“Do you ever have that?” I asked my upstairs neighbour “that you suddenly blow a fuse and scream your lungs out about something entirely innocent?”
She remained quiet for a second.
“Like maybe on the phone? With a tax-officer or something?”
“Yes,” she said, in her pleasantly quiet and collected way, “and recently at work we closed a colleague’s door because she was screaming down the phone at Fedex.” This colleague was a lawyer.
In the past days, I’ve asked a few people this question. And as is always the case when you’re embarassed about something you did (in my case: scream on having lost the way), almost everyone has been through the same. I’ve heard accounts of UPC, or city councils deciding what school your child should go to, reservations not having been noted, appointments with doctors that are canceled, telephone providers.
The result: scream.
Yes so, I lost the way. Why? Simply because I did exactly as told: I was to follow certain signs. Those signs showed up earlier than expected. But who am I to doubt them? Be good, do as your told, follow the signs. Hence, I ended up in some construction dump. I had almost had an accident with a bus so my hands were already shaking. I was running late due to traffic jams. Most importantly, I was worried sick because I didn’t want to keep the other person waiting. I know what he thinks of me. He thinks I’m flaky. Chaotic. Emotional. And quite possibly insane. Of course, me losing the way and then going bonkers only served to confirm all of these.
“That was really stupid of you,” he said with a gentle smile when he found me (he had to come to where I was stuck). He patted me on the back. I had stopped screaming. Now I was crying.
The moral of this little story being: never ever try too hard. Chances are, you’ll simply end up blowing a fuse. But how does one stop trying too hard? Essentially by not caring. In that case, I think I’ll settle for the occasional outburst.