Monday, May 9, 2011

Popcorn and Zen

The picture above really has nothing at all to do with this story, only that it's kind of zenful. Minus the power lines.

Anyhow, I am a clarisentient. I am extraordinarily tuned into emotions. Emotional people get to me because I absorb what they are feeling and in turn feel it as well. When someone is stressed out or sad or mad, I have a hard time being around them because it upsets my chi.

I'm talking about this today because I have been having a hard time at work lately. The short story is that a year ago I started a new assignment and it requires me to be in a different building around a whole new set of people. It was just today that I realized why it bothers me so much, it's because the energy of these people is so terrible, that it knocks me down. Things in this place are always harried, there are too many cooks in the kitchen and everyone is scheming to figure out how they can get their way. It's a terrible environment and I can't leave the emotions at the door. I carry them with me and bring them home, which makes some days unbearable.

Anyhow, thinking about this reminded me of a funny story about my bizarre struggle for inner balance.

In college, one of my greatest friends and I lived in the same apartment building but at opposite ends of a U-shaped hallway. My friend, Kara, is really good at manipulating energies. She can melt stress away simply by changing the lighting of a room.

Well, one night, she was stressed, like frenzied stressed. She had called me to come over and when I walked into her apartment, I told her that she was stressed and the whole apartment was stressed. So, we began her destressing by lighting at least 15 candles all around her room to create a calm environment.

Then she said "I need some popcorn" and left the room to put a bag in the microwave.

When she came back, we were chatting and I told her that I didn't think the calming environment was helping because she was still frantic. As she was starting to tell me all that she was feeling, I interrupted her and said "Something's wrong with the microwave."

I don't know why I knew it. I don't know if it was a feeling in the air or a smell or what, but I knew that something was wrong. Kara had gone out into the kitchen to see the popcorn bag on fire. The microwave was still running and Kara pushed the button to open the door. A huge plume of smoke came out of the microwave. This is when my adrenaline kicked in. I immediately began flapping my arms trying to billow down the smoke. I had grabbed a kitchen towel and was using that to push the smoke away from the fire detector. I had also managed to open two windows, blow out all 15 candles and hide them (we weren't allowed to have candles in our apartment) and run out the door yelling "FIRE". I had taken all of that frenzied energy and put it to use in an emergency.

I made it all the way into my apartment and announced to my roommates to put their shoes on because there was a fire alarm. Then the alarms actually started ringing. I had put my own shoes on and ran out the door, down three flights of stairs and safely away from the building. I finally stopped to notice that no one was really following me. There were only a few people who had made it out of the building and the alarms were no longer ringing. I had to stop and take a few deep breaths in an attempt to gain my composure.

Why was I stressed? I wasn't stressed before seeing my friend, I hadn't made the popcorn, it wasn't my apartment and there was no actual fire. But I couldn't shake it. I held onto the stress of that moment for a good two days. When I got back into the building and back to my friend's apartment, she was like "You were moving so fast, it was incredible."

That's what stress does to me, makes me a whirlwind of frenetic energy. I hate it.


Grace said...

I don't think I have ever heard this story before, that is hilarious. Looks like you need to find some friends and coworkers that are not stressed out about stuff ever, or you need to booze more.

Molly said...

I think this all happened when you were in Africa. You missed a lot when you were in Africa.