Things I Worry About

I worry about a lot of dumb things.

There are the usual fears: Dying without finishing a book. That my husband resents me for my obnoxious mental health issues. Wasps.

 

But then there are the ridiculous things.

I worry about what other drivers will think if they see me turn on my headlights when I’m already driving. I try to time turning it on to when no oncoming traffic can be seen and no one is directly in front of me.

I worry about taking too long to pick out a new brand of spaghetti sauce. Does that person nearby on the aisle want to pick something out too? Am I in their way? Do I look ridiculous? Maybe I should come back later and decide then…

I worry if my husband takes five minutes longer than usual to get home that means he’s in a car wreck.

If that friend of mine in high school still remembers that stupid and mean thing I said out of curiosity in like… 9th grade.

What my online friend will think of me if I suddenly start talking to him again after practically months of silence.

Why I’m still browsing the Facebook marketplace for Lego sets.

 

You know, dumb things.

 

 

Psychology & Personality

There is only one non-creative career that I’ve truly had any interest in. The trouble is, I’m certain it would destroy me.

No, that is not hyperbole.

It probably started around the time I realized I suffered from chronic depression. Learning more about it and coming to understand just how many people suffered from the same disease sparked an interest. Both mental illness and psychology as a whole are fascinating. My mother always did think I’d make a good doctor, though I’m not sure what my pain tolerance has to do with it. But I think she was right in a way. I could have been a good psychologist; if taking other people’s problems on didn’t completely wear down my well-being and damage it in a very permanent sort of way.

Its possible the interest goes back further. My mother kept a copy of Taylor Hartman’s The Color Code in the house. As a preteen I found the book not only fascinating, but a little self-validating. The personality test included divided people by their primary motivations. Power (Red), Intimacy (Blue), Peace (White), or Fun (Yellow). Most members of my family, myself included, fell strongly into one category and I learned, through time, to appreciate the positives of all four colors. If you’re curious of your own color, they do have a free online test here, though I highly recommend reading the whole book if you really want to get to know your color and how it relates to others.

Of course a four-color personality spectrum is rather simplistic, but the book made a lot of good points and it was mildly amusing to see the paragraphs of text highlighted by my mother that must have been made in her attempts to understand my dad.

These days I’m a much bigger fan of the Myers-Briggs test but I’ll write more on that later.

My point is, I find it fascinating. Personality. What drives us. How different people can relate to different people. Then throw in intense struggles like Anxiety and Depression and every person, myself included, becomes both a puzzle and a work of art.

Perhaps all this is why creating characters is my favorite aspect of writing.

Dreams

I wish that I could find what I am looking for. Nightly, my dreams are filled with wandering. Wandering through familiar imaginary landscapes of urban chaos. Hotels. College. Shopping Malls. Airports. Parking Garages. I am always looking for something. I never find it. I wish I knew what it even was. But nine times out of ten it seems aimless. Except when I’m trying to find that elusive car that I know I parked in the back row yet simply can’t be found.

Occasionally I am told a story. It isn’t about me, and deep down I know that, even then. I simply watch, observe. Even rewrite when the story hits a dead end. In these, there is more adventure. Often a Scifi element, a side affect of the types of shows I enjoy to watch, I’m sure. Recently there was a hallway filled with doors to different times, each days apart in some apartment or hotel. There was a child and someone older… the older one understood how the doors worked. This hallway had just them. Except the door on the end, which lead outside to where one might try to escape. I knew it was fruitless to go the way someone wanted to… the hills that way were too steep. It was probably around then that I realized it was a dream and began to reset, going back the hallway and on to somewhere else.

I can’t properly control it when I realize. It’s often only for a moment, a scene. Something familiar will happen and like a light bulb I realize I’m in one of my dreams again. There are specific triggers, symbols that have haunted my dreams for years that often make me realize what is going on.

Elevators, for instance. Awkward, useless elevators that don’t work properly. Not in the way that they’ll fall down while I scream into impending doom. No, where the buttons don’t work or bring me to the wrong place or even, once, where it went outside and high above the glass building where I then float away, eyes where I just came from. Elevators. I have no idea why. But when I see them in my dreams, I am more often realizing where I am.

I’ll also get broken escalators, where they turn to slides when I walk on them. Or stairs that go to nowhere. So many flights of stairs, up or down. Hallways of doors. Sometimes for classrooms, hotels, apartments. Massive Malls, filled with endless, dark stores. Libraries. It never ends. I can’t find what I need or how to get out and I get frustrated then realize- oh.

Oh this isn’t real.

No matter what I do, I’m not going to find it, and that’s okay. So I may as well go this way, and enjoy the ride.

And for that brief moment, everything is okay. It doesn’t matter that I feel lost and confused. It doesn’t matter that things aren’t working out the way I wanted them to. None of it matters.

 

Sometimes, I wish life was more like my dreams.