I believe in being prepared

Caitlin - Windham, New Hampshire
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in always being prepared. I am often paranoid that if I forget my sunglasses, the sky will, of course, suddenly become sunny, and I will be stuck squinting to see. Whether the object may be a tube of lip-gloss or a mini hairspray, I constantly carry around items that I may need. I always need to take extra jeans or extra jackets because I know that I will need them.

While on vacation during Christmas, the airlines lost my bag. This would not have been a big deal if I had been prepared. Instead of taking an extra outfit in my carry-on I felt it more important to take an extra magazine to read. For five of the longest days of my life, I was without my perfect bathing suit, my favorite t-shirts, and many pairs of shorts. I forgot to be prepared for what seems to be inevitable these days when anyone is flying. The one time I decided that I should take fifteen cute t-shirts instead of seven, because I wasn’t sure what kind of mood I would be in, was the time my suitcase seemed to be lost forever.

I am the kind of person who needs to carry her entire life around with her every day. I must always have my cell phone in reach and an extra hair tie in hand. I always need extra dollar bills when I go out to lunch, just in case none of my friends thought about the tip. I like the feeling that for every situation I might find myself in, I will be prepared. Even at school, if I don’t have my agenda with me in every one of my classes, I feel so unprepared. I can always use another notebook to take notes, but without my agenda, I know I will forget to write down one of my assignments and rush to do it the next morning. Even taking books to classes, I know I never use my history book but that one day that my teacher tells us to look an event up will be the day that I left the book in my locker.

I hate feeling as if I am not prepared; many of my friends find it funny to tell me I have a quiz just to see me freak out. I have never been able to deal with stress very well. It is one of my greatest fears, to be in a situation where I have no idea what to do, so being prepared is my way of dealing with this. Some people perceive it as over reacting, but it takes a lot to be able to calm me down afterwards. When I take extras, or items I know I won’t need, it is not indecisiveness but the only way I won’t have to think about forgetting something. Being prepared for the day lets me feel just a little bit more control of the unexpected that will inevitably occur.