My junior year of high school I laid in my bed wide awake, my fear for the coming morning taunting my restless mind. When I awoke in the early morning, I froze wanting time to do the same. Finally with the coaxing of my mother, I got up, took an anxiety pill the doctor had given me, and threw on my brown flip-flops before hesitantly getting in the car. It was just a blood test. People did that all of the time right? I sat in the large square waiting room lined with uncomfortable purple chairs and old magazines. There were posters on the wall and some talk show on the television to my left, but I didn’t pay them much attention. When my number was finally called, I felt my heart pick up speed like Effie had called my name from the Hunger Game’s drawing. I suppose the nurses could sense my panic because it wasn’t long before four of them were gathered in the tiny room for what was meant to be a one-man job. My mother claims that three nurses had to hold me down just to get the rubber band around my arm, and this was before I even saw the giant needle. All I remember is screaming “GET IT OUT!” as tears poured from my burning face.
It started with that one blood test. Already bad enough for the girl that fainted in the first grade when the local hospital visited. Needless to say, I have never done well when it came to blood.
Unknown to me until two months after the initial blood test, the word “cancer” had been bouncing around between my mother and the doctors like in a game of ping pong. Clearly something was off, but I was only told when the next appointment was. It was easier to just pretend that this would all eventually fade away. Continue reading “That Sort of Thing”→
Her face tells it all. The way her eyes narrow in at you pointed in accusations. Her brows follow suit creating an arrow that points directly inside you stripping away at any veiled privacy you thought you had. The lip is pursed to one side slightly downward. But the biggest tell is the nose, and the way it crinkles just ever so slightly. She feels no remorse, no fear, and just waits. Her face unchanged from the hardened glare.
I stand in awkward silence attempting to gather the words, but nothing arises to the surface. I can feel my face glowing warmer with each passing second of silence. I feel suddenly lightheaded and oddly embarrassed.
“Nooo?” I respond with too much inflection after what sounds like the third “o”. In a small flicker of courage or perhaps stupidity, “Why?” I add before I can change my mind.
“No reason.” She dismissively waves her hand as she walks past me.
I am left standing in the hallway frozen by the terrifying interaction and left to wallow in endless thoughts of my last unanswered question. My socially awkward self will be forced to focus on that crazed interaction for the rest of the day.
I had but a few hours to explore the iconic California city of San Francisco before heading inland to Wente Vineyards for wedding festivities. As we drove across the Bay Bridge, I caught my first glimpse of the city. As with traveling to any new city or town, I could feel the excitement wash over me.
As we drove through downtown looking for parking and taking in the scenery, I was decided. I liked this place already. A new city makes me feel alive.
We spent the day starting at Fisherman’s Wharf and worked our way along the water toward the bridge. Its towering red design calling us nearer in the pursuit of the perfect picture. Of course we stopped along the way at Ghirardelli Square as the aroma of chocolate filled the air. At this point, I certainly couldn’t contain my excitement. Chocolate is my favorite.
After our noses danced around the decadent area, our walking continued. Toward the bridge we went. We walked through Fort Mason and down to the water. We watched as the prominent landmark grew bigger in our quest. When we reached Crissy Field East Beach, our legs started to waver and time was slipping away. It was clear we needed to turn around but not before some pictures of course.
Petite (adj.)- Often thought of as a woman who is short, small, tiny, skinny, thin, dainty, and many other similar adjectives.
Petite. I hate that word. I do not consider myself petite. I am short, yes. I have small feet, small hands, and a young face (but that’s a whole other topic). But I am certainly not petite, at least by modern standards. Although petite technically just means someone who is shorter, it certainly comes with a connotation of being super skinny or dainty in today’s world. I have played sports all of my life and have the body to show for it. I am not fat, but I have the arms of a swimmer and the legs of a soccer player. I have hips and boobs to match.
The “petite” that everyone tries to label me as just doesn’t fit in my mind. It feels almost insulting like they are basing this decision off of my height alone. They are trying to force me into a box that I will simply never fit into.
As the bride or groom, I imagine it’s normal to feel a bit nervous before that walk down the aisle. All eyes are on you, and it is your day. But what about as a guest? It is only me? For some unknown reason, my anxiety can creep in just sitting on the sidelines.
The last wedding I went to, I had a short moment of panic where I felt the need to escape. I was sitting toward the front and in the middle of the chairs so leaving was not an option. A sudden pang of “I need to get out of here.” A few moments of an uncontrollable shaking leg to distract myself. And the all-consuming feeling of anxiety.
It was short-lived thankfully, but why should it have happened at all? Then again during the reception, my anxiety slowly creeped back in. Maybe it was the pressure to catch the bouquet. Maybe it was my boyfriend’s attention-grabbing moves on the dance floor. But once again, I found myself having to take a mental timeout to calm down.
Another Wedding, More Anxiety?
This weekend I went to another wedding in the San Francisco area, and I was all too aware that my anxiety might make another unwanted appearance. For fear of an attack, I dragged my boyfriend to the back of the chairs for the ceremony and made sure I was on the outermost one away from the aisle. An easy escape route as I saw it. Continue reading “Wedding Guest Anxiety”→