Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stress, Supergirls, and Writer's Block

Just for funsies, you should Google image search "stress." About 99% of the pictures are cartoon graphics (clip art-esque) or women doing a variation of this pose. I guess dudes don't get stressed?

Anyway, as you can tell, I'm alluding to the fact that I am super freaking stressed out right now. Coordinating an event for 1,200 people is no joke. Especially when you're not sure if you will even reach that goal...a goal you've been working on for a year.

It's no secret to those who know me that I don't handle stress and pressures suuuuper well. When Girls Inc. published their Supergirl Dilemma report in 2000, they were talking about and studying girls just like me who were teens at the time; young women who wanted to be good at everything. I'm one such girl grown up, and still trying to figure out how to be easier on myself.

My stress management isn't always bad. On one hand, I'm someone who operates at a higher resting stress level than your average person. This is the very reason that I am incapable of procrastinating. Seriously, I am. Like, I've never pulled an all nighter and got through both undergrad and master's programs without it. I never had to pull an all nighter because I am so stressed out by deadlines that I take them extremely seriously and structure my life such that I'm always done with a paper or project by the day before it's due and I'm just proof reading at that point. This side of my anxious nature is great. It's helped me always be on top of things and be personally motivated to get shit done. When I get shit done, then I don't feel as stressed out and everyone wins.

On the other hand comes the side where stress is a big problem in my life. I am a worrier of the worst kind--so when things are out of my control, unlike papers and projects, I freak out a bit. In the case of things I can control, I just get it to the point where my worries are managed because I got shit done. In the case of thing I can't control, well, it ain't pretty. For example right now my face is broken out, I have canker sores, my heart starts beating out of control every now and then, I'm not sleeping, my digestive system is a wreck, and yesterday my eye start twitching on and off.

It's not ok. I know this.

One of the things that has always helped me attempt to manage my stress is writing. The problem is that when I get to my current level of anxiety, I have ideas swirling in my head, but so many other things to do. So I become overwhelmed at the possibility of even pausing long enough to write anything out. For example, currently I've been postulating blogs on the following topics:

  1. Lisa Simpson as a feminist influence on me growing up.
  2. The sexism of Occupy Wallstreet.
  3. The horrific personhood initiative in Mississippi.
  4. The Herman Cain sexual harassment stuff.
It's weird, because this situation is my version of writer's block. I have tons of ideas and the inability to get them out until my stress is much more managed. I know that this is all temporary, but having set a personal goal for myself to keep my blog content fresh feels like yet another stressor, even though it is one totally self imposed and unnecessary. 

I know that in a week or so, I'm going to be feeling a lot better. I might get around to writing those things, I might go with something new that pops up, and I might just enjoy not feeling as stressed by work. Who knows? But either way, writing this out has actually helped and accomplished two things--getting some of this out of my head AND creating a little bit of content. See what I've done here? Clever, huh?

In my clear, logical mind I know that I've got to let the Supergirl stuff go. I've written before about how I can't please everyone and I do try to live this way now. But when it comes to my work and the goals I set for myself, I've still got a long way to go in understanding that sometimes goals won't be reached ...and that's ok. And I can't control everything...and that's ok too.

I'm going end on another Google image search recommendation: Supergirl. The results are, well, yeah. The results just are. Sigh.


  1. may I use this graphic for a project about stress?

    1. Sorry...they're not mine. Just pulled from Google.


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