Thursday, October 31, 2013
Over the past few years, I’ve developed this strange and embarrassing anxiety. It can happen anywhere but it usually occurs at the office. When someone comes over to my computer and, rather than drive it themselves, they verbally direct me where to go and what to type. There's nothing wrong with this. It's actually really nice when you need help with something. But for some reason, for some godforsaken reason, this particular situation sends me spiraling into a black hole vortex of insecurity. I forget everything I’ve ever learned in life and all of my precious cranial resources are now solely directed at behaving like a normal human being. No longer able to process simple requests, my own internal dialog is now the only thing I can interact with.
2. Neural pathways shut down.
3. No longer in control of anything my body does.
Today I was sitting at my computer when two friendly coworkers came over to my desk asking if I could show them my process.
I usually start off pretty optimistic. I’m fully aware that I’m about to enter a situation that will probably cause me extreme anxiety, yet I still give myself a figurative high five and think “Don’t worry, Brain! We got this! That thing that happens to us will probably, most definitely, NOT happen this time!”
But then it does happen. It did happen. She asked me to type in a colon. A colon. Children in third world countries know what a colon is, for christ's sake. But for some reason, for me, this task was impossible for my brain to comprehend. Reality became overpowered by an irrational, urgent inner voice;
What is a colon? The organ? No, the punctuation. Holy shit, why can’t I remember what a colon is? What does it even look like? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? SHE'S WAITING FOR YOU TO TYPE A COLON, SHE'S GOING TO THINK YOU'RE COMPLETELY FUCKING STUPID! BRAIN, RESPOND TO ME! WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Finally, I respond out loud:
“WHAT IS COLON."
Sometimes I wish that English wasn't my first language and instead spoke in this adorable Korean accent or something. That way, when weird stuff like this happens, people would just assume it's a cute little communication error instead of what it actually is...