Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Don't watch me

I can't quite explain it. When somebody's waiting for me at the door everything just takes so much longer. It feels like when I'm fighting against the clock my body becomes more tense, stiff and then just doesn't cooperate with me easily until I'm able to relax. I guess it's the idea that I'm making them wait or that I'm running late that makes me just so much much more nervous. Getting dressed, moving to the door or putting on my shoes goes so much faster when I have a few extra minutes to spare. I've been doing it long enough to know that certain things I need to do much more in advance to avoid surprises. Things like buttoning up a dress shirt. It's tricky enough if like me you try to do it with your one good hand, but when I know I need to be out the door in five minutes I work myself up into a state of panic. All of the sudden my hand doesn't want to fit into the glove and I struggle to put it on. Time is ticking away. Oops I dropped my keys again. I try to get myself plenty of time to get ready not because I actually need it "to get ready" but to give myself the comfort of being able to do it faster. For most people, adrenaline rush is what makes them run that extra mile, lift that heavy weight or run after that bus that is about leave the stop. With me, it's different. When I see a bus that I simply need to catch and need to get there quickly, my muscles tense up, my body turns heavy and every move I make feels like I'm fighting against it. I hate when somebody watches me getting into my chair or just finishing getting ready, like for example putting on my shoes or jacket. It makes me very self conscious as I know somebody is watching, waiting, rushing. Stress can come over in professional situations too- when I'm fighting the courtroom carpet to roll up to the witness stand. In law school we figured out a way to not have me moving around during trial practice class taking to much time. My partner would just assist me joggling the props and exhibits. When there's a problem, there's also a solution. My dad would often stand silently in the back as I was getting into my chair for example and then voice his opinion. And that type of feedback only made me feel uncomfortable. Nobody likes to be criticized especially when they struggle. Truth be told, my dad would do it with any miscalculated move I made. Watching and criticizing. I think he thought he was helping me. As if this third person analysis was something I could use to avoid it in the future or a thing I was not well aware of.  Yes, I know I made a mistake. I'm the one who slipped and ended up on the floor. Yes, I slipped. I lost the grip. I lost my balance. It happens. It happens till this day from time to time. Comments from the peanut gallery are really not welcome as I struggle to regain my composure. I don't want an instant replay. Me and my body are quite a team. And most of the time I get it to do what I want. But this requires me figuring out how. Without external pressure.

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