It takes almost nothing to stress me out. Something as simple as two people arguing next to me - not with, to, or about me - to something as big as a six-hour deadline for a typically 12-hour project. I panic over anything and everything in between.
My palms sweat over the silliest of things...an intense work meeting, innappropriate jokes at the office, a semi driving next to me, the thought of having to talk in front of a large crowd...writing this blog post...
On another note, I am not a shy person. I am very loud and boisterous. I enjoy being the center of attention. I would be the first one to volunteer to make a fool of myself or tell a self depreciating joke for a god laugh. I don't have a problem asking people questions in public. If I am lost or can't find something in a store, I will never feel too stupid to ask.
I like to think I am confident in who I am as a person. I don't feel like I need to lose weight to be beautiful. I know I have flaws and that they make me, me. I don't feel like there are set fashion rules for certain body types. Besides matching your foundation to your skin, I don't believe in wearing make up based on your tones. I am fair-skinned and hazel-eyed, but if I want to wear deep red lipstick or blue eyeshadow, I am going to rock the hell out it, no questions asked.
So why I panic, I will never understand. Why it takes me hours to figure out an outfit for important events, I don't know. Why I was so stressed tonight trying to come up with photography poses for my Instagram account, is a mystery to me.
I spent a large portion of my evening coming up with different ways to stand, practicing facial expressions in the mirror, ways to hold my hands. Model, I am not. So it was frustrating to me when I didn't feel good about all my pictures. I didn't like the way my arm looked. My smile didn't look full. My serious face looked seriously scary.
And then I had her take some pictures where I started out fake laughing. Before we continued, I asked to see those to see how fake they looked and I scrolled across one photo in particular that made me stop. I knew exactly when she took it. I had been trying to figure out what to do next. I had hundreds of thoughts running through my brain. "You're no model." "People are going to see right through your fake laugh." "Your arm still looks out of place." "Your shirt is really wrinkled. Ew." "Is this worth it?" They were the same thoughts I had been thinking right then, too. But as soon as I saw the picture, I stopped thinking all of those things.
She caught me when I was feeling the worst about myself, but it turned out to be a moment where I feel I look the best. My hair looks perfectly messy. My eyelashes look miles long. I'm looking down as if I planned it. My hand is running through my hair as if I have practiced the move for years.
There is beauty even in our weakest moments. We just need to sit back, relax and find it.
The photo made me think about why I panic so hard over things that don't trulely matter. Instead of having negative thoughts, I need to switch them into positives. Who cares if people don't like the pictures I am in? Or the poses I strike? The way my arm lays? Why does it matter if people say dirty jokes in the work place if no one is offended by them? We are adults. We know our limits and our boundaries. If a semi drives next to me, just stay calm. The driver knows I'm there, they most likely aren't going to swerve into my lane without giving ample warning or checking their blind spots. Don't let the pressure of a deadline scare me. I've never been late once and I thrive on pressure.
Lastly, I need to remember not to let the thoughts running through my own mind stop me from doing something I love. Yes, this is worth it. Yes, pursuing something I feel passionate about - spreading body positivity - is worth all of it. Even if I have two followers for the next 10 years. Encouraging others to feel good about themselves is is important. Sharing the times when I'm not so confident in myself could matter to someone who needs to know they aren't alone. Expressing the ways I change my own thoughts can be just what someone needs to help them change their own thoughts.
And that, all of those things, don't make me panic at all.