Asthma, Awkwardness, & Anxiety


The doctor told my parents I was born with a side of asthma, but they failed to mention I was also born with a side of awkwardness and anxiety. So at the end of the day, I’m a little bit out of breath and a little bit nervous, but I’m doing just fine.

Maybe there are people out there who’s first thoughts aren’t unnecessary and awkward conclusions to situations that haven’t yet occurred. Maybe there are people who don’t second-guess, who don’t over analyze. Maybe, these people are all liars. I, for one, don’t enjoy the luxury of consistent calmness – but perhaps that makes me all the more grateful for it.

You see, the thing is, when I hear “beer tour”, my first thought is, how do I make it through several breweries without spilling my damn beer? When my stop comes up on public transit, I take several minutes to map out my easiest exit. I don’t trust snooze buttons. 7 consecutive alarms 2 minutes apart is a better bet. When the prof asks a question, I look for imaginary items in my backpack. Sarcasm… Sarcasm is my saviour. Sometimes there’s a hurricane in my heartbeat, so I try to make a joke while my hands shake. One of the worst things somebody could say to me is: “the door’s unlocked, just come in when you get here.” I’m 20 but I still feel underage for the 10 seconds the bouncer looks at my ID…

The list goes on. The small, barely noticeable flickers of thoughts that happen a split second before I push them out of the way. To those of us who live unconscious to the minuscule details – who are immune to awkwardness, this may seem bizarre. But I see a world in a million bright colours, and sometimes the light gets a little too bright and I have to blink once or twice.

But we all have our small things – perhaps if you don’t, that alone is what yours is. I see my life with subliminal messaging and there was a time when I would have traded it in for a clean screen. I stopped wishing for that a while ago. I like the context it gives me – I like the uncomfortable and uncoordinated aspects of life. My favourite reminder has always been, “Life is awkward, let it be awkward.” Perhaps my nerves are just a little more sensitive, but it makes things more interesting – it makes you pay attention. I wouldn’t want to miss something.


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