Sunday, 8 March 2009

This is What We Call 'Culture Shock'

When I'm in serious Type A mode - and I have been, for about two weeks - I fall into habits that are incredibly hard to break. I get stressed when I'm not working by 9:30am and when I finish before 10pm, and I stop buying groceries and put laundry on hold, so that I eat things like bowls of microwaved sweet potato and start dressing like a kindergartener. I pretty much cloister myself in my room. I only emerge to do angry masochistic workouts at the gym, where I run harder than I probably should to the tune of albums that were clearly recorded immediately after the singer broke up with someone. (Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" is a favorite.) I put off answering emails until it is so absurd that it is embarrassing to answer them. On the rare occasions when I have to interact with others in a social situation, I panic because nothing interesting has happened to me and I've only been taking breaks to watch terrible television shows while I eat at my desk. This becomes apparent I resort to trying to slip new words and phrases like "lacrosstitute" and "that is washed" into daily conversation.

And now I'm free, and I'm kind of impressed because it only took me like 36 hours to start downshifting back into latent Type A mode. Usually, the transition is rougher because I remember how good it feels to just kick ass and take names, and I keep going at a manic pace for a couple days after all of my deadlines have passed. I'm trying to curb that tendency for the time being. I still have a sticky note full of things to do today and tomorrow, but my ability to function in a social situation improved tenfold between pies yesterday afternoon at Pieminister and brunch this morning, where I found myself having opinions about a panel I was on two days ago despite not being able to come up with one coherent thing to say about it less than 48 hours prior. I feel like this is a useful skill to cultivate.

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