Like, I put money in it and it either magically multiplies or dries up, depending upon factors that I’m not completely aware of. Why didn’t we have a class on 401ks in college? That would’ve been helpful, unlike that History of American Musical Theater or Pre-Calculus class. Glad I paid for both of those because I have literally not given them another thought since graduation.
The microwave popcorn I ate for breakfast. Yeah. This happened. I’m not proud of it. And it makes me feel like I’ve set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the day where I’ll just continue eating junk. The stress of thinking about this makes me want to eat more junk.
My egg count. I’m 95% sure I’ll never have kids. Some women were meant to have kids, and some of us were not. If we’re being honest, a woman who makes alcoholic cake shakes is probably not fit to be in charge of another human. Couple this with my general self-absorption, and it’s easy to see why I’m pretty sure that I’m not really interested in having kids. But what if?! I’m 28. There’s still plenty of time. But what if I wait too long? And while I think that the general hysteria in the media about egg counts is a bunch of lies generated to sell fertility products, what if I decide at the age of 45 that I want to have a kid and then I can’t? I can’t afford to freeze my eggs. Maybe I could if I took a 401k loan—but as stated previously, I have no idea how that thing works and the notion of figuring that out brings my anxiety up to about a 97%.
How wrong everyone else is. Everyone else is wrong all the time about things. At least, that’s how I feel when I watch opinion pieces on politics or read blog posts on the proper way to categorize your record collection. I need to be able to tell these people they are wrong. But shouting at the TV or leaving my rage in the comments section is usually unhelpful. So these people continue to be wrong. And I can’t fix it.
Calorie counting. So. Food is food. I shouldn’t feel guilt for eating a candy bar once in a while, because it’s just a food item. It’s a freaking candy bar. The end. So why do I have 4 different apps on my phone that are dedicated to counting calories? Why do I have to know, at any given time of day, the amount of calories I have left to consume in order to maintain a body size (or, if I’m being honest—lose a couple of sizes) that is deemed acceptable? Shouldn’t I be able to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full and that be enough? Yes. But I feel guilty for living that way, like I’m not being a responsible eater, and that everyone is judging me for it.
The mud on my dog’s paws. When we’re in the middle of a drought, that dog can find mud. Where is she digging? Where does it come from? Is it really mud or did she find some oil or something? Is she tapping into a waterline? Is there a backyard aquifer I don’t know about? And why does she insist on wiping all this mud all over the backdoor, and occasionally, the carpet and furniture?
Everyone reading this. Blogging about yourself is weird. Some people comment and let you know what they think of you. Others don’t. And, since I’m the type of person to NEVER comment on blogs (seriously, I know I need to, but that really betrays my inner emo kid that just wants to sit in the back of the classroom with her hood over her head), I know that there are A LOT of people who don’t comment. And they’re sitting at their computers and tablets silently judging me. It’s quite possible that they think I AM the one who is wrong about everything. Which causes me to wonder if I’m wrong, which is a whole new level of anxiety that it’s best not to even delve into because I’ve already written over 1,000 words on things that give me anxiety, and just thinking about that is sending me further into an anxiety spiral.
Now that I’ve worked myself up to a 100% anxious state, what gives you anxiety? What are you stressing about right now? Is it the contents of your junk drawer? Because don’t even get me started on that.
Marisa Mohi is perhaps one of the most anxious people we’ve ever met and the Oklahoma Women Blogger of the Month for April. Visit her online at MarisaMohi.com, and don’t forget to comment lest she spin off into a shame spiral.