Like most people I know, I have a lot of contradicting qualities. For instance, I’m pretty comfortable with failure (there’s only a few weeks left in the year and I still haven’t started on one of my resolutions) but also I’m so stubborn about achieving certain personal projects that I would often lose sleep and fret because I so badly want to complete a project in a timely manner. For example, last year I stayed up late all of December trying to read triple what I usually read in a month just so I could read 50 books in 2012. (I have 6 more to go in 2013.) It drives my dad nuts because he hates seeing me stress and not sleep and not breathe and it’s ridiculous to be this wrapped up over something just for me. I made the rules, why not relax the rules for the benefit of getting more sleep?
We have a few more weeks of December and I can feel the familiar anxiety of deadlines and New Year Resolutions on my chest. I’m reading a book about grieving the loss of a love written by a couple of doctors and they advise against taking on a big project or getting in a new relationship fresh from a break-up. Time to feel and heal. As I read this last night I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I’m doing it wrong again.
This is only my second big heartache in my love life. How I got over the first guy, I pursued new experiences. At least once a week. Something I haven’t stopped doing. It was amazing and fun and I jumped out of a plane and ignited my wanderlust. But really, after the dust settled a few years later, I realized I was just running away from the sads and the anger.
I’m doing it again. In December, on top of trying to finish (am I nuts?) the rest of my resolutions, I also decided to face a fear every day of the month. Someone who is suffering from anxiety and deadlines of resolutions decided to PURSUE FEAR.
Today, I faced my fear of needles by donating blood and it was by far the scariest thing I’ve done in four days. Since then I’ve had this ache in my chest and almost 12 hours later, I can’t shake it. I don’t even know what it is. Is it the adrenaline from facing fears? The pressure of trying to find 31 fears to face in December? I run with my projects before fully planning them out because I’m afraid of ideas losing steam. And once I’ve committed to something, even if it later feels stupid (like chasing fears in the midst of a broken heart), I am now compelled to complete the project.
This unrelenting knot in my chest. Is it anxiety over fears? Anxiety of not finishing yet another project? My own heartache? Watching my dog grieve the loss of his old comfortable life with two parents? Six people and counting have messaged me or commented to tell me they thought the man who drew my blood was good looking. I detected a hint of interest from him. He did make my bandage with a customized bow and encouraged me to find him on Facebook. I’m not pursing this but even the idea of it makes me tense.
The phlebotomists were worried about me because of my size and warned me that smaller people have a harder time recovering from blood donations.
Maybe what I’m feeling today is merely the loss of blood.