To be completely honest, I’ve been a bit of a mess lately, my friends. A few weeks ago I got anxious about a few things, then I got anxious about getting anxious, then before I knew it I was bawling in my car because Julie had 1) asked if I was okay and 2) put on Mumford & Sons. Deadly combo.
I could tell a long-winded story here, all about the essential items I forgot at school on Tuesday and the exits I missed when I drove back the next morning to get them and how late I was to everything I had planned for the rest of the day because of those forgotten items and the mixed exits. But the truth is I just typed out that whole story, and it’s actually pretty boring, so let’s just skip to the baby deer part.
My sister Sarah and I were standing in American Eagle on Wednesday night, surrounded by jeggings and flannels and adorable store personnel with radios in their back pockets. (What if those radios were actually direct lines to the CIA? Does American Eagle assign their employees into platoons? Why don’t they say Roger every time they send someone to open a dressing room for me? Things I’ve wondered while waiting in line to exchange dark-wash jeans.) We’d just stopped by the mall on our way to see the new Hunger Games movie at eight. I checked my email to make sure our movie tickets went through.
My movie ticket purchase had gone through. For the seven o’clock show.
It was already 7:02. Fuck.
As we left American Eagle, I scrambled to buy new tickets on my phone and wondered out loud if we’d even have time to get dinner. Take-out Panera? Or we could try the Food Court? Sarah finally stopped and turned to me.
“Listen. I’m driving, we’re going to get take-out Panera, and you’re not making any more decisions today. Okay?” She looked at me, eyebrows high. I nodded, she nodded, then she took my arm and we were on our way. “This might be the most Hannah you’ve ever been, you know that?” She laughed.
“I know, I’m fricken sorry, okay,” I laughed too. (I lost a lot of swim goggles as a child. And eyeglasses. And watches.) “Lead the way, captain. Jesus take the wheel.”
“I am kind of like Jesus, aren’t I?” Sarah took the wheel big time.
I sent this text to Jules while we were waiting for our take-out Panera.
Wednesday night, standing in Panera next to my sister who is four years younger and two inches taller than me, I felt like a scrawny ass baby deer. Whenever I tried to walk—or pack, or re-pack, or buy movie tickets—my legs got all shaky and folded up. Like that adorable scene in Bambi when Bambi tries to walk on ice, but maybe slightly less adorable.
I was going to stop here, more or less, but Julie reminded of something important as I was writing this post. I’m not even feeling like a baby deer anymore and that girl knows how to pick me up.
She wrote this on my draft: I guess the only thing was I was waiting for it to get deeper into the baby deer dynamic because I know it goes beyond feeling anxious. (Like sometimes you feel like you’re not that capable or grown up, when that’s not true.) And it’s that part that causes you anxiety.
Jules, sometimes it feels like you know me better than I do. Because there have been several moments in the last couple of weeks where I’ve felt really and truly shit-my-pants incapable. (I haven’t gone so far as to actually shit my pants, but that seems like the most accurate way to describe the feeling.) I have no natural talent for cooking or cleaning, I’m shit with directions, I have a tendency to forget where my shoes are right when I need them most. With the four horsemen of the graduation apocalypse waiting just around the corner, sometimes I really do get nervous. Am I going to make it out there?
Well, yes. I am. Feeling like a baby deer doesn’t actually make you a baby deer. (Although wouldn’t that make for kind of a hilarious time?) We all have our baby deer days. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you you’re done walking for the day and throw you over her shoulder. (Lookin’ at you, Sar.) But the important thing to remember is that we really aren’t baby deer, no matter how much we may feel like one on a Wednesday night at Panera Bread.
I’m back at school now, and as far as I know, I managed to pack everything I need. My baby deer day has passed, but I wanted to share my baby deer story just in case I have some fragile-feelin’ friends out there. I don’t know if you get anxious, or stressed, or angry or sad or discouraged. I’m not sure what it is that makes you feel like a baby deer on ice. But everybody’s got something. And finals are coming up—this is baby deer season. It’s okay, my friends. Take care of each other. And always remember to double-check your movie ticket order on Fandango.