Thursday, September 01, 2011

Pre-Dawn Panic

I emerged from my hotel - an adorable historic place I'd selected - into the pre-dawn heat of Dallas. I like the light in the morning - sort of gentle and blue between buildings in new cities. So I, in my shiny black flats and polka dot dress, pranced down the marble steps and into the warm morning.

One benefit of enjoying mornings is that I tend to be in the minority. I somehow enjoy seeing things others miss. Being able to snap photos of places without people wandering into the image. So I frowned when a group of men had arranged themselves on the steps to the very municipal building I'd hoped to photograph.

No matter, I told myself despite the worry that tightened my shoulders, and I walked on.

Breathe, I reminded myself upon spying the third rather large group of men lurking in the shadows. Head up - shoulders back - I adjusted my posture with my mental instructions. "You're fine," I told myself aloud but hastened my step and frantically wondered if it would be better to do a quick about face or continue around the block.

The latter looked intimidating and I was already afraid. But I peeked around and decided that the Walk signal on traffic-free streets was a sign. And I turned the corner.

I find myself in that moment too much of late. Like when I'm kissing someone and evaluating texture and taste and feel almost certain I want to stop but wonder if I should continue. That is how one gets experience, yes? And why one wears a dress that's too short and bright blue?

"I can't handle it," I told Adam, nearly hysterical when I read an unpleasant email upon landing back at home. "She's awful! Mean and...and stupid!" And after he'd talked me down and I'd greeted my lonely dog, I couldn't quite catch my breath.

My anxiety - in any of these situations - seems out of step with the actual severity. And overreaction - for me - is a sign of looming depression. Indecisive, anxious Katie is an unhappy Katie. And, much as I hate it, I'm retreating into it rather than battling through it. I'm way skilled at Solitaire of late. And can probably tell you how nearly any sitcom ends. I tend toward monotonous tasks to keep busy - and luckily have enough of them at work that I'm semi-productive.

I was obviously fine after wandering that small distance around downtown Dallas. I finished my hurried stroll with but a few pictures but arrived safely back at the hotel, literally sagging with relief at the bright safety offered inside the doors.

I declined hot sauce for my eggs and sipped orange juice before shrugging into a jacket and heading off to my meetings.

Eventually I'll obviously be fine from this little episode as well, but I'm weary of it. And sometimes the polka dot dresses and shiny shoes just can't save it.

1 comment:

JaneB said...

Yup, sometimes all the distractions and carefulness, choosing pretty, professional clothes and so on, just aren't enough - be nice to yourself! And know you;re not alone (says she, having needed extra anxiety medication lately to get to work, and wearing a pretty new long tunic with bit grey roses on it which fits and makes me look curvy and not fat and is just the bees knees, but isn't doing anything for the tremors and over-reactions and increased urge to hide as things pile up... you really aren't alone)

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