In Which I Have a Stress Dream

I got out of my car in a parking lot to take this picture. Happy Fall.

I have a very Type A personality. I stress a lot and over think things a lot.

This past Wednesday night, I had to lead a class discussion. When class started, only about half the class was there. The half who was present was not very talkative. I tried to do an activity which totally tanked; apparently these people don't really care at all about art history.  At the break I was feeling bleak, and at the end of class (which ended early since I was out of material), I bolted from the room and called my mom crying.

I got home from class and went to bed immediately. I didn't eat dinner or take off my makeup (I've got mascara stains on my pillowcase to prove it). It had been rough and I was embarrassed and I just wanted the night to end as quickly as possible.

Three hours later, I woke quickly. Tears brimmed in my eyes, my heart was racing, and I felt like I couldn't move. Stress dreams might be the worst. I had just relived the embarrassing discussion and it was even worse and longer the second time around. I lay awake for two hours, desperately tired but afraid to fall back asleep at risk of undergoing Round 3 of Allyson's Embarrassing Episode. By this time, my alarm was close to going off so I got up and jumped in a shower to start my day.

The whole morning I felt so sluggish, like I'd run a marathon all night instead of relaxing, and the anxiety of the night before had not subsided like it generally does after a night's rest. I finally got so bugged, I sent my professor an email. I told her that I thought things had gone really poorly the night before and I was hoping to get some feedback.  She replied about 20 minutes later.

"My take on the situation was, in fact, very different from yours. I thought you did extremely well  under less-than-ideal circumstances . . . In sum, any problems with the discussion, in my opinion, weren't really your fault. I thought you did great. Grade: A

Now, relax. See you next week."

I almost cried with relief. I hadn't tanked. She wasn't disappointed (and this from one of my favorite but most intimidating professors I've ever had). I felt silly for having lost sleep over it.

I love that I care and think about my life a lot. It's actually one of my favorite things about myself. 

But sometimes it is probably a better idea to relax.

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