For as long as I can remember, I have been worried about something. I worry about little things, like how old people think I am (thank you, baby face). I worry about big things, like what I'm going to do with my life. And I worry about everything in between.
It could be argued that I shouldn't worry so much at such a young age about such trivial things. I know I don't have a lot to worry about. I know I'm healthy, clothed, fed, loved. But no matter how "good I've got it," I find something to stress myself out about.
Let me put it to you this way: I can't even escape stress when I'm sleeping. Almost every night for the past year, I have been plagued by different variations of a recurring dream. They all involved something I forgot to do or something I don't have time to do.
In one version, I'm at the end of a semester when I realize I have never been to one of my classes. I've missed all of the lectures, quizzes, tests, etc. for this class, which is usually something I know little about (like geometry). In the dream, I never know why I haven't gone to this class at all, but I know I'm in danger of failing the course. I've never failed anything (except my driving test the first time I took it), so you can imagine how traumatic this would be. I wake up from these dreams feeling absolutely hopeless.
In another variation, I realize that I have a very long essay due the next day, one I haven't even started on. I spend the dream worried about this, but for some reason, I never begin it. My anxiety mounts until the deadline is mere hours away, and that's usually when I wake up, feeling like I've narrowly escaped what, for me, would be certain doom.
Seeing a pattern?
I don't know where these anxious tendencies come from, but they've been a part of me for a while. As a child, I refused to eat the last of the cereal in the box until there was a replacement box available. Because, if I ate the last of it, there would be none left. And if there was none left, no one else could eat the cereal because there wouldn't be anymore. And I would feel terrible if I took that away because now someone else couldn't eat the cereal that I had already eaten.
Of course, no one in my house has ever starved just because someone ate the last of the cereal, but in my mind, something like that would ruin everything. It wasn't logical then, and it's not logical now.
But stress isn't logical.
Anxiety isn't logical.
You can't make sense of something that doesn't make sense.
Now that I'm older I understand (for the most part) which of my worries are baseless and which are justified. I don't let the incessant fear of forgetting to do something ruin my day. I try to take things in stride and relax — occasionally.
But I'll always be a worrier, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. You can 100% count on me to bring cups to the party because I'll mentally remind myself 1,000 times to do so.
So don't worry about me — I can handle that all by myself.
A Worry Wart