Since moving to the Big Apple I have had quite a bit of time to reflect on, well me. I spend a great majority of my day not only walking all over, exploring my new terrain, duh as if I would do it any other way, but also riding the rails. I don't think New Yorkers get any real satisfaction over having to ride the subway but maybe because I am so new here and everything still tickles my fancy right fierce, I get a smug sort of delight over being in a subway car. You may wonder why smug, because if I were truly smug I would definitely be hailing a cab, but quite frankly the one time I had to resort to a cab because my train was delayed and I was going to be late for work, I had mad anxiety over watching the meter increase minute by minute and calculating how many rides I could get on the subway for that price.
So, anxiety. This is one of the many facets of myself that I have been mulling over. This is a little something I dabble in daily. I can't help myself; I am a very anxious sort. And a bit of a control freak. For all my spontaneity and being footloose and fancy free, if I expect something to go a certain way and it doesn't, or things seem to be slipping out of my control, I start to feel the fibers of my being twitching and writhing, getting wildly uncomfortable with being put out.
Like being late for instance, and OK, the only person who will refute this is one EJ Dockery whom, yes I was always late meeting, but EJ I swear it was you, not me, it was out of my control! (And honestly it started to get a little funny, you must admit, me walking in the door and avoiding eye contact while you make some smarmy remark about how nice it would've been to train me an hour ago, okay I don't even know why I am wasting words on this, you don't read my blog, brat).
Anyway, I do hate being late (EJ aside) and every time I have to be somewhere in the city, I tend to give myself hours to get there, to account for not knowing where I am going and unexpected delays. So a few days ago when I was scheduled to meet someone at 3:30 yet my beloved iPhone was on the fritz I purposefully scheduled my genius appointment at the apple store in Grand Central station for 1, giving me two and half hours to have my phone looked at and make it to Penn Plaza, which isn't too far away.
Well! My phone had apparently bit the dust and I needed to back up everything in order to get a new one. Okay, fine, do I back up ever? Of course not. So I sat there attempting to collect my 1200 some pictures, while my stupid un-hip Dell took its embarrassingly sweet time uploading. I began to fret looking at the time and adding and re-adding how long I thought it'd take me to get to Penn Plaza if my pics continued to upload at a snails pace. Of course I am always way more comfortable being early and feeling secure, than running in at the last minute feeling frantic and deranged and having my nerves all aflutter, so the more the minutes ticked by and my phone was nowhere near complete I evaluated how important my pictures were to me.
Okay, very important, but this was NOT a meeting I was about to miss and I couldn't leave with my iPhone going ballistic and freezing up because I needed its directional capabilities for getting me to my meeting.
At this point it was pushing 2 and I had only accounted for being in the Apple store until 2:30 as the absolute worst case scenario and already I was berating myself internally for not giving myself a solid 4 hours at the apple store. By the time my darling little Apple assistant put my iPhone to sleep and started the process of updating my new iPhone I watched as it loaded in a full blown panic. I was going to be late! Late, late for a very important date!
And once everything was loaded and none of my apps, including my subway navigator were restored to the new phone I whipped my stuff up from my station and fled to the underbelly of Grand Central desperate to find a subway map feeling disgusted with how upset I was over my frazzle-y meltdown.
Until I got an email I had been waiting for, a particularly good one, (more on this later) and I stopped dead in my tracks near my subway car. All of a sudden I was overcome with emotion, also something I am pretty good at. And my anxiety started to dissipate. And that is when it hit me.
I am a lot of things that are maybe not desirable. I am very easily frazzled. I am quick to get my feelings hurt and sometimes take things a little too personally, like when I was at what I determined to be my new coffee shop the other day, trying to make a fit and the barista told me there were no computers allowed until after 4. And he wasn't very smiley. And their chocolate chip cookie I sampled was a little hard. I took all of this as a somewhat personal blow. Couldn't they see that coffee shops were my version of a bar and I desperately needed my own version of Cheers where the baristas know me by name, know that I am a writer, that I have a penchant for strong black coffee and the occasional decadent cookie with appropriate moistness in the middle? Why didn't they know this or care?
I huffed out of there after admittedly still finishing my sub-par cookie, of course, I would. And as I lost some of my steam a few blocks later, I realized I was being a tad dramatic getting in a nice tizzy over one coffee shop not being my new coffee shop.
It wasn't personal. It was just the wrong coffee shop. I got over it rather quickly. But this is just one of many examples of me over-reacting. Yes I also do that. Oh and go on incredibly long tangents. These are all things about me that I know, that I have been a little conditioned to downplay or feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with these attributes of mine, or feel sorry for myself that I am not more put together or less frazzle-y.
But if this last year of intense retrospection and gradual self-love has taught me anything it's this: There is only one me. In fact when I got selected for The Biggest Loser, as in, just made the cut and was hyperventilating and couldn't breathe or find words, one of the producers said to the room at large: "You were all chosen because of who you are. So continue to be yourself, because everyone else is taken."
Everyone else is taken.
And despite even my nerves unnerving me a lot of the time, I know that no one else can offer the world exactly what I can offer the world. A certain huffy, overly dramatic, sensitive, frazzle-faced take on life.
So. Hats off to me.