My feet hurt. I suspect it’s because I don’t have much need to dress up these days, boots and all – and let’s face it, if no one makes me dress up for work or weddings I am just not going to do so. I’m a more casual sort of person and comfort trumps fashion every day.
But I make sacrifices when I need to and this week it was my feet. Fortunately, I married a man who is probably one of the sweetest on the planet and I was, therefore, the blissful recipient of a foot massage the other night before going to sleep.
Except, At doesn’t give no stinkin’ comfort massages. We’ve both had too much benefit from acupressure massage therapy (and/or reflexology) over the years to see much benefit in comfort massage.
The thing that has always fascinated me about the way acupressure works is how disconnected things can seem. When I first went to see a therapist for my back pain, it was something of a surprise that most of that session was spent with the therapist working on my feet or my legs. He might have even stuck a finger in my ear. My lower back, the part of me that I recognized to be in pain, was not touched once. But it was pain free once I stood up from the table.
Overall, the seeming disconnectedness between pain point and pressure point has never failed to make me scratch my head a bit and wonder how on earth anyone figured it out in the first place. Neck pain? Yeah, there’s a point near your big toe. Shoulder hurts from mousing? The webbed part of your hand has several areas. Cramps? There’s a point on your calf and another on the top of your foot that’ll relieve that in mere minutes.
It can be tremendously painful to undergo this, even knowing how to breathe and how to focus on every other part of your body that just tensed up in reaction to the pain felt at the pressure point. But in the long run, you’re trading hours of potential pain for several minutes of focused pain. I think it’s well worth it.
And just what the hell does this wall of text about acupressure as experienced by Alas have to do with anything? It’s oddly related, but that’s sort of the point of this post.
A real life pain point
Not all that long ago, I was sitting on a train heading downtown and nervously tweeting about this job interview thing I had to go to. I was in a state. Not just your normal pre-interview jitters sort of state, but one more closely related to a full-fledged panic attack. My imagination had completely run away with me to the point where I felt like I was headed to my own execution. I was certain I was going to throw up somewhere.
Self, I thought, you are an unmitigated disaster.
And a real life pressure point
In an unrelated turn of events, I soon after ended up pretty centrally located respective to the last round of Blogger Drama.
At the time, it was so fucking painful that I was at a loss as to how to react. The best I thought I could do was to put my chin up and soldier on. So I did. But I was losing sleep and reeling from the shattered perspectives left in the wake of the angry words being hurled around.
And, y’know, I survived it intact. There are a few people out there who clearly do not like me, and I’m not so fragile that the knowledge has destroyed me. I am indeed sad that the tentative and tenuous friendships I did lose are lost, but that pain has receded and as it turns out, I gained something so very valuable through the whole experience:
It’s been gradual and I suspect other people might not see the connection the same way I do. But the person who tweeted about her firm belief that she was going to toss her cookies on a train on her way to an interview for which she’d had ample time to prepare for, and the person who found out Tuesday afternoon that she would have an interview Wednesday morning and who managed to be relatively unfazed by it at all are not the same person.
I’ve spent the last many years letting myself be intimidated by other people and by new situations. The last time I really relaxed for an interview was probably a decade ago before I’d ever had more than one or two. Now I’m blithely skipping from temp job to interview and back again and actually managing to remain poised throughout these situations which would have caused me a great deal of stress barely a few months ago.
Through blogging, I’ve faced a fear that has been with me my whole life: Oh noes! What if people don’t like me? What if I am rejected? What if I am scorned?
Well, so what? Sure, it’s no picnic. But everyone in life will have someone who doesn’t think they hung the moon and stars. Probably several someones. I think the temporary pain of having someone do or say something hurtful is much better than allowing insecurity to rule one’s life.
And I am not perfectly comfortable and at ease in all situations and with all people now. Even writing this up, I am mentally cringing at the thought of posting it, because what if people think I’m a super lame lamewad?
Well, if anyone does, they’re more than likely right. So I guess I’ll keep focusing on taking the temporary pain because who knows what might improve at the other end of it.