• Life,  Musings

    Overthinking. Yeah, that’s me.

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    I’m frequently accused of overthinking things, and if I’m not, I should be. I don’t see it as a bad thing most of the time, although there are times when it does hold me back from making a decision or confronting something for maybe a little too long. But I think it’s important to continually question your own beliefs and motivations. If you don’t, if you assume that you’ve already arrived at the right conclusion without doing any work to get there, so how will you learn and grow?

    And growth is important to me. I want to live the most honest and truthful life that I can, the best life that I can. All of the decisions I’ve ever made have brought me to the point I’m at now. Every time I’ve taken the easy path, it’s led to something that’s more difficult later on, so I need to consider things more deeply.

    I didn’t come out of the box this way, however it might seem now. I’m closing in on 48 years old, and I’m still learning about myself, who I am, what I want, what I can and should or should not do.

    I am openly, if not necessarily vocally, an atheist. Certain groups of folks will sneer at that, saying it means your life has no purpose because that’s what you believe, right? You may not be surprised to learn I think that’s the wrong way to look at things. Knowing that I have “no meaning, no purpose” forced on me by an external, supernatural force, I have to eventually come to the realization that any meaning or purpose there is to be in my life is something I have to discover and create on my own. If I coast through life, always taking the easy path, what meaning will life have? What purpose will I have created? I’m not interested in reaching the end of my life and looking back on a meaningless existence. Evolution has gifted me with consciousness, with self-awareness, and with an intellect. If I don’t use that, all of it, am I even fully sapient?

    So yes, I question my beliefs, I question my motivations, I question my actions. I overthink things. And I look at things after-the-fact to see what I can learn from how they turned out. Am I having an impact on the people around me? On the pieces of society I touch? On the world?

    What am I doing to make the world a better place? Will my actions, the story of my life, add up to having been a positive impact on the world, however small, considering I am one of billions? What can I do to make that tiny amount of good larger?

    Am I setting a good example?

    I want to, but I don’t know that I always am.

    Something to work on. Something to think about.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Life


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    I have often in the past accused myself of overthinking things. I can’t help it. My brain is always running. I can’t sit still and relax. I can’t just do nothing. I have to be mentally active. It’s how I am, and I’m comfortable that.

    It does mean that sometimes I get wrapped up in my own internal logic problems. I try to figure things out and analyze them. I rehearse conversations that will never happen, just in case they do. (In fairness, I also prefer to rehearse conversations I know are going happen.) I try to never speak off-the-cuff, considering my words and the impact they might have before I do. This is a lesson learned the hard way, even though I thought I learned from observing other people. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.”

    What a load of fecal matter. Broken bones, as long as you don’t have too many of them at once, will heal, and as long as they’re not shattered, they’ll usually do okay at it, especially if you have a little medical assistance. Bruises, scrapes, and cuts, yes sometimes you get scar tissue, but you’ll be functional. Words stay with you, stay in your mind, sometimes forever.

    There is no one who doesn’t have memories from years or decades ago of someone who said something that affected them so much, got them so upset or so angry, that they still remember the exact words and intonation after so much time has passed. Just remembering can call up the same feelings.

    Words can absolutely hurt you.

    So if I get stuck in a thought loop once in a while trying to figure out how to say something or do something that won’t have that negative impact on someone else, find a way that still makes my point but doesn’t destroy their picture of themselves or their thoughts, then I can live with that.

    I admit to being somewhat socially awkward. I think more people should be. I also don’t know that I’m ever going to be less socially awkward. I am who I am, and I work to ensure that I remain that person or get better in my own eyes.

    Life is still very limited, and I suppose that anyone can go through it as a self-centered, emotionally blind and crippled jerk.

    But why be that person if you don’t have to?

    Give yourself some credit. Give your brain some credit. It will work pretty well if you let it. I think most people know that, even the ones who don’t use it, we’re just afraid of not sitting in, of being different.

    Screw it. Be different. Be yourself. Use your brain.

    Be well, everyone.

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