…because, sometimes, others manage to say exactly what I’d like to.
The way my mind works is the sum of all of my experiences. I still get nervous when I’m near police officers. Not in an ‘I need to leave this space right now’ kinda way (anymore, thank goodness!), but in a ‘you know, it really wouldn’t surprise me if they cuffed me right now’ way. It doesn’t make sense to most. I know that. But I’ve been arrested a number of times and every time has been over things I (surprisingly) didn’t do. And I’ve served actual time in jail for the same reason. So it isn’t hard for me to push myself into a semi-paranoid frenzy when I see police officers/lights/etc. I feel the same anxiety when an unknown male is standing too close to my personal space. My first reaction is always mental preparation to fight. I assess their stance, body language, potential weapons, and weak points while deciding upon the best takedown…just in case.
The ‘just in case’ is what makes certain times difficult for me. My dad specialized in the art of ‘just in case’. He was fluent in 8 languages, 5 different martial arts, could make a weapon out of anything, and had an amazing grasp of human psychology, although he never finished high school due to joining the army in the 10th grade. He made a point to teach his children as much of what he knew as he could. Unfortunately, I’m just now learning the most important skill that he managed to leave out: how NOT to be on guard. It is exhausting to try to be prepared for everything, all of the time and, while it used to seem so necesarry, it now seems borderline idiotic to carry around the amount of angst I’ve been carrying along with with trying to deal with other issues.
I grew up spending a ton of time with my grandparents, but not a lot with my dad. By the time I was 13 I’d seen him all of 3 times. Three! He was always on assignment here or there and simply didn’t make time to be elsewhere, so my grandad took on that position. He taught me the importance of infinite patience, an ideal that I still cling to as much as possible. Regardless of my dad’s extended absence (didn’t see him at all from the age of 13-22), I understood what he was trying to do. He was building, creating a legacy of his own. My grandparents had their farm. My father wanted to stand on his own.
I think of them both so often now, crossing my mind throughout the day and even entering into my dreams. My thoughts serve as a reminder of where I’ve been and how it’s created a level of preparedness for wherever I go. That’s a comforting feeling to have. If only I could control my mind enough to have the comfort and contentment outweigh the anxiety