I stare blankly at you because I care.

A friend posted this on Facebook the other day:

I immediately liked it. Because honestly, as soon as I see quotes on inspirational backgrounds, I’m in. It could say “Crapping your pants in public will win you all the friends ever” and as long as it was over a picture of a butterfly, I’d agree with it. There’s a reason for this, but that’s a different post for a different day.

After I stopped to actually consider the words, I changed my mind. Perhaps there are people that this is true for. It makes sense in a way (glossing over that whole ‘soul mate’ thing, anyway). But there’s a whole other set of humans that this doesn’t work for: those suffering from anxiety.

As one of these folks, I can fairly safely say everyone we meet gets the first reaction out of us. Even people we’ve already met. People we’ve known for years, too. I get nervous when I have to see my own family. But it’s not necessarily because we’re ready to recite poetry under the stars, it’s just that… there’s a person near us.

This little quote actually increases this anxiety. Upon reading this we think, “Oh crap. Has that ever happened to me? Have I ever felt calm around anyone? No? Is the person I’m with now terrible for me because I get flustered and stammer around them? Am I going to die alone, unsoulmated, surrounded by my herd of semi-feral cats? Does everyone else see this and already know? AM I RUINING MY ENTIRE LIFE???” By then we’re just a little huddled mass of nerves, rocking back and forth in our security blankets. (That part may just be me, not all us anxiety-ridden peeps.)

For most of us, there’s not a person in the known universe who will ever make us feel calm, especially not at first sight. Perhaps we will feel less twitchy, and our breath will return sooner. Or after getting to know them, we’re calmer in general. Maybe there are people around with whom we find it easier to talk about these things, without judgement, and that’s as good as it gets. For me personally, that’s more than enough.

It still doesn’t make this person my soul mate, no matter what kind of font they write that shit in.


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