Just Breathe: a public service announcement.

Just Breathe: a public service announcement.

I’ve been told a lot recently to “calm down” and “breathe.”

Apparently I look stressed out most of the time.

I could say, “Well I’m in grad school; it’s to be expected!”  But the truth is different:  most of those times, I’m not stressed out at all!  When I truly am stressed, you won’t see me- then, I’m holed up in front of whatever work needs to get done, fervently trying to finish it as quickly and as well as possible, heart racing and hands shaking.  It’s like my head is filled up with what needs to be done and I can’t stop until it’s all out, all done.  If you saw me then, you’d know I was stressed.

I like to make schedules, as primitive and predicted as they may be, as much as I like to think I can be spontaneous. I don’t like to have things hanging over my head. I tend to overthink things. But everybody has their quirks: those just happen to be mine. It doesn’t mean that I am always stressed. It’s just how I am.

Confession: what does stress me out is hearing from other people that I seem stressed! What am I doing wrong?

Nothing!

So please, even though I understand that you’re trying to be considerate, please don’t tell me that I look stressed. Ask me how I’m feeling; ask me if I need anything; but please please don’t make assumptions. It makes a non-situation into just another thing for me to worry about.

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