Happy anxiety*

Anticipation Orange by Lisa Golighty

When I see the word anticipation, I think happy anxiety. Strange, I know — but it makes sense that I relate in that way. I’m an anxious person by nature.

I looked up definitions of the word, and was pleasantly surprised by how positive it was. Here are a couple favorites:

* * *

A N T I C I P A T I O N:

  1. the act of looking forward; especially pleasurable expectation
  2. visualization of a future event or state

* * *

With that in mind, here are lists of things that I,

onepleasurably expect, and

twovisualize for the future:

o n e

in the summer, to look down at my toe rings & feel instantly cheered up

a delicious ache in my muscles the day after a good & decisive workout

to meet people in whatever state and capacity they are currently at

my galoshes to keep my feet dry even as I wade through puddles

my favorite pen to always make my handwriting look amazing

catharsis & ease after writing my feelings out

* * *

t w o

my reputation amongst friends to be someone who will listen without judgment

complete authenticity in my relationships and interactions with people

children that feel secure in themselves, with my & their father’s help

a closer relationship to my heritage as a Filipina

less anger & more acceptance in and of myself

having a love that pleasurably expects me

– – – – –

*I realize now that it’s not necessary to correlate anticipation to anxiety.

“Quirks”: a laundry list of my flaws

To any future potential boyfriends out there, here is an ad hoc guide to some of my everyday quirks (or flaws, depending on who you ask), to refer to. It’s not by any means exhaustive, and it’s in no particular order:

  • If I wear mismatched socks, the more “feminine”-looking one has to go on my left foot — because at weddings, the bride traditionally stands on the left.
  • I’m scared of the dark. At night, a light in at least one room has to be on before I can go into an unlit room and turn that one on.
  • I get a little too entertaining when I’m drunk.
  • I have a hideous sense of direction and rely entirely too much on Google Maps. I would be useless if we were ever lost in the woods or something.
  • To add on to this, I have never gone camping and have an utter lack of survival skills. I mean, I can probably climb trees pretty well since I do yoga, so I could probably escape a bear. But that’s probably all I could do at this point.
  • I Instagram. So sue me.
  • I am terribly absentminded — I actually have looked in the fridge for my keys, and wouldn’t have been surprised if I found them there. But I am proud to say I have not yet found them in there.
  • And because I’m terribly absentminded, I will constantly rhetorically ask where my shit is, and be pleasantly surprised that you know the answer.
  • Emotionally, I am like one of those windsocks you see at the airport — my emotions will blow in the same direction as the person I’m talking to. I come home exhausted from a “normal” workday just by listening to others.
  • I don’t want a tattoo because I’m a badass — I want a tattoo because I want to feel original, even though it’s no longer original to have one these days.
  • I will not remember the date of our first kiss, what year we traveled to what city, what I was thinking when I made that decision, what I said last month, hell, even what I said last week… but I will remember how you looked when you first kissed me, your childhood stories, your mom’s birthday, your secrets, your favorite songs, how you made me feel, and the first time you cried in front of me.
  • Sometimes, I feel an urgent need to clean everything in sight and reorganize shit.
  • I make random noises all the time — in the shower, or when I remember something embarrassing that I did a few years ago, or during volleyball, or dropping something on the floor, or getting into bed… you’ll get so annoyed by it.
  • I cry very quickly. I once cried over a crab on the beach that was almost eaten by birds. I cry at movies. I cry when we’ve been arguing too long. I cry when people confide painful things to me.
  • I don’t let my hair go down the shower drain. I stick them on the wall and throw them away after my shower. Maybe that’s disgusting, but that’s what I do.
  • Speaking of disgusting, I take 2 hours to clean and cut my fingernails and toenails, because I’m buffing and scraping that dead shit away… 3 hours, sometimes… if I’m painting my toenails.
  • You’ll probably notice that I complain about my closest friends — but please know that even though I’m sick of them, I actually can’t live without them.
  • Please don’t ask me to go running if you have done a marathon, done cross-country, or something equally impressing, stamina-wise. It will only be embarrassing for you and I if I jog at my asthmatic old lady pace. If you ask me to do yoga for 2 hours though, no problem, I’m your girl.
  • I fail at baking. And sometimes I fail at cooking.
  • I will let people walk all over me — so please, I need your help recognizing when people in my life are taking advantage of me. That includes you.
  • I’m socially awkward, and acutely aware of it. That’ll stop me from hanging out with people or trying new things. So please make me hang out with people or try new things.
  • When I am happy, I sing all the time — and eat.
  • I will have at least 3 flavors of ice cream in the freezer at any given point in time.
  • If I didn’t write it down, it either didn’t happen OR will not happen. Grocery lists, errands, favorite songs, gift ideas for people — you name it, I have a list for it.
  • I’m not as innocent as I look.
  • I’m so not good with money. So not good. You’ll be so frustrated that I don’t set aside enough for my savings, or that I have to get my monthly dose of Popeye’s, or that I have to get a new pair of boots for this year’s fall season, or that I got another parking ticket.
  • I’m a people-pleaser, to my detriment.
  • Before we watch a movie or show, I have to absolutely look that shit up on Rotten Tomatoes. If it’s below 63%, I’m either not watching it or already having negative preconceptions while watching it.

