I Cast You Out! Unclean Spirit!

6 Apr
NY Times Interactiv Map for nutritious lunchline

Image from feedingamerica.org


After some time with yesterday’s after-school-special post, I’ve come to some startling realizations.

I have avoided a variety of everyday firsts because of my fear of the unknown.

Really – lots of them.  Lots of things people don’t really think about until they write a Lollipop Tuesday post and realized that they’re pathetic, fearsome slugs.   I have blatantly avoided a lot of things simply because I didn’t know the rules ahead of time or have someone there to help me figure them out.

The rules are the way things work – the logistics of a scenario.  Yesterday I didn’t want to go to a restaurant I didn’t know because I didn’t know if I should sit or be seated, what the best seat was, what was on the menu, what the people were like, whether refills were included on non-alcoholic drinks, or whether to pay at the end or take it to a register.

When I have someone with me, it’s okay that I don’t know because that person doesn’t know either and we’ll just confirm that out loud for ourselves and figure it out, no biggie.  But when I’m alone, those questions are enough to make me break out in nerve-induced hives.

For realsies.

So I started thinking.  If I’m just now noticing this about myself, how long has it been going on?  The answer is A Long Time.  I’ve missed out on a wide variety experiences simply because I didn’t know the rules and was too scared to look like I was trying to figure them out in front of everyone.   Like the school cafeteria, for instance.  Do you know what I remembered last night while I laid awake in bed?   That I didn’t go through the high school lunch line until the last week of my senior year.

There are lots of rules there and you know it.

Or public transportation, which I still don’t take and never may.  Tickets, tokens, passes, quarters, dollars, change, no-change, transfers, seating.  And that’s if I even know how to get where I want to go.

And that’s what I hate about people.   Well, I actually mostly just hate how stupid people are.  But I also hate meeting new ones because I don’t know what their deal is.    I don’t want to have to spend all that time figuring someone out with all their complexities and weirdisms.  And heaven forbid they figure out mine – what a miserable time that always is.  It is a fact (you can verify with my mother) that when I was younger, I would get so nervous for my birthday that by the time I made it there, I spent the whole day throwing up.  Every year for several years.

I can’t even imagine casual dating.  I would either be paralyzed with fear or just go all Exorcist on them.

Thank the good Lord I have Dave.  

P90X Update: 6/90 complete.  Tomorrow I get a rest day.  Actually, it says I can do the DVD “Stretch X” or I can rest.   Is that supposed to be a joke? Rest day, definitely.



24 Responses to “I Cast You Out! Unclean Spirit!”

  1. Lori April 6, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    I totally agree with you – those are the types of things that make me, and I suspect most people, quite anxious. I’m sure there’s a sociological explanation (coughsocialnormsandsanctoins). Anyway, public transportation IS daunting (particularly to us originally from the vast nothingness between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia), but it’s only confusing the first few times. If you’re lucky, you’re usually with someone who already understands the system.


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      That’s the only way I’ll go, though I admit that even doing that freaks me out. I’m getting bolder, though. Who knows what I’ll be capable of in a year. 😉


  2. KristenSays April 6, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    My husband grew up in New York, so every time we go back to visit I follow him blindly as he expertly navigates his way from bus to train to subway to connecting subway. One time I accidentally let go of his hand – big mistake, Huge. If it weren’t for the age of cell phones, I’m pretty sure I’d Still be wandering around New York trying to find my way home.

    p.s. go do the Stretch X! 😉


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      People who master the NY transportation system are truly admirable. Or anything about the city, really. It’s so incredibly massive to me.

      …DON’T MAKE ME STRETCH. Ughhhhhhhhhhh


  3. Patrecia aka Misswhiplash April 6, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    You are not a weird person just because you have worries about the unknown.
    You have plucked up the courage to ‘take the bull by the horns’ face your phobias and get them sorted.
    I truly admire you for what you are doing. It shows real guts…it cannot be easy..but you are going ahead and gradually getting them sorted. Do not put yourself down, you are doing so well, you actually need a medal for courage.
    You have here one genuine admirer


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      I. love. you.


  4. Suzi (Peters) Herr April 6, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Thanks for sharing! The worst for me is when I don’t know the “rules” but everyone else around me seems to. Argh! But thanks to your example, I just made myself sign up to do something scary where I know none of how anything works (a day in the church nursery–yikes!).


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

      ooooh how cool! I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂 You should pop back in and let me know how it goes.


  5. Seasweetie April 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to be brave? The things you did WERE brave, even if they might have seemed small to you. It will just give you the confidence to do more brave things!


