Paris Hilton-ing

I am so self-conscious I can hardly stand it. And I admire people who aren't sometimes.

If I upset someone, I obsess over it. It hurts my stomach. It hurts my head. My head and face get all hot and flushed and my brain short circuits and I can't focus on anything except whatever I just (accidentally in most cases) did. Or said. I realize it's not a bad thing to have a conscious or to feel badly when you make a mistake or guilt. But sometimes I devour guilt like it's a free all-you-can-eat filet mignon buffet at the Chuck-A-Rama. And then it's consuming me, probably long after it's left the consciousness of the other party, and really no one wins, especially me. Really, I'm pretty uptight. It may not look like it on the outside (people tell me, "You? Uptight? You always look so calm and collected!) But it's all a ruse. Don't believe it.

Yes, sometimes I say the wrong thing. As in, I mean one thing but it comes out as another. Or, sometimes I answer a question and accidentally "out" someone or something because I have the opposite of an affinity for lying. Sometimes I shout the first thing that comes to mind and it is the polar opposite of correct (like in the seal story from high school). Sometimes I open my mouth to say something incredibly witty and something like verbal equivalent of a belch comes out (I love this one, especially upon meeting someone for the first time. Ugh.) It may as well be like saying something like "mraksjidoajlkajsdskfjelak".

In other words, I put my foot in it. All the time.

Ok, it just feels like I do this all the time but really I just have such an intense loathing for memories of my doing this that I feel like they happened just yesterday and still if I think about my past experiences in doing this I outwardly and inwardly cringe.I just cannot seem to let it go in my mind.

But you know what? I'm turning a corner. I'm over 30. It's time.

In one of my most recent experiences in doing this, I obsessed (again) and I stressed (again) so much that my insides physically hurt. I could hardly function as a human. So I tried to think of just one person I could be like in that moment who would let something like this roll right off her back. As if she were teflon. Or rubber.

And the first name that came to mind? Paris.

I don't know why. We're not friends. She doesn't know me. We don't run in the same circles.

Shocking, I know.

And I don't know why she came to mind, but honestly, could you picture her worrying about what she said to whom or how she said it or why? Obsessing and apologizing? Me neither. In fact, in recognizing the sheer number of times that I fail to let things roll off my back, I recognize the opposite in her: the sheer number of times she allows things to roll off hers.

So I've decided to "Paris Hilton" more stuff in my life and be done with it. How's that for Paris's positive role-modeling?

Instead of obsessing, stressing, shortcircuiting, sweating, and swearing, I'm going to acknowledge-apologize-accept and then, and (here's the good part), do this amazing little thing called move on. I'm going to MOVE ON ALREADY!

And let it roll, It feels good just typing that. I believe that in spending less time obsessing about said situations, I'll do less to commit it to my memory and hence spend less future time worrying about it and in turn, avoid the pileup of cortisol around my midsection, headaches, migraines, changes of clothing from profuse sweating, and maybe even save a lot of money on Excedrin Migraine and/or Advil Liquigels.

(Of course it could be argued that I could just try to avoid getting myself into these sticky situations altogether and maybe pay attention a little more so there's less blurting...)

But just in case I happen to space out, blurt, fail to think quick enough to save myself or someone else some embarrassment, I will own it. From now on. How nice would it be to stop this vicious cycle? To still care, of course, but finally care for the appropriate amount of time?

2009 is about some spring cleaning. Decluttering my house and decluttering my mind. After all, I'll be 34 this year. Then, after that, 35. Then 36. Soon I'll be middle-aged, and then all of a sudden I'll be in my 80's. (Hopefully.) But not if I'm in a constant state of whatever! So stopping the cycle of worry now could still mean saving my own life! (Except for the whole "near-poison" thing. That'll stay with me for a while.) So if I say anything dumb, just know now that yes, I'm sorry. But I'm not going to engulf myself in it like I used to. This may offend you because you may be used to my obsessive apologies, but don't let it. We'll move on together and go have a cup of coffee.
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1 comment:

  1. You know, I've been thinking the same thing recently. Why do I do the whole self-torment thing after I say something stupid? Everyone says stupid things why am I the only one obsessing over them? So, like you, I've tried to adopt a better thought-pattern and MOVE ON. Good luck to you.


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