Lately, I’ve been unusually jittery. I used to like TV shows with a little bit of suspense, but right now, the tiniest bit of uncertainly leaves me chewing my cuticles and leaping around on my square of couch cushion. I can’t read anything that contains forms of fighting or conflict. You can tell where I’ve been in the apartment by the trail of half-read books scattered around, abandoned because I couldn’t handle feeling the emotions of the characters. My elevated level of generalized anxiety is especially highlighted because Scott is the original unflappable man. He is not fazed by that which leaves me writhing with worry and simply continues to cast confused sideways glances at me as I bounce in my seat at the movies.
When I was much younger, I went through stages similar to this one, where I found myself wracked by sympathetic pangs of embarrassment or discomfort for the observed experiences of others. Watching TV as a six-year-old, I’d have to hide my face in a pillow when Michael J. Fox found himself humiliated in Family Ties or Teen Wolf (even if I knew that by the end of the show or movie, he’d have the last laugh). Watching a classmate trip and fall on the playground, I’d need to turn my head and pretend I hadn’t seen it lest her mortification become my own.
I’m hoping that this heightened state of antsy, unsettled, nervousness passes soon. My best guess says that it’s coming from the election and the general uncertainly that the nation is currently feeling in light of the economy, a historic presidential race and an endless war. Toss in there the elevated state of emotion in Philadelphia that came as a result of the World Series win and the fact that my parents moved out of their house over the weekend not entirely because they wanted to, and I’m swimming around in a potent mix of untamed emotion. I have got to get out of this pool.