i was sixteen-ish the first time i made out with my first serious boyfriend. i remember we were lying on the mauve carpet in my bedroom and my head was pressed against the baseboard heat vent which was awkward and annoying, but i was making out! so i tried to ignore it. all we did was kiss that afternoon, but after he went home, i was convinced i was pregnant.
yes, i attended the sex ed. student assembly in the fifth grade. but during the answer and question period all the kids got hung up on what happened when two mentally disabled people had children and subsequently i didn’t walk away with much useful info. (and no, fyi, the child will not also be mentally disabled). technically, i knew that clothes had to come off and lots of other things had to happen for pregnancy to occur, and yet, this is the memory I take from my first make out session. not fond giddiness, but horrible, unrealistic, stomach-clenching worry.
years later, not a whole lot has changed.
at thanksgiving, when i was updating my cancer researcher cousin about the status of my novel, Parted, she asked if i was putting good thoughts out there. she told me to envision not just the novel selling, but myself signing copies and going on book tours.
envisioning good things for myself? i'm the girl whose old ex took to saying whaa-whaaa at the end of many of her glass half-empty sentences. the panic attack insomniac. the girl whose first thought when her cuz said you get back what you put out was, "oh terrific. i'm in store for a big basket of doom and gloom."
frankly, i'm sick of being that girl. after a particularly bad bout of anxiety over the holiday, i've decided to shelve the habit for the month of december. my upstairs housemate is embarking on the mission with me. we're stealing our positive thinking three step process from something called Women Who Think Too Much, which is, yes, a real book and, yes, one that i own. (thanks mama!). it goes like this:
1. break the grip
2. move to higher ground
3. avoid the trap.
or in Corrie speak:
1. realize you've just spent the past hour growing obsessively more certain that X will never happen.
2. mentally shout: stop it! and quickly insert an insanely positive thought to replace X.
3. quickly dig out headphones, click on Replay by Iyaz, and sing loudly, thereby thwarting brain from permitting gloomy X to come back and assassinate the sunny thought
at heart, i'll always be the girl whose afraid she's pregnant after kissing the fully-clothed boy. but i can try not being her. worry free december, you're mine.
want to join in? or have ways you deal with your worries? i'd love to hear. and just so things don't get too heady on the unfortunate behaviors blog, here's a cute picture of my uncle eating crab dip on a chocolate chip cookie.