Here We Go Again
I don’t remember exactly when it was that I created this blog I have yet to actually use. I believe it was about a year ago, give or take. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember—as a hyperlexic child with insatiable curiosity, I started a diary well before I understood the purpose of a diary (I found one of them a while back that I started when I was 5. It mostly contained reports of the weather and what I ate that day. If anyone would like to know the weather conditions most days back between 1990–1992 in Port Orange, FL, I can probably help you out). It was a pretty hilarious read. Why has it taken me so long to start a live blog? Well, it is intimidating, that’s why. I keep saying, “I want to write, I want to write,” primarily because I love typing so much. The steady motion of hitting the keys with the tips of my fingers is calming to me. But when I login and pull up a blank page, my mind goes blank. Where do I start? What do people want to read? Should I choose a topic or just write about myself—my day, my thoughts, my preferences? Recipes? I hear those are big. Inevitably, I would just end up staring at the blank screen in dumbfounded anticipation, my anxiety level increasing steadily until I log out and close the thing. Whew, glad that’s over; no more pressure. But now I feel ashamed. I love writing, so why can’t I just write? Alright, fine. I’ll write. It will be unstructured and mostly resemble stream of consciousness, but maybe I will eventually establish a theme, and this blog will become “good.” Here I go again…
Allow me to introduce myself officially. Well, I mean, I’m not giving anyone my real name or current location or anything (although I did just inform you of where I grew up). Okay, I’ll give you a first name. It’s Sarah, and I’m 30. I have a master’s degree in psychology, but I currently work as an editor—which, oddly enough, I knew from a very young age that was what I would inevitably end up doing, but I also loved the subject matter of psychology, enjoyed learning statistics, and wanted to know what was wrong with me. Psychology gave me insight. And yeah, I got to learn how to design social and behavioral experiments and use statistics in real-life situations, which was freakin’ awesome. As an undergraduate, I majored in psychology and minored in literature. I wanted to double-major, but after years and years (I’ll get to that later) in college, I just wanted to get the hell outta there, so when I realized I had enough credits for a degree AND a minor, I said, “Super. Great. Now get me out of here!”
I did not walk for graduation for either degree, for many reasons, the first of which being that I kept telling myself I will walk for the real accomplishment, which would be the PhD I had been planning on since childhood. I am currently NOT going for my PhD. Maybe because I am tired of spending the entirety of my adult life in institutional learning, but more likely because the application process is so long and intimidating that even thinking about how to get started causes almost too much anxiety for me to handle. I am getting anxious even now, just having typed that out.
After my master’s degree, I had no idea what to do with myself. I don’t get out much, and I need to learn. It’s my “thing.” One of the only things, in fact, that I can say I’m good at. Being a good student. Writing papers. Rote memorization. Repeating sections of the textbook verbatim. Pulling up my notes mentally during a test and writing the answers directly from them. Group projects? Not so much. I’d rather go it alone, thanks. I was unpopular in high school, being the only one in the class to enthusiastically shoot up my hand for the option of “write a paper” rather than “group assignment.”
Also, after my master’s degree, I was still working as a receptionist in a dental office (I’m a late bloomer), a job that caused me a great deal of nearly intolerable anxiety almost everyday, with its menial tasks and constant influx of patients I had to interact with. Sometimes, by lunch, I was ready to cry. No more phone! I wanted to shout. No more patients staring at me from the waiting area with expressions I can only to describe as “angry” or “annoyed” because we were running behind. Wandering off to hide in the unused consultation room was a daily practice for me whenever a patient got upset or sat too long in the waiting room, staring at me like it’s my fault. I also just could not do confrontation. Poor Cheryl (my co-worker up there); I felt so useless.
“Tell Dave when he comes in that we need to collect his balance before he goes back,” she says casually, as though this is a totally reasonable request for a 30-year-old woman working front desk to manage. I immediately start sweating. Dave walks in. I say, “Hi, Dave. It’ll be just a moment.” My throat is dry. I am delaying. As soon as I work up the courage, I tell myself, I’ll call Dave up to collect his balance. Cheryl has now noticed Dave’s arrival and is looking at me like, What the hell? Did you forget? and I know my eyes are huge and can feel my face is burning. What if he gets mad? What if he asks me what the balance is for and I can’t explain properly? There are other patients in here; what if he yells at me and I start stuttering like a moron (yes, this happens often)? “Um, Dave?” I say, “Could you come around?” I usher him over to Cheryl. She’s better at this stuff; I am a wimp. I need to go hide in the consultation room so I can pull on and twist my fingers while I wait for him to go away and disappear into an operatory. Then I need to apologize to Cheryl, again, because I suck at life.
Then, by some miracle, I stumbled upon this editing job and actually got it! I couldn’t be happier. It includes quite a substantial raise, as well as a dimly-lit cubicle area (no more insufferable fluorescent lights glaring down on me, causing headaches and making my skin look terrible) where I get to enjoy an iMac with enormous duel monitors, a phone that never rings, and a steady stream of educational material in which I get to correct grammar and rearrange sentences all day while I bounce and swing my legs, swivel in my chair, and rub my thumbs—all without an audience of patients.
I do have more to say, but I’m tired now, so this is where I stop.