anxiety · being social · ramblings · social anxiety · socially awkward · weather

Weathering Through It

I underdressed for work on Sunday because I underestimated the forecast which said temperatures were in the mid-50’s. It felt 10 degrees colder because of the constant wind, and I definitely got the bite of it from working outdoors. I suppose I was winded from that, so even though I wore more layers under my jacket today, the cold still got to me.

I technically didn’t need to be on campus today since I had no classes but I promised to be there for an on-campus event to help rake leaves. The event was significant to me as my work organization will collect some bagged leaves for composting. And I had been the go-between person to get the organizer (of the leaf raking event) and my supervisor in communication so they could work out the logistics of whether the plan was feasible.

It is incredibly hard to think straight in cold weather. I was both sleepy (from going to bed late last night because I had too much fun watching a television series on my phone) and slightly jittery (due to the caffeine from sipping coffee earlier suddenly hitting me) at the start of the event. The organizer had estimated we would only accumulate about 9-11 bags of leaves. He got those numbers from a past year (2019) from when the leaf raking event last took place. Seems like times have changed (partially because of the pandemic, maybe?) and instead, we totaled 43 bags of leaves by the end of the event. And those weren’t half-full bags, either. Once it was apparent the bags were piling up, we worked really hard to pack down the leaves in the bags so all the room in them was being utilized. So, yes, 43 bags. That was way more than my work organization could take in. After some texting back and forth with my supervisor, he said we could take at least 12 full bags. The rest of the bags won’t go to waste either, as New York City’s sanitation department is having a special curbside leaf collection on Nov. 20th. So either way the leaves will be composted, whether by my workplace or sanitation.

There were powdered donuts, hot chocolate, and apple cider provided at the event. I didn’t eat anything until toward the end of it all. Most people only stayed for a short time (around 30-45 minutes). Had I known it was going to be like that, I might’ve tried to get everyone together sooner for a collective group photo. Instead the only group photos were of me and the event host because we were two out of three people who stayed for the whole event duration. I did take some photos of other student volunteers while they were working to help bag leaves, and I got some more photos from the event host who took his own photos at the event as well.

My mind is always working to filter in happenings as negative experiences even though whatever happened was actually not like that at all. I often think I come across awkward, but was I really that awkward or was that just my perception? That’s how I feel about today. And about yesterday. And about everything. I persistently get this type of feedback and push it away on a daily basis. It’s exhausting. The fact I’m this insecure is why I think I fail at life. Depending on what I’m handling in my life at any given period of time, I might feel like I’m dealing with it well or poorly. Nothing ever stays the same and it’s those constant changes I am adapting or reacting to which drive me crazy.

Right now I am scraping by. Or at least that’s my interpretation of things. I haven’t gone to my Tuesday class for the last two weeks. Last week I caught a cold and decided to just skip. Obviously I felt guilty about it because I spent the three hours (of when I should have been in class) at my local library working on my final project for the class which I had been procrastinating about for weeks. And then the week before last, I skipped class since I just wasn’t in the mood for learning. I knew if I went, I’d basically be in zombie mode.

This Tuesday (tomorrow) I’ve got a jam-packed day. Sometimes I question if there is a point to discussing these things in writing in the hours before the events are meant to play out. When I do that, it amps up the anticipation I have for the upcoming experiences. I hate going into the unknown (which is what life is all about!). I hate not knowing what will exactly happen, and I hate not being in control of what may or may not happen.

There’s a committee meeting I am meant to attend at 11 AM. Mostly there will be faculty members from the Urban Sustainability department, and I will be the only student representative from the Urban Sustainability major there. There should be more than one student representative but I was asked (on short notice) to attend so there was no time to find an additional student. I’m a little nervous as some of the professors in attendance are ones I know (and of course my professor from my Tuesday class is on the committee too). I don’t exactly know the agenda of the meeting though I expect the topics will be relevant to Urban Sustainability and happenings related to that on campus. It is also a little daunting that I’ll be the student representative. I’m so not used to being given space to give my opinion on things and for people to actually listen to me. It is terrifying.

Then at noon, there is another campus event (with the same organizer from the leaf raking event) to clean up a garden. That’ll be until 2:15 PM. I was thinking of buying some snacks for this event, especially since one of the co-hosts from today’s event asked me if I had any snack ideas for the garden clean-up event. After that, I am considering meeting up with my professor during his office hours. I sent him a draft of my final project yesterday and I only just got an email reply from him but I strongly believe I need to talk to him in-person to quell the worries I have about the direction that my project is going in. And finally, to finish the day, I have that darn three-hour long class. I have learned my lesson from this experience and I will never again dare to take a three-hour course in the future (especially one that is in-person!).

I don’t even like this time of year. Everything is so difficult during the transition from fall to winter. I had so many plants on my windowsill this summer and somehow found a way to find room for all of them in my bedroom and in another spare room. A few plants will stay outside throughout the winter. It is an experiment of sorts. I have some succulent plants that are frost-hardy (meaning they can tolerate freezing temperatures) but this is the first year I will be leaving them outside. Most of them are sedums and sempervivums.

I honestly find it funny I have so much going on at the start of the week. Also because I don’t consider myself a social person at all (cue my memories in my early college years where my social anxiety was so bad to the point I was too panicked about walking into class late and I failed classes from how many times I was late and didn’t come to class), but I’m trying hard to be involved more in activities. Too bad it is so mentally and physically taxing.

Featured Image by Alex Padurariu on Unsplash.

One thought on “Weathering Through It

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.