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Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

I have long dreamt of a world where I could respond to simple requests with, “I would…but I’d die.”

Can you go to this dinner? “I would…but I’d die.”

Can you do this people-y thing? “I would…but I’d die.”

Then, in one of the best moments of my entire life, I discovered I have a friend who already does this. And she’s even more concise about it. She doesn’t even include the “I would…but.” She just says, “I’d die.”

She makes up for all those doubts I’ve (not so secretly) harbored about our species and gives me hope for the human race.

She just responds, “I’d die.” Is there anything better?!

She’s a smart girl. Very articulate too. If she needed to, she could probably expand the sentence. She could say something like, “Due to some combination of nature and nurture, my nervous system interprets things that are no big deal for other people as threats to my very existence. I’m working hard to change that, but it’s not the sort of thing that gets better overnight. So for now, this is where I am. Do I know that I wouldn’t actually DIE from going to this dinner? Of course. For years, that knowledge made me suppress and ignore the ‘I’d die’ sensation (if you ever have a free 14 hours for coffee, I’ll tell you where that got me). I was ashamed of it, frankly. What kind of grown woman feels like a dinner will kill her? Today I’m proud of my willingness to investigate what’s going on for me and my vulnerability in talking about. That’s significant progress. Regarding the dinner in question, I’m not sure yet what I’ll do. I might treat it as a growth opportunity and go. Or I might decide I need self-compassion more than I need AFGO* and not go.” And she’d make Don Ruiz Miguel proud because she’d be impeccable with her word.

Or she could just say “I’d die,” and make me proud because she’s being sassy with her word.

Tomato, tomahto.

*AFGO = another f*cking growth opportunity. Thanks Glennon Doyle for my favorite acronym.