To Whom It May Ever Concern:
Do you ever get so absorbed in a book and in the protagonist’s life that when you’re finished reading, you feel a bit hollow inside? Well, that happened to me quite recently. Quite yesterday.
You see, the protagonist of this particular novel was pretty similar to me. I resonated with her story. Her choices. Her thoughts. Oh, her thoughts. I lost track of time as I got to know her.
I thought some moments were cheesy. Expected. Imminent. But I thought others were real. Pure. Genuine.
As I neared the ending, I kept lingering over phrases, re-reading sentences, reliving earlier moments of the plot. In a way, I was procrastinating. I didn’t want the story to end. I wanted to continue to be in the hands of a character whom I grew to like and to trust. I didn’t want to burst this fantastical bubble and return to the rigidness of reality.
I know myself well. After I read powerful literature, watch informational videos, or hear eye-opening conversations, I like to apply what I have learned to my personal life. I always bring it back to my tirelessly thinking mind.
I love to freaking think. I am a two-pronged thinker. On the one hand, I passionately create connections between a multitude of topics and deepen my intellectual curiosity every day. On the other hand, I frequently go through different scenarios in my mind, whether they’re realistic or idealistic. I analyze. I plan. I have control.
When I’m made aware of my past mistakes, I am bothered so deeply, so heavily. I think it’s because I cannot process the fact that my constantly churning mind, which critically thinks through and plans my responses, choices, and actions to the minute detail, screwed up. How could I let it? How could my thoughtfulness backfire on me?
See, this is where another one of my internal flaws comes to play. Constant validation. It works hand in hand with my tendency to overthink. But Logan, do you think that whatever happened was okay? Did I really mess up? Do you think I accomplished my task smoothly and successfully? Yup. Story of my life. I try hard to refrain from this urge for affirmation. Sometimes, I only need my own thoughts and words to ‘approve’ of what I do. Other times, I really need other people to advise my dynamic mentality.
This brings me back to the title of this post. My greatest gift — my worst enemy — my best friend: my thinking. My perfectionism behind my reflections. My organization at the core of my analytical thought spirals. My fear of failure annihilated as I plan the forthcoming day. My imagination serving the needs of my reality. Oh, the fantasy of it.
I am having a hard time articulating whatever this is. A mental anomaly. A unique stream of consciousness. A case of OCD.
“Trust me, I want to stop thinking. I wish I could,” she said.
I do, too. I wish I wasn’t so paranoid about so many things that I don’t have control over. But, in the end, it’s been my thinking that has led me here. To writing. To stronger friendships. To my budding interest in social reform. To listening to music. To loving my family. To loving myself.
To all the strange, wonderful, hard thinkers out there, I’m with you.