There are nights when no amount of melatonin or calming music or snuggling cats can keep my eyes closed and my brain turned off. On these nights, which I try to avoid, my thoughts loop and the obsessive-compulsive facets of my nature lead me to the edge of anxiety. What-ifs and if-onlys dance through my frontal lobe as I desperately attempt to employ anything, any distraction, to just stop it and go to sleep.
It was an uncharacteristically warm day in the midst of a harsh Chicago winter. The skies were clear, and the sun was beaming as brightly as it could. Though the relative comfort would certainly give way to the harsh cold of the evening, for the moment Abraham was thrilled. He hoped the warm afternoon would find Zoe in good spirits.
Abraham knew he was getting ahead of himself, but as Zoe approached him outside of Gulliver’s Pizzeria, he thought, “She could be the one.” Certainly, she was very pretty, and that was undoubtedly a factor in his wanting to pursue her. She wore a pansy-purple top coat over a simple black dress. That, along with her slender-but-curvy-in-the-right-places build and pixie cut made her almost an echo of Audrey Hepburn. More than just pretty, she was smart and had a magnetic personality. The moment she walked into his cafe, he saw her potential.
I worry a lot. Too much. I worry about the future. I worry about change, about failure, about rejection. I worry about failing past the point of no return. I worry that I will never achieve my goals. I worry that the two big life goals I have set for myself are impossible to achieve. I worry that I am wasting my time and my life on people and things that will never amount to anything.
My brother and I are very different people. Not in a good/evil way, mind you, but in a much more boring, yin-and-yang sort of way. For example, when he graduated high school, he got a car. When I graduated, I got a computer. He once painted his bathroom orange and blue to celebrate his love of the Chicago Bears. I have spent hours researching which color of Cherry MX switch might best suit my typing style. He probably went on more dates in high school than I have in my entire life. And, like most brothers, I’m sure we spent more time bickering than getting along as kids.
At any given moment, there are two versions of you in the world. There’s the actual you, and the version of you in my head. Sometimes the two line up, but just as often they do not. It’s entirely my own fault. As much as I try to stop doing it, I just don’t know how.