I don’t like when things don’t go my way.
No – that sounds too childish. I don’t like when my plans change.
I am very schedule driven. I have a set way of doing things and a set idea of what needs to be done, and it turns out that the universe doesn’t fucking care.
This is something I’ve struggled with for my entire life. I have an idea of how something is supposed to go in my head and when it doesn’t go according to plan I, essentially, shut down.
In reality, I know that I should just stop having so many detailed assumptions, but I overthink everything. The only way I can be prepared for an event, or even just a normal day, is if I have a plan for how it’s supposed to go. I also know that I need to be more open-minded and just go with the flow. I know this. But I physically can’t.
This was a real problem for me when I danced. I would arrive at my studio with a set schedule of our classes in my head and then my instructor would change it with only a 10 minute heads-up. I could not deal with it and it was one of the many reasons I had to quit, after 16 years, to save my mental health.
This also happens all the time with my friends. Bless them, I love them, but my god everytime we make plans they drive me crazy. It’s not just me being a stickler for what time we’ll leave for something and when we’ll arrive and making sure everyone follows a detailed itinerary. It’s more of a “I need you to give me a rough idea of what’s happening and I need you to try to stick to it the best you can because otherwise I will be vomiting in a restaurant bathroom or crying at the side of the highway” (both real life events by the way).
So today when I decided to walk to the bus terminal instead of leaving a few minutes earlier and taking the bus at the end of my street, I was not prepared for what would happen.
I usually cut through a school yard because there is no other way to get to the walkway unless I want to walk around the crescent and up back around the other side of the fence. Last term, I had the different days and times memorized so I never walked through the school yard when classes were changing or the kids were outside for break. I don’t want to give anyone another reason to feel uncomfortable or unsafe in today’s society. Unfortunately, my schedule is different this term and I didn’t realize that when I needed to leave to walk to the terminal to make it for my bus, a whole bunch of kids were outside playing. I didn’t leave myself much extra time for what is essentially a seven minute walk. I saw the kids and turned around to head towards the pathway. No big deal, right? If I speed walk and maybe jog I could still make it in time.
That’s what I knew would logically happen. But the crazy part of my brain that tells me this is not what you expected yelled at me to sit down on the snowbanks, cry, and then call my mother even though she was sleeping.
I wanted to give up.
I wanted to walk back home and try again tomorrow.
I wanted to shut down.
Over-dramatic? Maybe. A valid, real feeling that I have to understand and work with? Yes.
I ended up powering through – or perhaps, forcing myself to keep walking and make it to the bus terminal. I realized I was an adult and that I had to deal with it on my own. My mom would not have been able to help or make the children disappear so I could walk through the school yard with ease. I had to deal with it on my own.
I guess my point is, sometimes life is tough and it doesn’t go your way. I’m still young but I’m technically an adult. I’m fairly independent for the most part, but when I break down, I break down completely. Today, I proved to myself that I was able to overcome that and acknowledge the fact that something made me upset, without letting it completely destroy me and ruin my day.
I’m cracked and broken and fragile af, but I’m trying. The glue holding me together is slowly, but surely, drying and hardening. Today I made it through a minor unexpected inconvenience; that’s all it was. But two years ago, it would have destroyed me.