My life has been taken over by an affliction so frustrating, so annoying and so ridiculous that I am putting in serious time thinking about how to cure myself once and for all. The crazy thing is– I cannot turn my head to the right. Really. Oh, I’m not suffering from any kind of real physical problems (as far as I know) but I do have this way of thinking that causes me to react to certain situations in such a way that I am sure I end up looking like one of those city park sprinklers that keep click, click, clicking in an arc until suddenly stopping and retreating back to their start.
If that silly visual doesn’t convince you that I live a little too much inside my head, I will attempt to explain the unusual-ness that is me. Let’s say I’m in my car (probably driving, even though I do allow Greg to get behind the wheel once in a while) and I’m jamming out to my favorite Nelson song (yeah, I said it) and I need to stop at a red light. Instead of taking a moment to add a few shoulder pops to my stand out performance, I worry about the people in the car sitting next to me and what they must be thinking. Oh, I could easily ease my mind by looking over and scoping the situation, but I can’t turn my head. Deep down I know that they must be laughing and judging me for my exuberance.
Narcissist much? Apparently so, since I spend so much damn time thinking about what other people are thinking about me. While I know that most of the human race has no interest in my life whatsoever, I worry about what they think. The singing in the car thing is just one instance of what keeps me from turning my head. I can’t move my head when I hear people talking in the next car. I can’t turn and smile at them if I like their music. What if I turn my head and they make eye contact?! Whatever will I do then? That makes me laugh a little because I picture a Scarlet O’Hara type holding her fist to her chest and looking off into the sunset with light reflecting from her unshed tears. Get a grip, girlfriend.
Turning my head should not be one of the hardest things I ever have to do. I should be smiling at people and getting to know people and maybe even finding the courage to turn and say, “Hey man, I appreciate that you have a job to do by selling me anti-wrinkle cream in this small town shopping mall, but could you please stop blocking my way and trying to be my best friend?” But I can’t be a mean person, can I? Of course, I have the capability of being the biggest bitch the world has ever seen, but I don’t want THEM to know that! Somebody find me a therapist.
My husband, Greg, has been moving forward in his job at a record pace. I mean, it’s scorching. He has found his place and he has found his people and he is having to drag me kicking and screaming into this new world he thrives in. Now there are fancy parties and fancy dinners and talking to people. Getting to know people. Smiling (not grimacing) at every new introduction. If I had my way, I would stick the left side of my body in a corner and observe from afar, and since I can’t turn my head right anyway, I wouldn’t have to make the effort. By the way, and I know this is getting off subject, but a nice rum and coke is great tool.
Now, lest you all think I have no backbone whatsoever, I can handle the biggies. I can speak to hundreds of people at library functions. I can make presentations at work and sing a song in front of bunches of people on a cruise ship. The difference is that I get to prepare. I have a basic idea of what’s coming and I can visualize what is going to happen (although I have to say I have only about 10% success rate in actual predictions) and I go from there. This head thing though, is way, way different.
The fact is, I am getting a serious pain in my neck over this. I can feel that my eyes are ready to see and my brain is ready to think and I need to figure out how to make the turn and engage the world. I’m thinking a big, dramatic Glee like spectacle would be perfect here, but maybe just turning and smiling to someone in the next car would be a good start. I’m pretty sure that I can make the change, but it is not going to be easy. A lifetime of staring straight ahead has really messed with my mojo and it’s going to take either a super-skilled chiropractor, a tin man with an oil can, or just some serious self-reflection and decision making to get the old head turning.
But, I’m ready.
Let’s do this.
© DRB 2015