There are some things I do just because I expect the world to operate in a certain way, even though it doesn't. I don't know where I got these ideas about how the world should operate. They are completely unfounded in reality. And yet I adhere to them anyway.
I always pull on doors, for instance. Many doors open in this manner. Many doors, however, do not. I'll stand in front of a door pulling and pulling and pulling even though the very fact that it's remaining closed despite my yanking on it stands as evidence that I should push. I refuse to push. I refuse to push because doors should be opened by pulling, and that's just the way it should be. I don't know why it should be so, I just know it should be so. And so I pull on the push door. I'm not stupid, I just don't believe in push doors. They don't exist.
This, I'm told, is known as “magical thinking.”
I can never remember if I locked the door. It happens every day, every time I leave the house; I walk away, stop short, think, “Shit, I locked the door, right?” and feel compelled, utterly compelled, to walk back and check the lock. As if a force outside of me were driving me to do it. I'm overcome with anxiety. I'd better go check that door.
Most of the time I force myself to keep walking and repeat, “Of course I locked the door, I always lock the door,” in a singsong voice inside my head, until that bright, chirpy sentiment totally subsumes the breathless, panicky one.
But I can't say I don't occasionally walk back and check the door.