Simon Says

Posted by Zachary Hasselbarth on

Anxiety!! Growing up I was always very nervous. I never quite understood what it was or what was happening. It wasn’t until young adulthood, that this feeling had a name and millions struggled just like me.

I hardly ever feel anxious, wait that is a lie… I do ALL the time.

The keyboard is shaking as I am typing this piece. However, for some reason it is therapeutic in doing so. I know there are many others who deal with similar circumstances and I hope I can shed a little light and bring calm to their worry. It is completely difficult to understand the ebb and flow of an anxious person. Some people say talking fast and always fidgeting is just ADHD or stress. I prefer to call it anaerobic exercise. I have realized that my anxiety, you know what let’s give this anxiety thing a better name, how about…Simon. Perfect. When Simon begins to show up, I begin to second guess every move I make and become extremely awkward. I guess I am playing a game of Simon says.

Simon has always prevented me from making simple decisions that require little to no thought process to a person without Simon. Going to a ball game or a concert seems simple enough to most right? You get your ticket, you find your seat, you move further down the seats as the innings go on at a baseball game and you eventually wind up with amazing seats for $5. Yeah right for good old Simon and I! We go to a game, it is the 7th inning by the time we get there because we’ve spent hours making sure my car is locked and we have the right tickets for the game. When we get there, we are already planning our exit and the best way possible to leave the stadium so we don’t get lost. As for the seats, we must find exactly where we need to sit according to our tickets. We hope to God, no one is sitting our seats, because we will not politely ask the people in our seats to beat it. Instead we will go to the bathroom and walk around the stadium and occasionally check to see if the seats are empty.

You think Simon being so brash and forceful, he would be confident and command the stage. Quite the opposite when trying to ask a girl on a date. For some reason, Simon loses his legs underneath him and becomes a bit awkward around new people. What could be more awkward than a first date? Well you haven’t seen anything yet with good old Simon and me. It begins by outstretching a hand shake at the door when she goes in for a hug. I quickly switch to a hug and then she outstretches her hand for a hand shake. Simon loves to play those tricks. We eventually get caught in between a hand-shake hug and we are off to a wonderful start to our evening. While eating, I think of a million and one scenarios that will never happen. As you know Simon, he thinks the world revolves around him and believes they will.

GIF of Just friends and relation to Zach when he hugs a girl on a first date.

How do I live with Simon?

I started to realize nobody cares. Now let me clarify. It really is a great concept to live by and helped me live with Simon. You see, Simon thinks that everyone is watching him, judging, caring about every move he makes. Simon thinks the world documents his life and is very egotistical sometimes. What he wears, how he looks, smells, talks and feels is on everyone’s mind and daily agenda according to our dear friend Simon. The reality and truth that will bring peace to you and us both is… NO BODY CARES (NBC). It truly has helped me understand and silence Simon when he puffs his chest and wants to be the center of attention. Sometimes he pounds with such force and persuasion, I almost want to believe him and give in. But I don’t.

So does Simon ever go away?

For me, he takes naps and sleeps occasionally after a great work out or while I read a good book. It actually isn’t all quite bad, he can be quite the handy person when it comes to numbers, finance and logistics. Simon and I strive when things need extra special attention. Others may waiver in tedious, minor details, but not him. The more tedious and minor, the more focus he displays. It is a great working relationship and we are able to deliver a quality output every time.

Simon and I check and double check to get it right the first time.  He likes to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s.  Simon always wants to get it right, so customer service is our niche. During 9-5 and with a suit and tie on, we mean business. Simon and I work together and go out of our way to deliver. I guess the pressure of messing up one’s accounting really cuts through any second guessing. There is no time to overthink, customers want results immediately and we have to kick it into gear. So really, I thank Simon for his attentiveness to detail and helping me deliver quality results for people who put faith in trust in my work.

So you see it isn’t all just fear and awkwardness with Simon.

He is deeper and more complex than the surface reveals. It has taken years to understand, manage and learn from our experiences together. Simon is beginning to understand that no one is engrossed with every single life detail. Simon is beginning to let go of that fallacy and believe in the much greater good of life. We have a long life planned together and we are becoming great friends now. I probably won’t ever stop speaking fast or fidgeting. I probably will continue to be awkward on first dates and complicate a simple hand shake or hug. Simon and I have more important issues to solve than being quirky or cool. Don’t be embarrassed by who you are, be yourself and you may even earn a friend if you’re lucky. 

anxiety emotional giving love says simon stress struggle teacher

← Older Post Newer Post →


Comment


  • I’m so proud of you. This is an amazing piece of writing…its creative, humorous and really describes what Simon is like. I know because I too have maybe a relative of Simon. I wonder if I should name mine? Keep writing Zach. You really have a gift.❤️

    Ann on

Leave a comment