I’m a planner. I think through scenarios with a specificity that any sane person would find exhausting. And once I’ve set my mind upon “what should happen,” I have a hard time with anything the throws a wrench in that.
When something doesn’t go according to plan- I take it harder than I should, reeling in a way usually reserved for someone’s horrible break up.
Last night, I went straight home after work, (pouted), ate crappy Thai food, (pouted), watched The Mindy Project and New Girl I missed last week, (pouted), and finally peeled myself off the couch, forcing myself into a workout. Admittedly, I wasn’t super productive but I got sweaty and listened to This American Life and when you factor in my mindset, scaling Mount Vesuvius couldn’t have left me feeling more victorious.
Heading back to my apartment, I began very calmy talking to myself- “What’s happening here is character shaping. I’m experiencing growth. I am moving past imagined failings and real disappointments. I may not get everything I want, but hard work provides us the things we need.”
Blah blah blahhhhhh.
And the dialogue, taken directly out of a movie scene, where some poor negotiator talks a man down from the ledge, didn’t stop for the rest of the night.
“Perspective,” I’d say to myself in super soothing tones.
“You have a friend who lost her family dog yesterday, another, struggling with a happily ever after scenario, no Disney film prepared her for. Don’t be ridiculous Taylor- Those are all weights far heavier than the ones in your head.”
I watched 180 Days on PBS and witnessed kids deal with the loss of a parent, the cracks in our educational system and a culture that is failing them.
“Your hurdles can’t begin to compare Taylor. You should be helping, finding out what you can do, instead of spending the better part of your evening pouting.”
I promised myself I’d spend some time researching and seeing what I could do.
Then I headed to bed, did my last social media check of the day and smiled as more and more of my Facebook feed turned red. I felt pride in the multitude of millenials who were showing their support, rallying behind the first day of Supreme Court hearings on marriage equality and thought back to The Loving Story, the documentary detailing the story of Loving v. Virginia:
“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”
I went to bed thinking I was better. Whole. Sane.
And then I woke up at 4:00 a.m. in a panic, with no amount of soothing rhetoric able to stop my whirling brain.
The biggest problem is- nothing happened. Nothing happened other than my inability to wrap my head around change and a hint of pervasive self doubt I’m not proud of. There is no imminent problem to be fixed, no list of to-dos I can tackle. If I’m being honest, what I most need is time, and several deep breaths. But some days that’s easier said than done.