Last week of the month means free topic week on Totes Awesome Channel!
When I was in high school I was lucky enough to be at Rice University when Nelson Mandela was accepting the Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service. I will always regret not fully appreciating the experience as a 16 year old. The video and audio clip of that speech can be found here.
This was the first week I had Bob with me at my new rental while working. He has never been left alone for longer than 5-6 hours and usually had Alan to let him out whenever he wanted since Alan worked from home. To help with the feelings of boredom and isolation, I thought I’d move his exercise to the mornings before I leave for work. I now wake up at 5:30 to walk him for an hour before heading out. Also, now that I’m a single dog parent, I no longer can stop on my way home for dinner or happy hour. Another new level to the life changes!
Speaking of Bob. He has his own Instagram now.
It’s day 6 of my Fear Factor December project. Last night, I spent an hour in a sensory deprivation chamber and it was amazing. I plan on writing a more detailed post about the experience but suffice it to say it feels like you’re floating in space and not salt water. I still am not sure what fear I’m facing today but tomorrow I have an acupuncture appointment with Mary Ellen!
From Day 3 of Fear Factor December:
This week’s moments of bliss: ♥ the hour I spent in a float tank ♥ coworkers who contribute with ideas and materials for my Fear Factor December project ♥ a late start to work today because of the weather ♥ quiet morning walks first thing in the morning ♥ watching Bob the dog twitch and occasionally bark in his sleep ♥ mom’s food for work lunches ♥ health insurance ♥ eating Harry Potter beans with Anita ♥ Having one of my closest friends in the same town and at the same work place! I still can’t believe it. ♥ plans to watch Catching Fire this weekend ♥ moving my desk closer to a window at work
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.
In December, I’m doing something that scares me every day. For the first day, I revisited something that scared me during my October challenge, which was to take ten photos a day with my newly acquired DSLR in an effort to learn how to use it. Hung had given me daily homework for October, one of which was to take a photo of a stranger with his or her permission. It gave me such anxiety that I thought it was a good one to revisit for my fear project. Thomas and Kim joined me for coffee and moral support, and I nervously asked five people to let me take their photos with their fears.
“I’m scared of people seeing my handwriting.”
His wife: “Risk makes you smile?”
“Do you have a black marker? Because we’re talking about fears here.”
She was the first person I asked and her answer made us wince and clutch our hearts.
“I like your bubble lettering.”
“Thank you, I’m trying to make it look as cute as possible.”
I ran out of paper but I love this set so much I decided to keep this series up in tandem to whatever else I’m doing for my daily dose of fear-facing. (Today’s is to sit through a scary movie without closing my eyes or ears. I don’t even know if I’m capable but I’m going to try.)