Confessions of a Fidgeter

We all have those little things about us that we don’t like to talk about, or perhaps ignore until you can’t any longer. Mine just so happens to be fidgeting. Granted, it’s not the worst thing about me or the worst thing that could happen to me, but nonetheless it is somewhat of an insecurity of mine.

Ever since I was little, I have always had to have something in my hands at all times. When I didn’t have something to hold on to or play with, I resulted to picking at the skin around my fingernails. It is a painful and horrible habit that has been passed through generations in my family. The skin would be picked so much that sometimes I swear I could damn near see the bone that lay beneath. Luckily enough, I grew out of the habit but moved on to picking at my actual fingernails. I stripped the nail down so much and so far, it was just as painful as the last habit.

My parents recognized these actions and resorted to getting me a stress ball in the first grade. I can’t even tell you how many I went through that year. If you have never seen or felt a stress ball, it is between the size of a golf and tennis ball and generally made of foam. They are made to squeeze when one is feeling stressed and it is supposed to relieve the tension. However, as you may have guessed, my habits included picking at things. Those foam balls were no match for my little fingers.

As I grew up and started attending high school, I noticed that by the time a class was over, I had a perfect pyramid of tiny ripped up pieces of paper sitting in front of me. I had no recollection of physically grabbing paper and ripping it to shreds, but there it was. That happened almost every class for four years of my life.

By the time I was eighteen and had already been out of high school for some time, I had confided in someone about my fidgeting. This person had given me a little coil ring that supposedly was meant for a distraction when craving certain foods. I wore it everywhere I went, even when I was working and even brought it with me to university. However, me being me, it only took a few months before this little coil ring was stretched to the max and bent in every which way you could imagine. A friend had bought me another one and again, that one only lasted for a few months too. I no longer could deny that my fidgeting was getting way out of hand (no pun intended).

One day I ventured out to a dollar store to pick up some things that I no longer remember. When there, I happened upon the best $1.25 purchase I would ever make in my entire life. My beloved small, metal slinky that you saw in the photo above. The slinky is a little over a year old now, but it is still in one piece. It goes wherever I go, except school because I don’t think people would appreciate the constant sound of a slinky in their ears, so I have to make do without.

I have done many things over the years to make sure my hands are kept occupied if not otherwise doing something. I draw, colour, play games on my phone, knit, crochet, play with my slinky, Rubik’s cube, and on occasion build lego figures. Yeah, I’m that person… I could be fully engulfed in a show or movie that I am watching, but I still need something do with my hands. If my hands are left with nothing to do I start to tap on stuff around me, play with my necklace or any other jewellery I happen to be wearing, or sometimes you may even just see my fingers wiggle. While my hands are definitely the most prone to my fidgeting nature, but I am also the type to bounce my legs, which drives my mom insane.

I don’t really understand where it comes from, or why I do it, but I know I’m not the only one out there. Check out Why Do We Fidget, maybe it’ll help clear up your curious mind just like me.


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