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

      I sure hope so. I don’t feel brave at all. I feel like things that are huge and scary to me are no big deal to others. But thanks to everyone sharing, I’m realizing it’s more commonplace than I believed. 🙂


  6. liannouwen April 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    The fear of the unknown (that sounds fancy doesn’t it?) I’ve got the same problem. My parents told me that in primary school I didn’t want to go one day and when my mom asked me why I told her that we had to do something today that I didn’t know how to do. I’m still that way, guess it will never pass. We are doomed to never try new things and be boring!


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      lol wow – and kids are usually so brave! I remember bawling my eyes out my first day of second grade because my teacher looked scary and I didn’t want to be without my parents. I’m starting to think that we could do so much more and live so much fuller lives if we didn’t let a silly thing like fear hold us back.


  7. wordsweneversaid April 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    I so get this – all of it.

    I have a plan that I use though…

    I really do just dumb out on everything if I feel intimidated by a new situation.

    I imagine that I am a tourist in a foreign country at the mercy of the locals and/or a quirky tour guide with very broken english and it really does come through as authentic bewilderment of any and all local customs (remember – it’s a jungle out there)

    One of the great things about the people who DO know all the ‘rules’ is that so many of them want to share them with people who don’t.

    That in itself has saved my ass in a bad situation more than once and also allowed me to meet quite a few new friends.

    Get out there – have fun (when taking the bus – pick a day you can afford to get lost on…the drivers are really nice if you do and most will find a way to get you home safe. Uh – don’t ask how I know that one – but I do)

    Be well,


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

      I love your plan – thanks for sharing it with me. I can certainly use it as a backup when being myself is too scary.

      I would love to get lost on the bus one day. That sounds delightfully terrifying.


  8. wordsweneversaid April 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    P.S.? The birthday thing?

    When I was a kid my Mother used to try and throw these birthday parties for me – every freakin’ year she would do this and I would do anything I could to hide from the day – throwing up all day was a definite ‘go’ for me…

    I couldn’t STAND being ‘the birthday girl’ – it was like being ‘the leper’or ‘the target’ – I could go on.

    All that forced attention – tension – tension – tension…


    Where was I?

    Oh ya…

    I get the birthday thing too.




    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

      YES! Thank you so much for connecting with me on this. Most kids get so excited for their big day and I spent mine in misery over all the hype. Psht…kids.



  9. Jules April 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Ever seen a psychiatrist? Just curious. 😛

    About the rest days, you should enjoy them. That’s a big part of working out. You get certain days dedicated to “rest” because you can’t advance in fitness if you’re tired all the time.

    PS – I vomited a few words in reply to your comment in Getting Hot Sucks. It was difficult cramming in everything that needed to be said. (hint: it’s not fun, not yet at least)


    • Jackie April 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

      No – I’m good.

      I’m lapping up this rest day. In fact, I’m trading the time I usually use for P90X to get back to all my back comments. Can you tell? 😛


      • Jules April 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

        O lordy. I knew I would fuck up my explanation in some way. You’re right. None of that mentioned why I find joy in running.

        I’m a very competitive person so running lets me express myself in the purest way. Putting one foot in front of the other faster than 90% of the field. That is one of the biggest reasons why I run.

        Keep up what you’re doing and you might just catch the bug. 😉 Just don’t forget about blogging. huhuhu


        • Jackie April 9, 2011 at 10:58 am #

          Ah – competition 🙂 I don’t think I’ll catch any bug at all. It’s been 9 days and I’m still miserable.


  10. Lori L. April 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Public transportation scares the crap out of me too. I mean, I grew up in a place where the nearest thing to public transportation was your BFF’s mom agreeing to take you to the movies!
    But then I started to travel.

    There’s nothing like the desire to attend the worlds largest WineFest that makes one risk looking like a complete idiot in order to get to said destination. After said Fest I unknowingly got on the train going in the opposite direction to where I needed to go. This was fine..okay I didn’t know any better but I also learned there really IS a Duff Beer in Germany…funny huh? The train stops…everyone gets off… I figure I should too. (seems reasonable right?) Only to realize, oops….It’s 4 am and the trains stop. They don’t start again until 6 am! $100 cab ride later….I finally made it back to where we were staying. Insert embarassed smiley here.


    • Jackie April 9, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      What a fantastic story, Lori. It’s so true – if you really want something enough you’ll find a way to make it work. Thanks for sharing!


  11. Don't Make That Face April 7, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I’m pretty much scared of most things, but fearless when it comes to others. I overthing things too much. My family wants a new puppy, but I’m not sure. I won’t be home as much to house train it and the added of expense of another dog is money we could spend on something else, etc., etc. But, I will be jumping out of a plane sometime this year.


    • Jackie April 9, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      I love that you don’t want to commit to a puppy (understandably) but you’ll jump out of a plane. Skydiving scares the poo out of me. I’d be so interested to hear how it goes for you!


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