I met the part of me that worries.
"Who are you?"
I met him face to face.
He likes to come out at night. Or sometimes when I'm eating. Or washing the dishes. Or when I'm supposed to pay attention to something or someone.
He makes an appearance quite frequently.
And when he comes out, he talks incessantly.
He replays past situations and conversations over and over again, out loud. Each time though, he imagines himself saying something a little bit differently or doing something a little bit differently than what had actually happened. And then he tries to predict the future.
"I should've said this. I should've did that. Then they would've reacted this way. Then I would've said this other thing. But what if they then reacted this way..."
What does my worrier look like?
His eyes are huge and bulge out. They like to dart around nervously.
His head is much bigger than his body, which is skinny and always hunched over.
He likes to sit in a corner and face the wall. There, he just replays situations and scenarios. Over and over again. Never seeming to near exhaustion.
"What do you want?" I ask my worrier.
Now, he finally pauses. He looks at me. His eyes, still big, stop moving frantically and instead focuses on me.
"I just want to be heard", he says.
Interesting. "Heard? What does that mean?"
"I want to speak. I want to share my ideas. Maybe not all of them because I have a lot... and as you can tell, I like to think about different potentialities. A lot."
I realize he's right. I do feel better when I share my "worries" with someone. Which I realized are really just ideas about what's possible. "What if this? What if that?"
I do feel better when I get my ideas out into the world and bounce them off people I trust. So they aren't just bouncing in my head or on paper for no one else to interact with.
I also realize that every time I catch myself "worrying", I scold myself. My parents used to do that too. From a young age, I developed an aversion towards what I thought was complaining and complainers, myself included.
But what I deemed as complaint was maybe just self-expression. No wonder my "worrier", or should I say "ideator", felt relegated to a corner.
It's time for me to go.
I'm sure it's the first time out of many that we'll interact in the light. At least I know who my ideator is now.
I have a better idea about how I can work with him.
I can give him more space.
And I can give him more of an opportunity to shine and express himself.