I hope this is helpful. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh, these cravings


the air

There are some days I want to experience air. A big, unapologetic whiff that makes my nostrils flare and my chest visibly expand. Some days, in the constant walk-a-thon that is my job, I feel like I truly take air for granted. When I feel this way, I stop and glance around, like I’m seeing my surroundings for the first time. Then I breathe, starting slow in the pit of my stomach, making note of the flavors that enter my nasal passage. Once I reach the peak of my breath, I savor the deliciousness of the view. Then I make my way down the valley of my exhalations, careful not to fall over the edge and release too quickly.

the strangers

There are some days I crave male attention. When I was sixteen, and my mother would drive us south every weekend for several hours, I would relish making eye contact with some truck driver, or a man in some Subaru. I would make believe the man was intrigued by my lovely cheekbones, in the partial shadow of the passenger seat. I would hold the gaze for as long as I dare, feeling desired, if only for a few seconds. I thought that if they couldn’t see the rest of me — just my long, black hair and intense gaze — that would make me more desirable … at least, more desirable than if my awkward body were set against the backdrop of high school lockers and bland classrooms. Sometimes, I still feel like I’m sixteen, falling in love with strangers.

the salt & the sea

There are some days I yearn for the sea. I am convinced salt water is my element. Warm, cold, turbulent, calm — doesn’t matter. If it’s salty, if it’s endless, if it hits the sand … then it is truly mine. I used to climb coconut trees, collect shells, run like a madman along the beaches with my dogs. All of this was with the sea to my side, the briny wind on my face, two giants embracing me as I played. You know how you hear the ocean in a shell when held up to your ear? Some sunrises and sunsets here, in the city I live in, truly feel like a shell is being held up to my ear.

My dearest friends

They say your closest friends are a reflection of who you want to be as a person.

I count myself fortunate to say that my closest friends are adventurous, intelligent, and loving people whose traits continue to induce me to a state of awe

7378cb562b58c2a926c4b49382fc6653Like my friend Keesha, whose capacity to love and open her heart is just astounding. No matter what world of hurt she is in, she carries within her a breadth of compassion, the likes of which I have never experienced in a person. I feel her empathy envelope me whenever I confide in her.

Like my friend Trevin, who, no matter how occupied he is in his eventful life, has the energy to give 100% in his every interaction with me. He is fully engaged in every second of his life, and holds me accountable in my own level of participation in my life. I am grateful for his presence in my life.

Like my friend Mieke, who combines her work and personal life effortlessly, introducing one friend to another with the ease of a true social master. She is always willing to make herself the conduit of love and friendship in her circle. She is always so authentic, I know I can always be straightforward and myself with her.

Like my friend Rubie, who travels the world, one plane ride at a time. She is constantly befriending strangers and willing to share the wisdom she learns on her adventures. She is my sister, lonely, still trying to find herself through her experiences, and constantly on the move in search of happiness.

Like my partner Kevin, who has taught me the value of compromise and controlling my emotions, as they tend to overrun me at times. He is my rock, and continues to hold me in place. Over the years, we have had our challenges, but we continue to teach each other lessons that the other sorely needs.

I am forever thankful that I am surrounded by people I am continuously learning from, and who fill the gaps in my own personality enough to make me a more well-rounded person. They teach me what is valuable and worth holding to in life, and I have cried and laughed with them, sharing in these beautiful moments and solidifying my love for them. They have absolutely changed my life.