The new semester just started and with the first week not even being over yet, I feel like work is piling up way over my head. Not necessarily work that has to be or can be done right at the moment, but deadlines for the future that are mandatory to meet. That’s why they’re called deadlines. Ignore them, you’re dead. Forget them, you’re dead. Cross them, you’re dead. Thinking about them will eventually kill you because your body and mind won’t be able to take the shakiness of the worry any longer. Dead. Literally deadlines.
It seems like I don’t really worry that much about IF I can meet the deadline. Because life still poses enough quirks for me to wish to pursue it, I will move heaven and hell to make a deadline. What I worry about is HOW I will meet the deadline. First of all in terms of the quality of the product I am supposed to deliver. If you know anything about me, you will know that I can be a notorious perfectionist. Which can make life really really difficult. Also, I consider my writing a piece of myself, it’s a visible product of my brain, which is basically my most treasured possession. It’s a product of my thoughts, my opinions, my experiences. So it’s got to be perfect if it is going to represent me in the outside world. This puts a hell of a lot of pressure on me, but on the other hand, I love writing for the very same reason. It’s a form of communication that allows me to think about what I want to say for as long as I need and then conveying this in a manner that will truly and accurately represent my thoughts and opinions and experiences. I hate having to represent myself through oral communication because this usually involves not saying everything I want to say, saying it in a way that can easily be misunderstood, saying things I don’t want to say due to lack of time to think about what I really want to say. It sucks. I wish I could communicate in written form exclusively for the rest of my life. It would sure as hell spare me from some of my social anxiety.
I don’t just worry about the quality of the product I am supposed to deliver, I also worry about the quality of my self during the time of production. This includes physical and mental health. Since I will do pretty much anything to meet a deadline AND deliver a perfect-to-my-standards-because-that’s-basically-all-that-really-matters-but-sadly-sometimes-my-standards-are-based-on-the-standards-of-the-person-implemeting-the-deadline-but-then-amplified-by-like-a-million-product, I worry that in the course of all that, I myself will go to hell (not literally though). My body will be put through sitting at a desk or in a super uncomfortable wooden contraption made with the intention of people spending hours on it in a lecture hall, me not having enough time to think about nutritious healthy food to cook and me worrying about shit all night (or staying up all night writing stream-of-consciousness-type blog entries) and not getting enough sleep. And my mind will be going washing-machine-spin-cycle-crazy 24 hours a day about meeting the fucking deadline with a fucking perfect product without going fucking crazy.
I have roughly 15 assignments to fulfill this semester, all with different deadlines, sometimes three with the same deadline, some involving stuffing things into my brain and then spitting them out on paper, others including talking in front of a group of people I don’t know very well and therefore provoking anxiety feelings from the moment I am informed about the deadline to the minute I finally get it over with. Most of these assignments are essays stretching over just a few pages, which should be no big deal, actually, since I love writing, I prefer it over talking or spitting stuff, come to think about it I really shouldn’t be worrying about those at all. I mean, there’s a lot of them, but how hard could it really be?
Maybe I’m actually worried about something completely different and am just projecting that worry onto the looooong list of Essays To Write. I’m applying to our university’s exchange program for a semester abroad in Canada. Which means I have to take the IELTS language test at the end of this month, which I should really be studying for, but a voice in my head is constantly telling me “come on, how hard can in be to write, listen to and speak ENGLISH for crying out loud”. It also means I still have to complete my letter of motivation, stating what exactly I’m planning to do over there and why the hell I’m wanting to do it. And I have to get two letters of recommendation from my professors, which requires once again oral communication skills and of course perfectly engaged and smart behavior in their classes so I get a good recommendation. Talk about pressure. Plus the person in charge of the department for foreign exchange stuff is a, well, um, somewhat difficult person and regarding my first encounter with this man who may lack even more social skills than me, but in a way that makes him arrogant and unfriendly instead of painfully self-conscious, I hope that I never have to interact with him on any level ever again.
And another thing that worries me is my application to a job as an assistant at the women’s equality office. Because it involves trying to sell myself and my qualifications to somebody that I have never met. And I suck at selling stuff. I couldn’t sell a lifeboat to a person drowning in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Also it will in the future involve people. New, strange people. People of authority. Yikes. That’s a sentence right there to scare the crap out of an introverted person with social anxiety, if not admitting them straight into a mental institution.
So why am I doing all of this if it worries and downright freaks me out so much? Good fucking question. I guess one could call it an attempt to live and maybe even succeed in spite of myself.
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.”
Disclaimer: I will not apologize for any typos, incoherent sentence structures, elaborate debaucheries, hyphenated neologisms or occasional swearing. It’s 1:23 a.m. for crying out loud and I’m too tired to proofread anything right now.