I have great news. I desperately want to share it with you, but I can’t! I’m blogstipated. Actually, I’m emotionstipated …
Right now, possibilities are expanding. Big things are happening.
But for some reason, I’m too scared to publicly announce my news.
In fact, I’m finding my emotional reaction to be positively bizarre. Fantastic news comes in and do I holler with joy? No. Do I immediately Facebrag about it? No. Do I break out into a naked running man dance wearing only my business socks? No. (It’s tragic, because if there were ever an opportune time for The Naked Running Man Sock Dance, it would be now.)
Do you know what I tend do instead of celebrating?
A few days ago, an email came in with some major news. I sealed the deal on something I’ve spent the good part of a year trying to accomplish. I slapped my cheeks to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, but I felt numb.
I told my closest friends and family about it, feigning excitement by adding extra exclamation marks to everything I typed. I hoped my written enthusiasm would spark real enthusiasm.
“This is amazing!!!!” I wrote, with my face frozen into an expression of indifference. “I can’t believe it!!!!”
Then, my heart started to beat with the spasmodic rhythm of a drum solo performed by a person suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease. I contemplated calling an ambulance. Then I got lightheaded. After that, I cried.
Happy tears? No.
Freaked out tears. Tears of: “What is happening to me? Is this real life?”
Then … I napped.
I’ve been known to do this before—it happened a lot while I was living on a sailboat. After sailing 26 days of open ocean without any land in sight, we finally spotted our destination on the horizon. Hiva Oa was just a tiny dot in the hazy distance, but it was SWEET MERCIFUL LAND!
I’d anticipated that significant moment for a whole month, and I’d practiced yelling, “Land ho!” into the horizon, lowering my voice, squinting one eye, and patting my pet shoulder parrot. But when land came into sight, do you know what I did?
You guessed it …
Most people would probably relish those last few hours of watching land get closer on the horizon, but rather than pop a bottle of champagne, I decided it would be an excellent time for a late morning Granny snooze. “Wake me when we get there,” I said.
You see, I have this odd quirk. When I’m extremely nervous or excited, I freeze up solid. I call it my fainting goat reaction.
I’ve slept my way up to every single exam I’ve ever taken. I yawn my way through important meetings. When a crisis arrises, I take a siesta. I can’t explain why I go into an emotional coma when life becomes charged with high emotions. It just happens.
As an anxious person, it doesn’t take much to get my adrenalin pumping. For instance: getting out of bed is usually enough to send my adrenalin levels soaring. So, when something really exciting happens, my adrenalin glands— overwhelmed by the sudden rush—decide to flick their main breaker.
Power down. Emotions dead.
It’s also possible that I’m suffering from the plain ol’ fear of disappointment. While I was out on the ocean, I was terribly superstitious and when we finally spotted land, I was afraid that, if we spilt champagne over the bow and pulled out the party poppers, the clouds would part and bolts of vengeful lightning would stab down and sink the boat to punish us for celebrating prematurely. Thou shalt not party too soon!
(I really should let a shrink chew on that one.)
Meanwhile, in lieu of my big news, please accept this drawing of The Naked Running Man/Woman Sock Dance.
I’m going to take a nap.
Have you ever had an inappropriate emotional reaction to an event in your life? Have you ever laughed at a funeral, cried at your own birthday party, or turned into fainting goat after hearing good news? Spill: