All posts tagged: Personal Essay

My Anxiety Was a Third Wheel on My Honeymoon

“I know I should be Zen and look at my nerves as a symbol of sensitivity and I should be grateful that we’re even here in the first place, but sometimes I get so MAD at myself.” I sat in the airport terminal, Jared waiting patiently next to me, as the loudspeaker overhead announced they were boarding rows 1 – 20. It was almost midnight and we were about to get on our plane to fly back home. We’d just spent a week in Hawaii on our honeymoon and my insides were churning like the ocean in the middle of a squall. My anxiety was pitching and rolling. The last thing I wanted to do was walk onto that airplane. And I was furious. No matter how much I’m aware of my patterns, my habits, and the way my nerves affect my physical body, it can still betray me despite my cognitive awareness. Like, I “know” there is nothing to be anxious about and yet my digestive track and stomach and muscles refuse to acknowledge this. …

One of the Weirder Moments of Eye Contact I’ve Had Recently…

Eye contact can be challenging for me sometimes. I know it’s important, I know it makes people feel heard and connected, but damn it be awks sometimes. It’s incredibly intimate and makes you feel seen. It reminds you that, hey, you are right there. That’s you. A good friend of mine got married this past summer and after the ceremony she pointed something out to me I hadn’t realized before. “You have to maintain eye contact for a long time. Like, way too long,” she said, a fellow introvert who probably is as much of a fan of eye contact as I am. I’d never thought of this. Over the past few years I’ve been to a lot of weddings. A lot. If weddings were Cheetos and I was pouring myself a bowl for the past two years that bowl would be full. You know what I mean? Cheeto metaphor? Jared and I have attended so many weddings we foolishly thought planning a wedding would be easy. We thought it would be as breezy as a sailboat on a …

How to Keep Going in Those Moments of Doubt

I still remember pacing back and forth in the parking lot, seagulls shrieking overhead and fishermen walking past at the end of their day. I’d driven out to the ocean, to my favorite pier, because I wanted to make sure I was in a space that felt comforting to me. I had to do something difficult that day. I had to call a boy I liked. I was in college at the time, nearing my twenty-first birthday, had still never kissed someone, and I’d recently been trying to Facebook flirt with a handsome fiction writer in my Southern Lit class. That afternoon he’d left me a voicemail seeing if I wanted to hang out. And that meant I had to call him back. It made me sick to my stomach. I’d been on edge of panic all day. My body was flooded with anxiety and adrenaline and I was weighed down with a heavy cloak of fear. I stood near the water as I dialed his number and with a shaky voice told him I …

Getting Better at Getting Mad (aka finding your conflict spirit animal)

I’m getting better at getting mad. What I mean is, I’m slowly learning the skills of fighting fairly while in a romantic relationship. I’m getting “better” at being mad, if that makes sense. As Jared and mine’s wedding approaches faster than the upcoming Oscar snub of Leo (jk he’s probably going to win) I’ve been thinking a lot about how a marriage will probably consist of just as many challenging moments as joyous moments. Love is the bread holding this meaty sandwich of chaos together. To put it simply: I’m not the best at being angry. I don’t handle negative emotions very skillfully. I’ve never been an expert at navigating conflict.  I fear being mad or frustrated reflects poorly on my character as a whole. I feel a lot of guilt, shame, and fear. So one of the things I’ve been forced to get better at, now that my life is so intimately interconnected with another human, is how to be mad. Like, how to be mad. Being upset is the easy part. But being upset in …

Just Breathe.

“It’s sad, I don’t want to,” I said, turning away from his outreached laptop. “Just watch it, it’s cute!” “I already know what happens. He loses his candy and can’t find it. Sad.” As Jared tried to get me to watch the latest viral animal video, the one of a raccoon who loses his candy (or so I inferred from the tweets and facebook posts I’d seen about it), I kept refusing. I already know what happens. The adorable creature loses his candy. He’s confused. It’s a metaphor for all of humanity. The truth is, I’ve been feeling more raw lately. A little more sensitive than usual. A little less tough. I don’t think I could handle this raccoon. I’m not sure if it’s the recent holiday season, the scrappy nature of my current career, or the fact that our wedding is less than two months away (*screams internally*) but I’ve felt a little bit like a porcupine on its back: vulnerable. I’ve struggled with blogging about being engaged and planning our wedding, since the last thing …