(Psst. Wrote this months ago, forgot to post it. My apologies!)
I experience a lot of irrational, out-of-proportion dread. So I spend days (or years) putting off anything uncomfortable… Such as:
1) Wriggling into sports bras…
…or anything with a built in shelf bra. Yeeeesh, I hate that feeling. But even if things go horribly wrong, this can’t take more than a minute. Why let it worry me so much? Back-clasp sports bras can save you that claustrophobic, wrestling-with-spandex feeling, but it’s hard to get them tight enough to do their job.
2) Checking voicemail
I have been known to avoid voice messages for days on end. This makes no sense; even if the messages were terrible news— terrible news rarely gets better when one avoids it.
I just turned 28 and still do not have a driver’s license. No, I do not live in a major city with an outstanding mass transit system. I live in a sprawling town with a few pokey buses. Being a non-driver has never been easy, never been convenient, never ceased embarrassing me.
4) Figuring out taxes
In a ‘personal best’ feat of denial, I successfully avoided thinking about gross receipts taxes for more than a year. Sure, I had a vague idea that there was something called a ‘gross receipt tax’ that I might need to pay, but that can wait, right? Why not read up on it later? Talk about shallow victories; when I finally faced facts and crunched the numbers, I didn’t have enough money to pay my own taxes. Oy. Say it with me now: AVOIDANCE IS FATAL.
5) Opening Presents Publicly
The thrill of receiving a gift can be tempered (or snuffed out) by the sudden, unpaid acting gig: obligation to act sufficiently happy to receive… whatever crazy thing you just received. Most of the time, gifts are lovely, thoughtful, and somewhere near your aesthetic preference ballpark. But it’s those few ”sweet lazarus, who on EARTH would want this?!” gift-opening occasions that really stick with you, isn’t it?
In the past three months, I have been knuckling down and facing my fears. I’m working off my tax debt and keeping up with the math, I listen to voicemail within hours of spotting it, and started taking stick-shift lessons from an exceptionally patient friend.
Sports bras, though… might have to work up to that one.
Don’t leave me up here alone. What silly, harmless thing do YOU dread beyond all reason?
NOTE: Since writing this, I paid off most of my gross receipts taxes and got a drivers license. If I can change, anyone can.