As a slowly recovering sociophobe (ignore your spell check, it’s a word), I take chances every damn day.
I mean, I guess the biggest chance ever to take was to get actual psychological help, which did not work out at all. But that’s a sad story and I’m not feeling it today.
So instead let me regale you with the fact that sometimes I get up, get ready, get my stuff, open the door…
… go “Nope” and head back inside.
Some days leaving the house is just not happening. I mean… people. Construction workers. Children. Parents with children. Dogs. Birds. Social interaction with cashiers and ticket inspectors and random weirdos and those elusive beings called acquaintances. Hundreds of thousands of people being carried through the public transport system like so much cholesterol in an American’s bloodstream. The noise of a million grunting voices, crying, yapping, tapping on their phones, the irregular tick-tock of two million shoes going in every direction and at every pace, all while you are trapped in the enormous body heat of a stuffed subway car like you were travelling through the bowels of some huge alien creature. Smells like it, too. And you want me to partake in all this? Nah.
So some days, I step outside, decide that ‘literally, I can’t even’, and go hide in my bedroom.
I’m absolutely convinced this is where this dreaded phrase comes from. You’re so paralysed with fear you can’t even finish the sentence. Your brain just shuts down from sensory overload.
But sometimes, you do have to go out. Yes, even me with my thorough calculations of how long I can put off buying toilet paper. There’s university, and grocery shopping, and going to the drug store for tampons, and visiting relatives, and a billion other things you just can’t avoid. And then you just have to brace yourself, give yourself a good mirror pep talk about how you are a kind and loveable and entirely normal not-at-all-weird-or-awkward person, and go.
And then your brain puts on the next horror show. Did I lock the door? better go check again. Did I close the windows? There’s scaffolding all over the place, anyone could climb in, better go check again. Did I lock the door again after I checked on the windows? Better go check. Wait, did I check the kitchen window? Wait, did I turn off the stove? Should I really leave the dryer running, I heard that can cause a fire. What if someone starts a fire in the basement again? What if I lose my keys? What if I lose my phone? Wait, where’s my pepper spray even? Wait, where’s my list? What if it rains, should I take an umbrella? What if it gets cold, should I take a jacket? Wait, what if someone breaks the windows and steals all my stuff?! Maybe I should hide everything I own real quick…
And all this just to take a ten minute walk to the post office.
I took a huge chance today by going to a job interview. Do you want my inner monologue?
Oh my god, they answered so quickly! Wait, does that mean they’re desperate? Does that mean their last assistant quit suddenly? Did someone die? That’s why you can’t ask why the position’s free, no matter what they tell you in those get-ready-for-your-job-interview articles, because it’d be super awkward. Wait, how many other candidates are there? Oh my god, I really don’t have much experience, what if they hire me and then I can’t do it? Oh my god, what do I say when they ask why I want this job, I can’t say “Because I’d be getting paid”! But literally, that’s the reason. What if they ask me what my dream job is, I can’t say ‘billionaire heiress’! But literally, that’s the truth. Oh my god, what if they don’t like me? What if they’re mean? What if they make a joke they think is funny but is actually really hurtful and/or offensive? It’s going to be 90 degrees out, what am I going to wear? What if they don’t have AC? Ahhhh… blouse. Okay. Should I do pants? I can’t do my suit pants, too hot. Should I do a skirt? Great, now I look like I’m going to boarding school. What are they wearing on their website? Is this more business casual or business professional? What if that’s just for the photos and they’re really like super relaxed? What if I look odd? What if they don’t like my nose? Or my voice? Or my accent? Oh my god, I can’t do this. You need a job, though. I can’t do this! You need a job, though! I’m not half as good as I don’t even think I am! You need a job, though. Okay, so I’m here, and they are super relaxed about clothes. And it’s a group interview. Aww, all the other girls are so much prettier than I am! And they’re younger, too! Argh, Jesus, there’s no way they’re going to take me, not with that girl over there, she’s probably perfect. Argh, why can’t I pretend I’m a smiley, happy person, why is my strict organiser showing?! They want an organiser, though. Who cares, no one ever cares how efficient I am because I’m not a pretty smiling-at-all-hours sort of person! I’ve resting bitch face! It’s my natural condition! My masticatory muscle is cramping from all the smiling, this is the worst thing ever! Actually, this interview wasn’t so bad. Yes, it was. Wasn’t. Was. They seemed to like you. Didn’t! I said a stupid thing. I said a lot of stupid things, actually. Argh, why did I even go? Because you need a job. What I need is being a normal person!
So, yes, I’m definitely taking chances. Chances of going absolutely insane. Thank you and goodnight, I’ll see myself in.