This may sound unusual, but I’ve been pondering my “state of being” lately. After hearing my office-mate describe another office-mate as a NAP (a person who has a Non-Anxious Presence), I began wondering if I had the serene, comfortable, calming presence that she described. The more I thought about it, the more I desperately wanted to be a NAP – “I want to be viewed as a peaceful, tranquil, unruffled sort of person!” I thought inwardly.
Deciding that it was time to be brutally honest with myself, I began reflecting on my life and interactions with others. After much careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that on most days I would definitely qualify as a SNAP – a Somewhat Non-Anxious Person. Of course, I do have to admit that I can be a little nervous in the area of health and safety. Not too long ago I developed a very suspicious headache and began writing my Last Will & Testament in case it was a brain tumor. (My husband informed me that most people would take a Tylenol rather than writing their will, but what does he know?)
Maybe I’m actually a SAP – a Semi-Anxious Person – but I figure as long as I am calm and quiet on the outside, surely it doesn’t matter that I am inwardly preparing for any type of natural disaster that could occur at any moment. (Lightning is especially unpredictable – one should always avoid contact with water or metal objects, and stay away from windows and tall trees!)
No one needs to know that I am continually calculating the nearest emergency exit and planning my escape route from office buildings, malls, schools, airplanes, and other public facilities. Guarding against identity theft and being constantly on the lookout for stalkers and suspicious persons are simply part of being a responsible adult — these are signs of common sense and do not affect my tranquil demeanor in any way. (Of course, there was that time my alert vigilance caused me to mistakenly convince my boss that there was a time bomb in an unidentified box in our office, so we both dove behind the desk and crouched there for several minutes waiting for the explosion before he heroically carried it outside and deposited it on the sidewalk… But that was just an isolated incident!)
My husband might not vouch for the fact that I am a calm, non-anxious person. As much as I try to convince him otherwise, he insists that it is not soothing when I scream and clutch his arm wildly when he passes a semi-truck while driving on the freeway. (I have often assured him that just because I gasp and shriek “We’re all going to die!” while he’s driving, it is no indication whatsoever that I lack confidence in his driving abilities.) Besides, he has seen me keep my composure in all sorts of potentially stressful situations, such as encountering an ex-boyfriend unexpectedly while shopping in the grocery store. (I calmly dropped to the floor like a Marine commando and demonstrated a brilliant knack for the army crawl while managing to knock over only one row of canned goods!)
The more I think about it, the more I am on my way to becoming a VAP – a Very Anxious Person! I don’t want to be a VAP! (Or a SAP or a SNAP or even a NAP, for that matter!) Without the excitement of living in constant chaos and suspense, my life would be plain boring – so I have decided to coin a new term for myself – a VIP: Very Interesting Person!