When My Therapist Asks What I’m So Worried About, I List These 14 Things


1. My dog dying. For some reason it’s recently occurred to me that she’s likely lived half of her life and it’s breaking my heart. And I start to spiral with questions. Is she happy? Have I been a good owner? Does she know how much she means to me? Does she forgive me for the times I forgot to refill the water bowl or wasn’t as fun as I used to be? Does she know how grateful I am to have had her in my life? Does she know how love she really, really, really is?

2. Being a bad daughter. I live 1425 miles away from my parents and am an only child. You cannot fly directly into my hometown from Seattle. I’m lucky if I see my parents more than 3 times per year. And it makes me feel like a bad daughter. It makes me feel distant and sad. It makes me think about throwing everything away and moving back…but I know that would ultimately make me sad. So it’s a cyclical train of thought that goes nowhere.

3. Time. And if there’s ever going to be enough of it. Or if I’m taking too much of it to make decisions. Or if I’m wasting it. Or if it’s just stupid to even spend any time thinking about it at all.

4. My keys. Because I’m pretty sure my dog walker lost one and getting them replaced is expensive in my building not to mention, annoying as fuck.

5. The fault-line that Seattle is against. And if it means we’re all going to fall into the Sound during an earthquake and die.

6. Parkinson’s disease. Because even though everything I’ve read says it’s rare and even though it hasn’t manifested in any other family members, sometimes I can’t control my right hand. And even though it’s probably just stress, or likely all in my head, or residual tendonitis, I still can’t help but worry.

7. Whether or not I left the stove on. Because once, it sparked while I was cooking Annie’s White Cheddar Mac and like, I’d really rather not see my apartment up in flames.

8. The mathematical probability of finding love at 27. It’s nice to think we can all be Leslie Mann in How To Be Single but realistically, that’s the exception not the standard. In one part because she doesn’t age and also because of things like society and population and like, idk, chemistry. So when do you stop seeing it for yourself? When is it okay to say, enough is enough? Is it ever?

9. How to repot a venus flytrap. Because I don’t think I can and so it’s going to die and that’s kind of a bummer.

10. If I’m ever going to be able to trust my own judgement. Financially, health-wise, romantically. I wonder if there’s ever going to be a time where I don’t second guess myself or will be able to believe in myself to do the responsible thing or the right thing. I think when you’ve lived impulsively or badly for a while making the wrong choice is always the one at the forefront of your head when a decision presents itself. And even when I’ve got a handle on things I still am constantly afraid of screwing things up all over again.

11. Not being a good person. I struggle with my temper, and with being judgmental. I don’t work out as often as I should, I spend too much money at Sephora, and I gossip and instinctively look for the worst in people instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt. And all of that, to me, adds up to being unlovable. And I want to be good in spite of my badness, in spite of my imperfections. So I worry about perfection and striving for the unobtainable and whether or not it’s ever going to be within reach.

12. The likelihood that a Trump presidency will be our Brexit. And what that will mean for 31-year-old me. And what that will mean for my hypothetical kids. And what that will mean for all of us.

13. If I shouldn’t have quit performing. I loved theatre. I love singing. And honestly, I was really good. Could I have made it? Could I have been someone? Could I have been a name for something other than writing? Is there another universe out there where I went to New York and I sat in casting lines and eventually, it worked out? Will I ever know? Or do I just need to let it go?

14. If I’m worrying too much. And then we start back at the beginning.