Guys, I’m about to lay a sloppy truth kiss all over your faces. There will be tongue involved, and it will be wet:
Are you ready?
Are you sure you’re ready?
Okay, but this is your last chance to get out before things get real.
Life can be hard.
Pick your jaw up off the floor.
Now wipe my lip gloss off your face while I explain something about anxiety to you.
Anxiety is a bit like allergies. New fears come and go with tree pollen (sometimes you’re afraid of tree pollen) or the barometric pressure level, or because our bodies hate us and are programmed to get allergies literally whenever they feel like. What I’m saying is, you go to bed one day not being afraid of something, and wake up the next day scared out of your wits by toothpaste.
I’m not actually afraid of toothpaste. Thankfully.
Though I did wake up a few weeks ago with a new fear waiting in the wings, much like Mckayla Maroney at the Olympics. (I just made a fitting cultural reference, right guys? Because the Olympics start today? That works, right?)
I found myself in a situation I normally love: attending a concert in the front three rows. And as I was rocking out to the musical stylings of a friend-of-a-friend, I suddenly knew I had to leave right at that moment or I was going to freak out. And I couldn’t leave, because this guy was in the middle of his set, and he was rocking it. Also, I was sitting in the second row behind some people, and I didn’t have easy access to the aisle. So I sat there and tried to meditate.
You’re safe, I told myself. His music is awesome. Why are you being an insane person right now?
And then my Anxiety Voice kicked in:
Because what if there’s a fire? What if the person behind you is secretly a 200 year-old vampire assassin sent to kill you because you’re annoying? What if this music venue is about to be attacked by cannibals? WHAT IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO PEE?
And the second it was intermission, I stood up, climbed over the seat in front of me, ran down the hall, ran outside, sat down, and started sobbing. It was all quite melodramatic and, in retrospect, I wish it had been filmed. With some Death Cab for Cutie playing in the background. Replayed in slow-motion with soft blue lighting, and Ryan Gosling chasing after me to ask what’s wrong and give me a Great Dane puppy named Francis. (In reality, it was my friend Emily, and I’m very grateful that she did check on me.)
The lesson I learned from this whole experience, besides the fact that life is hard, is that I can still manage to laugh at myself even–and especially–when I’m at my most vulnerable.
Because that’s when I’m the most hilarious, and if I lose my ability to do that, they’ve won.*
*I don’t know who this “they” is that would win. But I don’t like them.