Tag Archives: fear

The First Appointment of the Day.

by Ed Williams  
I need my coffee this morning. I’m up extra early today. Hell, it’s still dark out. For some reason, I scheduled myself for an 8:00 am dentist appointment. And it’s 20 minutes away. What was I thinking? 

I usually do that. On my day off, I schedule doctors visits, blood work, and prostate exams all before the day really gets started. I think it’s because I read somewhere that human beings are capable of tolerating more pain in the morning. Obviously, whomever did that study never had a good hangover.

I also like to get these things out of the way. I don’t like anticipating pain or discomfort. Once, I actually talked myself out of doctor’s appointment that was scheduled in the afternoon because I had too much time to think about it. 

Circle back to caffeine. Or lack of. I didn’t have time to relax with my second cup of joe this morning. I barely gulped down half the first. When I don’t have my second cup, I don’t feel complete. I get edgy. I end up looking for things to tick me off. I’ve been known to push the cat off the bed because she looks too comfortable. If my car doesn’t turn over at the first twist of the key, I freak out. I’ll shoot nasty looks at school age children playing in the road while waiting for their bus. All situations that I normally handle well when the level of caffeine is sufficient. If not, it just becomes ugly and I google anger management videos.

So as I’m sitting is the dentist chair watching the sun come up and waiting for the novocaine to kick in, I wonder. What if my dentist hasn’t had his second cup of coffee? If my dentist gets grumpy, will he slip? I don’t fancy a drill slipping and ripping my gum to shreds. What if he’s tired? What if he uses the wrong drill size? Dear God, what if he’s hungover and hasn’t had coffee? Dentists must drink heavily after looking into people’s mouths all the time. What if he stayed up too late playing bonus levels of Candy Crush and he’s extra tired? I hope he doesn’t take his lack of coffee issues out on me.

Obviously, I have too much time to ponder this terrible situation as the numbness takes effect and I attempt to spit graciously into the bowl as a stubborn string of saliva refuses to disconnect itself from my lower lip. And that’s a run-on sentence. And I need to pee.

I wish they’d get this procedure done quickly, so I can hit up a hazelnut at Wawa.

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can I get a witness?

I’ve always had this personal fear that someday, somehow, some WAY, I’m going to be found out as a fake. A fraud. I believe it comes from some inner insecurity that maybe I’m just not good enough.

I think we must all go through that at one time or another. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. I’d hate to think it was only me. It isn’t just me. Right? Emoticon wink.

I’ve been in the process of a true personal evolution (as opposed to a false one). I’m not completely sure if it came from a latent New Years resolution, or perhaps some misguided third times the charm mid life crisis, but it’s here. And I’m a little frightened.

I am fast approaching 58 (does my age make the mid life crisis a mute point?), and I’ve come to the realization that I want to do something I actually like… make that LOVE, for this autumn season of my world. The interesting part (I say interesting because ridiculous sounds too negative) is that I’m not quite sure what it is I actually WANT to do?

Again, I’m guessing (make that desperately hoping) that some of YOU struggle with this as well. If not, well, then consider this yet another coming out story.

One of the problems I have is that I still believe that I’m a spry 18 year old on the inside. It’s when I pass those God awful mirror reflections where my Dad seems to make his appearance (God rest his soul) and I refuse to admit that man is me. Did I just use the word God twice in a sentence? Would that be considered a double negative to an atheist? Do I capitalize atheist? I digress. Squirrel!

Anyway…

I’m looking to change what I do “for a living?” That being challenging enough, I have what I THINK is loads of talent that I just don’t know how to channel into a way that makes sense. A way that I would feel is authentic. To me. To you. And also, a way that would make money.

So I continue to deal with the notion that any day now, I’m going to wake up to finger pointing whisperers who are laughing at how inadequate I am. At how silly I look out here struggling to find “my sense of self.” I hear snickers of “he can’t do that, he’s past his prime,” and “how immature to think he can just drop his current financial freedom (herein known as living paycheck to paycheck) to actually “pursue a dream.” “What a phony. What a fraud.”

I’m not looking for reassurance, I assure you. At least, not from you. I’m searching for reassurance from me. I want to bust out of the closet AGAIN, to become who I’m meant to be. Isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we all want to be authentic? To be true to ourselves? Don’t we all hide pieces of us that we sort of hold back on for fear of ridicule, or laughter. Like tripping in the cafeteria at 9th grade lunch.

I’m overwhelmed with paths I want to take at this point in my life. But I’m going to find one. One that works. It may not be that great American novel, but it will be MY journey. Maybe that’s what I’m so afraid of. I’ve always had a direction. A goal. A destination ahead. The path of always being in control. Always certain.

It’s so scary for a control freak like me. To enjoy the process now. To continue to listen to my heart (maybe I’m not a fraud after all), to go with the flow (I hate cliches), to make a plan (let’s be somewhat realistic here), and to live in the moment.

I’m fortunate that I have a husband who continuously supports me (some say support, some say blind love. Potato. Potahto.) And I DO get such lovely feedback from the social media community (is there a name for that in the urban dictionary?) So here goes.

Wish me luck.

Not sure why I chose this photo.
Maybe I’m shocked because I need a manicure.

2015/01/img_0402.jpg

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the lunch table.

I grew up on the border.

The physical border of the local school district changed a lot when I was growing up. For some reason, just when I’d get used to one group of kids at school, the district would decide to alter the border’s location within the district and I’d attend the rival school the following year.

One would THINK this would have rounded out my circle of friends; however, it rounded out my circle of insecurities and worries.

My biggest first day challenge, besides finding the correct bus stop, would always be who I would sit with at the lunch table. Who am I going to share my sandwich with?  Who will I talk to? Will they like me? Will I fit in? Or worse. What if I sit with them today, and tomorrow they decide to sit somewhere else?

It seems like yesterday that I’d come into the lunchroom to the odd aromas of ammonia and grilled cheese. The echo of trays, flatware and laughter as the energy of the first day of school filled the air. I sometimes liked, yet always loathed it every year. It was scary for me.

Picture panicked darting eyes searching for a familiar face. A smile. A nod. And finally… a seat.

These days, I still sometimes look for a place to sit at lunch. Not so much literally now as figuratively. Although, I rarely worry anymore about what to talk about, if I’ll be liked or if I’ll fit it. Age, perspective and experience tend to give me that freedom, but I’m still afraid.

Today, I worry about healthcare, politics, education, the youth of America and the condition of our world.

Perhaps the township will change the border on me once again.

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