August 2020

I have been speeding through life, my whole life. Hitting milestones feel as vital to me as oxygen. Chasing the approval of other people was the primary motivator. Often, and ridiculously, I have found myself chasing the approval of people I don't even aspire to be.

I have suffered from anxiety all my life. I had no idea what it was for the first 27-ish years. I thought it was just the way everyone felt all the time. I think it started as social anxiety when I was younger and grew to higher-level anxiety with age and different life experiences—steadily growing with each perceived danger that cropped up. I notice the pattern now, and it seems to come and go, sometimes from triggers but often appearing for no good reason at all. Like a giant zit on your face; it appears all of a sudden, causes havoc and then goes away again.

Being out of control is the thought that makes me sick to my stomach. I'm quite aware that I have no actual control over anything. Yet I still make it my mission every single day to play pretend and try as hard as possible to micromanage every last happening in the vain hope that I may sway the outcome of all daily interactions and keep myself comfortable. Comfortable and more importantly, safe.

After procrastinating and putting it off for more than a month, I recently made a video recording of myself, for work. I have been quite disappointed with the finished product. Not for reasons you would usually suspect; my appearance or the strange feeling of hearing my voice talking back. But instead, I felt there was a complete lack of expression on my face as I was talking.