This I Believe: The Plus Side of Being A Worry Wart

Jamie - Newark, Ohio
Entered on November 19, 2008

My friends always used to tell me that I was growing up too fast. I had just as much of a childhood as anyone else, but my young brain seemed to work differently than those that I grew up with. My ability to look past fun ideas and see the consequences in pretty much all things has made me the punctual, caring, and responsible person that I am today. That’s why I believe in being the “worry wart.”

When I was twelve, my best friend and I were at a homecoming street fair and were to be picked up two hours later. My friend, being a boy chaser, begged me to walk to her boyfriend’s house instead of staying at the fair. What if we didn’t get back on time? What if we got caught? I didn’t see anything good that could come out of this little trip so I stood my ground and she went by herself. I was at our designated pick up spot on time and she was nowhere in sight. Her parents picked us up and I got the 3rd degree. Where was my friend? When had I last seen her? I was able to keep my mouth shut for the most part and she showed up eventually, but was grounded for months. I almost always had a close friend that was grounded for one thing or another, and often I wished that I were grounded, too. At least then I would have a cool reason for not being able to go do stuff.

I matured rapidly as a result of my reputation as the “worry wart.” I’m never late for anything because I care about my image. I’m constantly thinking of others so I always stay on peoples’ good sides. At work and in school I can be trusted with big assignments because I refuse the consequences of failure. After all, the “worry warts” of the world today are finding cures for cancer and discovering alternative energy sources.

When I was younger it was bad to be the one that always worried too much. Now it’s the cool thing to do. We worry about gas prices and about the wars overseas, among other things. All of these things sound so much more serious than worrying about being late for a girl’s night pick-up, or sneaking out at night, but to my childhood brain those were the big issues.

My mom always told me that I was wise beyond my years. This is the wisdom that I rely on to get a good job, to make decent money, and to help make good decisions. So what if I never snuck out of my house at night or did other bad girl things? I still had fun. Childhood is such a short period of our lives as compared to that time span between 18 and 85 where we grow up. If I could go back in time would I instead choose to be the party girl and live it up a little? No thanks, I’ll be the “worry wart” and proud of it.