Stressing Girl

There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
~Henry Kissinger

This weeks topic is taking a look at stress and all the lovely forms it can take and how it relates in my life. This gave me an opportunity to review and realize that in reality, a lot of my stress has gone away. I used to have to stress about bills and whether or not I was going to be able to buy groceries. Now I don't feel so afraid of that. Admittedly, having a stable relationship with someone who is financially responsible and willing to reel me in when I start getting overextended on wants vs. needs helps this situation. Now that those worries are no longer in the foreground, I don't know what I have to stress about. Maybe I'm just calming down as I get older and see that things are not as bad as I once thought.

So I went looking around the internet for stress questionnaires after I came to the enlightenment that things aren't so bad and maybe I am maturing and maybe I'm actually doing really well. That is until the following happened.

Conversation with fiance:
Me: This test says my stress is high!
Him: Listen to your voice honey.
Me: What?
Him: High Pitched and loud. You're stressed because your taking
all these stress tests.

(links to the tests on bottom of page)

In other words, because I don't really think about the stress in my life as stressors; because they are just there and I have to live with them so why give them special names, I don't feel the stress that is occurring?

If I were to rate my current level of stress, I would actually say it is pretty low. The biggest stressors in my life right now: Work, School, and the stupid fly that won't leave me alone!!!

The simplest of these has to be the fly. Ok, I am using it as a scapegoat for other irritants, but it is something that I could do something about. This little pest manages to avoid squishing at every turn. Talk about a stressful existence! The bug just wants to buzz around land on a rotting banana peel, make a home in the rabbit litter, and lives its 15-30 day lifespan in grotesqueness. Instead, it spends most of its time buzzing around avoiding everything from a flyswatter to a tennis shoe.

Work is work. I am fortunate to have a company that allows me to be be myself. There are open door policies in place so if there is a concern there are people to talk to. I really am fortunate. I can't control the weather or the economy. I'm less stressed about the seasonal layoffs this years. Probably because it allows me to focus on school more.

This semester is gonna be one of my hardest. I am hoping to graduate next May, which means putting in for a lot of credits this and next semester. So far I'm handling it. The best thing I have found to handle it is a planner! In middle school and high school I was given a planner every year and never really made use of it. It only just dawned on me that this was a planner. I got one for school this year along with different color pens so I am now color coordinated for all my classes. This semester also has me doing more full term classes. This is something to get used to because my accelerated program has me doing 8 week stints online. I am also having interaction with people because of my in-person class and that is stressing. Somehow I've been taking leadership roles and that's new to me. I'll make it through like always even if I freak out a bit, but I know that is my own doing. I put more stress on myself because I have to aim to do my best. So I spend a semester wondering if I'm answering things right or if I am doing what the teacher wants me to do. I need to stop second-guessing and relax.

All kidding aside, there is one thing that I am stressed about, but I can't do anything about it so I don't mention it. I'm really worried that my grandparents won't be alive to see my wedding. I know that I could move up the date and ensure that they are there. As of right now it really wouldn't be a hard thing to do although we already have the caterer and location set for our chosen date, but that's over a year away. It is very important to me for them to know that I am married and okay; that they don't have to worry about me anymore. I worry that I don't see them enough or spend enough time with them. Grandma just was diagnosed with dementia and if confirming that I am me and not my sister was an issue before, I don't know how it will be now. I am scared and when the diagnoses came through, I avoided calling or stopping in because I'm too weak to deal with this...

Reflective Girl #1

Everybody sees me as this sullen and insecure little thing. Those are just the sides of me that I feel it's necessary to show because no one else seems to be showing them.

~Fiona Apple

This quote resonates with me. I think that I portrayed a sullen person for quite some time, to the point I really do not know what else I am supposed to be. I watched so many people be bouncy and happy, and I could never figure out how they did it. It seemed so fake to me. I get nervous around people like that. I understand that in a vast majority of cases they are hiding their true selves behind this facade.

I know that I have my own facade though. I'm just a bit better at hiding it. I have an inferiority complex. While try to not portray this, I have always felt others were better than me. Growing up I was the girl that got picked up from school in a dump truck. I'm the girl who's parents divorced when I was ten. This doesn't seem like such a huge thing in today's society, but I grew up in a Christian school where divorce was a huge NO-NO, so this forged a sense of not belonging. Even after switching schools I was the odd ball. Still the daughter of a salvage man and the girl that wore Harley T-shirts. It was my twenties that I realized there was such a thing as women's shirts that were cut for women.

I never became a part of a group, but ventured from group to group. I never felt like I belonged to any of them. I just did my own thing. I went out with a high school friend and she told me that she respected me because I did that. I teared up when I heard that. I spent so much time feeling like I was unnoticed and in the shadows, when it wasn't the case. People did see. They may not have said anything at the time, but I made an impression. I still have friend's who tell me their parent's ask what ever happened to the girl who was going to work on motorcycles.

I guess I never gave myself the credit that I mattered. Now that seems a lifetime ago. I spent a few years lost and living just for the basics in life, but now, now I can move past that. Self actualization is a possibility. I kept in the shadows and away from people, now I crave interaction with others.

This may be why I don't mind working sales now. I get to meet lots of different people and I've put my time in so I don't need to feel inferior. If a customer feels that I don't know what I'm talking about, that's not my fault. They are ignorant. I've been in the industry eight years now, with three in my present position, I think I have a handle on it. If I don't know something, I am now able to ask for help and not feel ashamed.

Despite all this, I have public mask. My fiance points it out when he visits me at work or overhears me on the phone. My voice raises in pitch and I tend to fake a lot of smiles. I'm not a bubbly person but I'm not a sullen person. I just am me. This comes across as condescending and aloof, and that hurts me that that is how people see me. I have told my manager on numerous occasions that if I could have a personality transplant I would. Not because I feel much of it needs to change; but so I could relate to others. I do not fit into the mold that everyone expects a person to present. Even if it isn't socially acceptable, I hold to my own opinions.

Luckily, I found someone who loves my quirkiness. I'm tired of beating my head against the wall trying to be something I'm not. I know that how I see myself is higher than I really am, but it's still obtainable. I also have people that will keep me grounded. I fool myself as much as I try to fool others.

image is the work of Dana Fradon The New Yorker May 1, 1965


Welcome to my little part of the blogosphere. I started this blog for the express purpose of proving that no matter what happens in life, you are not alone. I am sharing my stories from my school days, dating disasters, and personal trials.