“Emotion’s live here,” my cognitive science professor said. She bent her head down and placed a clawed hand on the top of her scalp. I nodded along. It finally made sense.
When I make an embarrassing mistake, knives of shame twist and twist and twist in that part of my brain. Yes, it feels physically painful. No, I know it’s not “real,” whatever that means, but I have to wait for the knives to extract themselves and the electrified sea of anxiety to desiccate before I can go about my day.
I feel like I’ve been making mistakes recently. Damning ones. Major ones like flubbing a very, very important interview with the hubris of unevolved Greek hero (ain’t that narcissistic). Smaller mistakes, like assigning myself four different horses in my academic and professional life to slowly pull me apart at the seams. It’s a familiar rut.
If old habits are the blotted stains our current selves carry from our past selves, they’re incredibly hard to bleach over. Guess you can say old habits dye hard.
I suppose I should just keep my head high, pull the knives from my head, and try to cut away the afflicted spots altogether.