Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hello, old friend

Anxiety has been my lifelong friend. Sometimes things that would ordinarily be a nuisance to some people get blown out of proportion in my mind, because of anxiety...and anticipation. I lost my newly renewed driver's license--or never got it in the mail--so had to trek across town to get a replacement. For some reason, the drivers' license place has always made me nervous. I think I was always afraid I'd be so nervous I'd fail the vision test. Besides, the place is almost but not quite outside my driving limits.
This morning I felt quite confident driving out there, but once there got the shaky legs, had to ask a nice young girl passing by to "get me started"--after the first step I'm okay. Had to fill out a form and my handwriting was so shaky as to be beyond deciphering--besides, I filled it out on a clipboard on knees that were shaking. I rarely used the title "Dr." but figured I needed a little help today (at first couldn't find my old license) so I did. The clerk said, "You have doctor's handwriting." He was chatty and pleasant, and I tried to be equally pleasant back because I think he must have an awful job. It all went well--except when Jacob saw the picture he asked why I didn't smile. When the clerk showed me my picture I said, "I look my age," and he said, "Yeah. Twenty-one." Once I had the temporary license in hand, I sailed out of there with a confident step and went about my business--which included a massive grocery shopping.
The thing about anxiety is that it always passes. You know you'll get through it, usually without unduly embarrassing yourself, because you always have before. But it's hard to tell yourself that ahead of time--anxiety feeds on anticipation. Maybe someday I'll write a book about what a wonderful life I've led in spite of anxiety. Meantime, I'm just glad to have the new driver's license. Besides, how can you be anxious when you drive classy car like mine?

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