The science of Awkward Turtle
I’m not an angry person. I prefer the term “justifiably annoyed.” I find myself frustrated by things that honestly really shouldn’t make my blood boil, but boy oh boy do they. For example, bad drivers. I can’t control the fact that they like to start their day by hitting themselves in the head with a hammer then go drink some chemicals under the sink before they get behind the wheel of a car. I don’t have proof that they do this, but it’s the only logical reason for why a person would think it’s ok to turn the wrong way down a one way street. But it’s a good thing they have a “baby on board” sticker because now I know to call child protective services before calling the cops.
I try to start every day with positive thinking, but driving for a living means I have a lot of time alone to build up imaginary scenarios in my head to get upset about. I’m somewhat of a recluse, but I’m starting to realize that no one should be left alone with just their thoughts and murder podcasts for hours at a time. Spending this much time alone my brain starts to look like a well plotted schedule for a descent into madness:
7:00AM: Wake up, get ready to go to the gym.
9:00AM: Wake up again, didn’t go to the gym, eats eggs in the bathtub instead.
10:00AM: Starts driving.
10:30AM: Has already yelled at fifty cars.
11:00AM: Wonders if maybe the whole world is full of bad drivers and I’m the only sane safe driver.
11:05AM: Gets pulled over for running a stop sign.
11:06AM: Blames the other bad drivers for making me mad and it’s their fault I ran a stop sign.
11:30AM: Blames my friends for my bad mood.
11:35AM: Blames the asshole barista this morning for my bad mood.
11:40AM: “NOBODY BETTER PISS ME OFF TONIGHT BECAUSE I’M READY FOR A FIGHT!”
11:45AM: Remembers the one time that I was almost in a fight I ran to the bouncer at the bar and tattled on the other guy.
11:50AM: Thinks about getting boxing lessons so I can defend myself in a fight.
11:55AM: Starts punching the air practicing for my first fight.
12:00PM: Pulls muscle from punching.
1:30PM: Eats, feels instantly better.
2:00PM-4:00PM: Write my feelings.
4:00PM-8:00PM: Works, yells at kids on bikes, flips off a dog crossing the street, imagines more irrational and highly unlikely situations.
8:30PM: Eats, feels better, drinks whiskey, feels even better, does comedy, feels worse.
11:00PM-?: Eats too much cheese and watches shows that will most definitely give me nightmares. Wake up, repeat.
It goes without saying I should no longer be on the road.
So why is this post titled awkward turtle? Well I’m glad you asked!
As much as I enjoy that my erratic emotions give fuel to my writing and standup, I’m fully aware that maybe yelling at imaginary things in my car might not be the best for my mental health. It also tends to bleed into my relationships with other people. I find myself complaining about other people and situations that are beyond my control. I start to stress about my job status not being where I want it to be, negative interactions with people, gossip and Facebook drama that I shouldn’t be involved in but somehow find it necessary to immerse myself into.
So in an attempt to be a more carefree person, anytime I find myself talking poorly of others, I’ve asked my fiance to put one of her hands on top of the other and wiggle her thumbs creating, you guessed it, awkward turtle.
Is it stupid?
Does it work?
It reminds me that I’m being negative and my behavior is affecting the people around me, but it’s also a humorous release to exit the negative headspace.
I know, it’s childish, and easily the equivalent of dangling keys in front of a toddler to get them to stop crying. But in these times when we tend to be stressed out by the smallest inconveniences, whatever healthy non destructive methods I can do to get myself into a positive mindset I’m going to try.
So here’s my homework to all of you:
When you find yourself in a negative situation that you know is easily solvable, cross your hands and turtle away. It feels...amazing.
And hey for the few followers I have out there, please write to me and tell me about a situation you had in which awkward turtle helped you out.
Now excuse me, I just saw someone outside run a stop sign and I need to chase them down and slash their tires.