As I sit here typing, the weather on our front porch is why we moved here from New York City. The sun is shining and fall is making her entrance. Kids in the neighborhood are riding their bikes to school in packs and the tips on the leaves are tinged with yellow. Meanwhile, my phone is alerting me that a hurricane will make landfall in Florida soon and at, the end of the week, will threaten us with some bad weather.
As a native Floridian, I’m embarrassed to say how cavalier I get about hurricanes. I covered dozens of massive storms in my reporting career, some with devastating impact, but there’s something about my internal wiring that keeps me from panicking.
When I was in Florida, my roommate and I went shopping for supplies. We’d be working at the TV station until the storm cleared so we just bought Diet Coke and gummy bears. Batteries? Nope. Bottled water? Nah.
We ended up losing power for two weeks and it was pure comedy trying to take cold showers in complete darkness.
Don’t You Have Anxiety?
Today, our friends who just moved from the west coast, are already stocking up on supplies for the severe storm we *may* get in a week. I know, I know, I know. It’s downright dangerous to ignore these things – but we’re so far inland, we’re fiiiiiiine.
This friend said to me, “I can’t believe you’re so calm. Don’t you have anxiety?”
That’s the thing about me. I can do big, hard things and stay completely calm. Ask me to do something small outside of my strange comfort zone and I’m a mess.
For example: Hurricanes? I got you.
Provide a snack for my son’s team? Get ready for a spiral.
Why are the circuits in my brain wired this way? I’m your girl in a crisis. During some significant family moments, I can dig in and make a spreadsheet to organize care for someone in need. I remember those first few days of the pandemic, I was the calm, steady voice in our house.
So why do I crumble thinking about making small talk at a party?
I have no answers for this. I’ve loved blogging every day this month with a focus on my mental health because it’s really helped me find my own answers. Committing to this practice has taught me the things I need to show up in life the way I want.
But this one? I’ve got nothing.
Why do life’s big moments seem so manageable and the small inconveniences seem insurmountable?
I imagine some sort of circuitry in my brain where the red “panic” wire is connected to the “small things” nodule. And the green, “you should chill” wire is lined up with the “potential disaster” conductor.
Is anyone else wired this way?
I guess I should go buy some batteries in case we lose power.
Take care and be safe,