I fear commitment. Fear may be a strong word but I run in the other direction when it comes my way.
Does that constitute fear? Those that know me well know not to ask me too far in advance to do anything.
And by anything I mean invite me to dinner, invite me to a wedding, for coffee, a sporting event, a concert, a couple's night, a girl's night, or anything of the kind.
A phone call from someone I haven't spoken to in a while can have disastrous effects on me. Anxiety takes over.
Years ago I played Bunco with a group of great friends; once a month we'd get together, eat, drink, laugh, talk about our kids and husbands, play a dice game, and it was always fun.
I lasted about three months and then asked to be placed on the 'only if reeeaaalllyyy needed' list. That was a commitment I couldn't keep.
My husband and I made big, big plans for our recent getaway. We talked about it for weeks. We wanted to fill our days and nights with anything and everything.
There were places to go and things to see. The first night away and we had the entire night ahead of us.
We talked about hitting a club or two, going dancing, a comedy show, people watching, really hitting the town.
Sounds good, right? By the time we were getting ready for our big night, all I wanted was go to bed and sleep, which is what I did after profusely apologizing to him.
He understood, he gets me. We've decided no more planning. It was more fun that way anyway. No pressure, just going with the flow.
The rest of the weekend was pressure free, anxiety free, and glorious.
It's not that I don't enjoy going out, having fun, or a get together, I do. But it has to be on my time. It has to be quick and painless planning.
Too many details or too much preparation throws me through the crazy loop and I'm out.
I have cancelled 5 minutes before I'm supposed to leave my house, I've declined an invite months in advance already accepting what will be, and then there are the countless no-shows.
I know people have just stopped including me and I probably deserve that, but they don't know what they are missing when I ask! That's when all the fun begins.
Let's talk appointments. Making and keeping a haircut appointment is nearly impossible for me, in fact I've cancelled and rescheduled two and was a no show on a third just this month.
I am thankful I actually called to cancel at least two of them but by the third I figured she'd put me on the 'do not schedule again' list anyway. They probably have my phone number blocked.
I am so embarrassed. I know her time is important. I realize she waited for me. I feel bad, really I do.
But why can't I just walk in and get a haircut when the time is right for me? Why do I have to make an appointment? That's a commitment isn't it?
That causes me anxiety that I cannot control. I know why an appointment is necessary... because she is a great stylist who is booked solid and I am a terrible person.
I could always go to Hair Cuttery where walk-ins are welcomed and pray (talk about anxiety).
Haircuts are not the only regularly cancelled appointments in my life. Can I talk about manicures and pedicures? Over the years, I have had many techs; some great, some not so great.
Some salons I would recommend and some I would report to the health department. Some of my favorites have just up and disappeared.
The challenge is finding a nail technician who does exactly what you want when you want it. See? Again, it has to be on my schedule or it usually does not happen.
If they cannot fit me in when it's convenient for me, I will find another salon or chew all my nails off. You have no idea.
And by convenient I do not mean the world must revolve around me. It certainly does not. But there are times I need a situation to work best for me.
And by 'me' I mean my mental state, my emotional state, and my physical state. The easy answer is to just avoid participating.
I love being with friends and family. It's the physical part of getting somewhere that is my biggest issue. If I could be Dorothy and tap my heels, I'd go anywhere.
Because that only happens in Oz, this is what happens to me a day before or the day of the 'event':
- it's getting ready,
- wondering what to wear,
- thinking about driving and directions,
- what do I bring,
- not knowing everyone, knowing everyone, or knowing no one,
- will there be a crowd,
- will people be stupid drunk or stupid sober,
You name it, I stress about it. It's exhausting; the anxiety takes hold, and I'm out. That simple.
There are times I throw caution to the wind and just do what I've promised to do. Almost always, I'm happy to be mingling, laughing, catching up, and glad I graced others with my crazy presence.
I know I am not alone. My fear is real and makes me a bit unpredictable and impulsive. That works for some but not for all. Thank you to those who stand by me.
For those of you who feel the same way, you're not alone.