U is for Uneasy

I’m an anxious person, a worrier. I fully accept it and go about my life looking over my shoulder and assuming the worst. I’ll be honest, I can’t even go to the store by myself without something like this happening…

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My husband used to be amused by it, over the years I think it’s lost its luster though.

Some worries are rational, others are not. If I say this, how will it be perceived? Rational.  How am I going to get all this done? Rational.  Did someone just break into my house while I’m showering? Irrational. 

I know what caused this, I grew up watching Dateline, 20/20 & Unsolved Mysteries. I would get tucked into bed, sneak out and prop myself up against the couch; back to back with my mother. Many nights as a child were spent carefully peeking my head around watching stories of murder, kidnapping, missing people and crime – I loved it then and I love it now.

You’d think that would turn me into at least a little bit of a bad ass or something, but instead I’m just a basket-case who is able to realize just how irrational I am being. The tricky part is getting my logical brain to transfer some of that necessary information to my rapidly beating heart and tight lungs.

Hey guys, Brain here. Just so you know, no one broke into the house. Those noises were totally normal – you’ve heard them a thousand times. Just simmer down now.

I imagine if my heart and lungs were capable of a response, it would go something like this:

ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?! SOMEONE  IS IN THE HOUSE AND HERE SHE STANDS – NAKED AND VULNERABLE!

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One evening, walking out of Target I allowed a tiny worry to fester into an elaborate story. Someone is hiding under my car & they are going to cut my Achilles tendon. I’ll be lying there, motionless & God only knows what their plan is with me! In the most absurd looking attempt I did this, super-awkward-hop-jump thing into my vehicle.

I still wonder if anyone saw me. Ridiculous but true nonetheless and you would think that if there was ever going to be a breaking point for my logical brain, that would have been it.

Okay, okay… I give up. You win. You’re right heart & lungs… the world is out to get her.

A Year’s Worth of Properly Ridiculous

One year ago I signed up for WordPress & published my first post 6 days later.

In this span of time, I’ve managed to convince 683 people to keep an eye on it. I watched that number go up and down quite a bit – depending on what was being ranted, raved or praised. I’ve monitored the traffic behind it all, almost to a fault.

I’ve watched my writing progress & change. I’ve explored different styles; wrote my very first fiction & followed with a few more.  I attempted to make sense of crazy trials, news stories, missing planes, made my fear of Ebola known & told a whole-lotta people to STFU.

I struggled through my ridiculous anxiety, and learned how to curb it. Later in the year, listened to an audio book that rocked my socks off & told everyone to just go out and follow your own arrow. I Attempted to explain resting bitch face … In turn, I was kinda bitchy about smoking & littering.

I’ve documented my son growing up, his continuing crush on the Tooth Fairy … & when he tried to plunge the toilet with a towel. Yeah, It Happened. I’m so happy it’s written down & saved for his future girlfriends.

Since I’m obviously a professional, I shared the wealth of knowledge and told you how to raise your kids also.

I made my love for football well known. Wrote a few open letters to Jared Allen & Brett Favre. Stuck up for Adrian Peterson & Ray Rice, called out ignorant football fans & directly told the entire NFL to get it together.

I turned thirty and intentionally have not changed my About Me page to reflect that; Properly Ridiculous will forever be, pushing 30. It’s been a good year & next will be better.

Thank you, 683 people who validate my lack of a filter.

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Perhaps It’s My Perception That Needs Tidying Up

Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye. -Helen Keller

Every once in a while… words, people or things are placed in front of you exactly  when you need it most. One week ago today, my friend Adelie published a post on her blog  inviting her readers to take on a challenge.

I wasn’t really aware of it at the time…but this was one of those times. I needed a reminder to hold my head up. I needed a reminder to stop apologizing for things I have no control over. I needed a reminder to be myself with out holding back; not for my husband, or my son…my friends or co-workers…for me.

“How am I going to make today a masterpiece?” 

Instead of driving straight from work to Bennett’s school that day I dropped the car off at home; I ran inside, grabbed my dog & we walked. I did not to stare at the ground below me, or Trapper’s fat behind sway from side to side. I kept my head up high. Making an unusual effort to see the things around me.

I watched the tree’s & gnats. I saw couples riding bikes. A slew of children outside without a single care in the world. A nice lady, while sweeping off her sidewalk gave me a sincere, “Hello”. I wonder if that would have happened if I wasn’t making a point to hold my head up? The neighborhood that I often complain about looked pleasant, even…pretty.

Perhaps it’s my perception that needs tidying up, not so much my surroundings. 

While inhaling deep breaths of fresh air I could feel the jittery tension that has recently began feeling grossly normal… begin to slowly let up. With my head up, I’m able to see  the good that I’ve missed out on…for longer than I’d probably care to admit.

Saturday came. I reminded myself of the eye opening accomplishment (I like to think of it as that) from the day before.

Let’s do it again.

We took a drive through hilly & curvy two lane highways in the country. I appreciated the beauty of the countryside that I used to find so boring. I allowed my window to be down – the whole way. When I felt the chill of the air… rather than complain about it, I allowed myself to feel it. I kept my head up.

There were hawks soaring in the bright blue sky. I watched the barns & cows. I felt Bennett’s excitement as we approached the steep hills ahead. I saw houses I’ve never seen before on the same roads I’ve been down again…more times than I’d care to admit.

Taking a unexpected challenge from a friend has opened my eyes. I’ve made a promise to myself to hold my head up and really observe what is around me. To continue looking past the bad & appreciate the good. To stop apologizing for things that I have no control over. To stop letting past experiences dictate my life today. To live fearlessly and passionately.

I invite you to take the same challenge. What have you been missing out on?

As my dear friend said:

“It might go without saying, but I’m going to add this anyway, as a reminder to myself. It takes more than just one day to banish a habit of hiding. The point is to challenge yourself, every day, until living authentically no longer becomes a challenge”

Thank you, Adelie for the eye-opener.