Day Fifty-Nine (Embarrassment)

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I had so many entries I had planned to write for today. They were all positive, too. And then a thing happened. And now positivity is the last thing on my mind.

Today I had a great conversation with one my coworkers. It was an hour long discussion about life philosophy, feelings, our pasts, people we know, and opinions on trivial things. It was one of those conversations that doesn’t come around often and the hour flew by. During this conversation, I found out so much about this person that I never could have even guessed at. Isolating myself only gets me so far. But hearing other people’s stories, learning from their experiences, and opening up to a relative stranger? It’s just…it’s nice. A random, but real, moment of genuine connection. This is what I should be writing about today. That is, if life hadn’t decided to throw a wrench into a perfectly good day.

There is a guy I like currently. Nothing new there. Unfortunately for me, this person has no social media presence and I don’t see him much. I’m actually pretty proud of how much I’ve managed to learn about him just through our conversations and a tiny bit of poking around. Even so, my curiosity has been growing recently and I wanted to see if I could find him anywhere online. So I checked out Linkedin and finally managed to find him. Then I spent some time scrolling down his feed when I learned the worst thing known to man. That he would receive a notification that I had checked out his Linkedin page. I tried to change my privacy settings and even deleted my Linkedin in the midst of my panic. Might have been a bit of an overreaction. Even so, the panic won’t go away. What if he saw and it’s too late and now he knows and will be uncomfortable and what is wrong with me and how do I move to Timbuktu on short notice? 

I’d forgotten how truly terrible of an emotion embarrassment can be. I can remember plenty of stories from my past where I did something foolish and the panic seized me. It can escalate from “wow, that was a bad decision” to “MY LIFE IS OVER” pretty quickly. Not thinking about the problem feels irresponsible, but thinking about it just escalates the worries to insane proportions. I’d forgotten how much of a burning pain embarrassment can be. It’s been awhile since I had enough stake in anything or pride in myself to feel truly embarrassed by anything. For the most part, I let things roll off my shoulders. I view failure as a learning experience. My friends know me well enough to expect a little silliness and foolishness from me. As for the people who aren’t my friends? Well, who cares what they think? I don’t know them. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this level of embarrassment. I don’t like it.

The only thing left to do after making an embarrassing mistake is to take a deep breath and try and act normal. To try and pretend I wasn’t low-key stalking this relative stranger. It’s not like I have a history of creeping out guys or anything…either way, what’s done is done. That’s the crappy part of this feeling. I can’t go back and fix the mistake. All I can do now is try my best to do damage control and pray that things work out. I had a few close shaves in college and I managed to get out of those alive. I’ve just got to keep my head up. While grief and shame may be emotions that stay with you, embarrassment is something that passes with time. Things are never quite as bad as they seem.

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