I am terrified of everything.
Not a day goes by where I am not afraid of something. Meeting other people is one of the more anxiety-inducing things I will do in a day, and most interactions are filtered through my mind and directed towards the worst possible outcome.
Someone doesn’t respond to a text or DM? They hate me. Someone whom I do not know looks at me oddly in public? I must have unwittingly done something to slight them.
We’ll put aside the part where this actually makes me incredibly self-centered — don’t worry, that’s another post to come — and focus how I actually do communicate with people in public. Interactions go differently than you may think, based on my previous assertions of terror. My job relies on me talking to people on a regular basis, especially when I attend events. I not only need to interview others, but I need to put my subjects at ease — appearing a nervous wreck does not people others at ease, in case you were wondering — and make conversations as natural as possible in order to coax out the best answers.
For the most part, I’m successful.
Around the same time I began regularly attending events for my job, I became really interested in Korean skincare products and Kbeauty as a whole. The idea of having a regular routine appealed to me, as did spending a small amount of time on my appearance.
I didn’t think I’d ever care about the pH balance of my skin, or exfoliate my face with acid — far less scary than it sounds, I promise. I’ve never thought of myself as physically attractive — and still don’t — but taking better care of my face has been surprisingly fun. It’s been a series of cool science experiments with a better-looking face to show for it. I follow a step-by-step routine every morning and every night. It has an amazing calming effect.
Amanchu! is a wonderfully relaxing series that shows transfer student Futaba Ooki dealing with her own social anxiety. However, in its second episode, Amanchu! also peers into Hikari Kohinata’s morning routine, which is surprisingly regimented given her eccentricities.
Hikari (or Pikari as she’s called by Futaba) takes a page from her experience as a diver to organize herself in the morning. She goes through a checklist before heading out the door. I imagine her performing this routine every day out of habit, just like the buddy checks she does before diving.
Pikari is an odd duck. She’s not going to appeal to all viewers — she infuriates in-universe characters at times — but I love her weirdness and her routine. Having a routine is something that’s helped me relax immensely, and I’d like to think that it helps Pikari control her nervous energy as well.