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I was featured on Annmarie Lockhart’s fantabulous poetry site, vox poetica, yesteray. (a divination was the poem).

Thanks, Annmarie for the shout out. 🙂

It’s been brought to my attention that I have a knack for convincing the good people in my world I’m competent until it’s much too late for them to do anything about it. It was brought to my attention recently when I mentioned to a friend that I was changing jobs and she said she wants to change jobs, too, but she doesn’t feel competent in anything that’s open on the market right now. I laughed at her naiveté and told her that competency has nothing to do with it. I personally am not capable of carrying out the duties of my current job and I failed miserably at my old job…I spread my incompetence around like a STD but I’ve mastered the art of appearing to be quite thoughtful and able to do many tasks. Now you can, too!

• You need to go to LensCrafters or some asshole hobbit eye doctor and get thick rimmed librarian glasses.
• You should put your hair in a bun, no matter your gender.
• In the course of a conversation, pick something you know about (however little) and pretend to have a strong opinion about it. They will wilt in your knowledge because if you are vehement, you clearly know what you’re talking about. For example, when I was 19 or 21 there were elections going on that I knew nothing about but I was in college and wanted to appear knowledgeable. Or simply repeat someone else’s vehemence (is that a word?) as your own conclusion. I listened to a pundit sarcastically say that Pat Buchanan wanted to nuke the borders to keep the illegal immigrants out. I repeated this in political conversations numerous times at my university and got raves for really knowing my stuff.
• Mention research or statistics. Peoples eyes go dead and they bow down to someone who knows research or can read it. Even if you haven’t touched the research. Spout facts and the people will be believe in your ability. TRUST ME! Note: you don’t even have to spout facts if you don’t want to. Most people will not question you. For example, if you start talking about standardized tests, and you say, “statistically speaking, there is no way for everyone to “pass” a test based on a bell curve so “rigor” cannot be determined by an invalid test,” who is really going to challenge you?
• Make bulleted lists when you go into a staff meeting or when you write a bullshit blog. Be sure to have enough bullet points to seem comprehensive and give pointless details to make the bullet points seem especially important. For example, use “for examples” frequently. Note: Titling your lists as “how to” also gives credence to the idea that you actually know how to do something.
• Shake your luminous hair out with a pensive look on your face. You know how to look competent…you’ve made it this far, right?

I don’t advocate suicide, dear readers, as a stress management tool.

If you want to manage your anxiety in a so-called “maladaptive” way (and why wouldn’t you?), you should consider picking. This involves the pulling of skin to cause pain and injury to relieve stress and give an external source of distraction to the things causing you anxiety. An added benefit is that you feel as though you are in complete control, where you may not feel that way in other area of your life.

Here’s how to pick.
• Choose carefully. A good way to begin picking to go after your cuticles. Many people have cuticle issues so it’ll be less obvious that you are nourishing your wayward cuticles with the covert intent to pull them until they go deep enough to make you bleed. Fingers are a good place anyway simply because there are lots of nerve endings in there—you’ll feel the effects more acutely.
• To prepare chapped lips for picking, you will need to stretch the skin tight a few times, hopefully causing a natural crack to form. At this point, you can go straight for the picking, in the same manner you would on cuticles or you could prolong the suffering by chewing on the lip tissue until such time as you feel ready for pain and blood.
• Take hold of any piece of dry skin and rip it. I find that I have dry spots on my nose and cheeks that sometimes work. Now, there is the issue of people noticing the red pockets where your flesh used to be but this is minor and does not require medical attention, so I believe it’s acceptable (although perhaps not the ideal picking method because of the publicity).

A word on variations. Picking may not be for you. There are many other methods for you to induce injury that is not life-threatening but causes just enough pain to be life-affirming. Cutting is a cliché but I won’t judge you too harshly…although there’s a much greater chance of actually hurting yourself and having to have medical attention. The point of self-injurious behavior is that only you and perhaps a few of your closest companions know you’re doing it. Part of the anxiety management is that you are in control and if you lose control, you’ve missed the boat. I’ve dug my nails into my skin before, avoiding breaking the skin and it was moderately effective. Sometimes punching yourself or a hard surface can be helpful, so long as you are careful not to cause injury requiring medical attention. (A note on suicide: don’t do it.) In addition, eating ridiculous amounts of calories is another strategy since you know it’s bad for you but you do it anyway as an “emotional eater.” You’re a cutter in a manner of speaking.

Tomorrow Poppy will undergo surgery for a tumor on her leg. About a year ago, she underwent a similar surgery for a lump that turned out to be cancer. While it’s not at this point a definite that this tumor is malignant, it’s probable, especially since it’s in the same place. The vet says he has every reason to believe this can be successfully removed but my biggest fear is that it can’t be. I’m over freaking out about whether it’s cancer or not…I believe it is. I am terrified of knowing my Poppy is going to die and my home will become a doggie hospice. So send good thoughts, dear readers!

SOB with me

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