Tag Archives: Overthinking

Frankly, I Have No Idea What to Title This Post

There’s a line from Twenty One Pilot’s “Migraine” that says, “Sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind.”

I really love that line.

I also wish they gave advice on how to do just that.

I’m an over-thinker. A worrywart, as my companions and parents growing up dubbed me. I’ve always been this way. I know I’m not alone in this, but sometimes, that knowledge doesn’t help me deal with my incessant need to look at every angle of a situation–and often situations that haven’t happened yet, but are possible–and then fixate on the worst possible one, causing anxiety, stress and depression to set in as I then obsess over this outcome. Which, nine times out of ten, doesn’t even come true.

But let’s not keep this simple. Let’s include the heart into this, add another layer of complexity.

I’m a big believer of following your heart. It’s why mine is so scarred. I’m not afraid to chase what it wants without abandon. Some believe that’s foolish. Yet that’s not something I’m going to change. I’m sure it comes to no surprise that often, the heart and the mind conflict, even to the point where the mind overrules the heart and makes it confused on what it even wants, which makes it even harder to come to a decision about what to do in X situation.

Hold on, though. Still not complicated enough. Then add in the need to please others and the reliance on your fellow’s good opinion and approval.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Welcome into the mind of Nicole.

‘Tis a confusing place.

Of course, I have a specific conundrum in mind: my love life. It’s complicated and confusing and conflicting, which I think is the most difficult thing to deal with. At any given moment, my mind will tell me to do one thing and my heart will agree. The next, my mind and heart splits. Another second passes and my heart has completely changed its tune, but now my head is questioning. And then you add in the opinions of everyone else I value–and don’t forgot the overthinking mind that doesn’t fail to look into every possible solution into every possible scenario, and frankly?

I’m just at a loss.

Here’s the situation (you might have gathered inklings about it from this postthis post or this post. Sorry my complicated love life has taken over this blog. But this blog is my outlet and I’ve never been confused like this before. Ergo, a lot of emotionally-charged posts).

Entered into a FWB relationship which actually felt and was treated like more of an actual relationship, just in secret. Not surprising that, on my end, feelings developed and complications arose. I “left” and then came back, twice, before finally deciding to leave the “benefits” side of a relationship and trade it for a “just friends” side, so I could move on emotionally and find someone who’d be capable and willing to meet both my needs and my wants. It’s been…hard, but I’m getting there. What’s been the hardest, however, is being plagued with one question:

What if? 

Because while I left because I needed more stability, more commitment and more certainty, I’ve been lost in this realm of uncertainty ever since. Because though the “relationship” is officially “over,” there are some small seeds of hope that it could still actually blossom into something real. So we could, potentially, still have a chance at having a relationship. Or I could say no, if that question was ever asked. Or it could never be asked and I could find someone else. Or I could find no one. There are so many different ways this could pan out and there are plenty of What Ifs to accompany each route.

What if we date and everything is as amazing as I always thought it would be? What if it’s everything I ever wanted? What if we completely fall on our faces and the relationship crumbles? What if everyone thinks I’m an idiot for giving him another chance? What if everyone hates him? What if I miss out on the guy “meant for me” because I gave him another chance? What if he is the one meant for me and I gave him up too early because it took a little work beforehand? What if I end up alone forever (but kill it as your ultimate dog lady)? 

Yeah, sometimes, my mind sucks.

There are just so many elements in play: my emotions, my feelings, logic, the opinions of others…all of which conflict and fight each other on a daily basis, which isn’t exactly comforting.

You got the feelings I have for the guy that everyone I care about tells me “didn’t treat me right” and constantly reminds me that I can “do better and deserve better,” yet part of me still wants to try because he does mean so much to me and I know he could treat me exactly the way I “deserve.” But then that raises logical questions, like, why hasn’t he already? What made him take so long to chose me; which, in turn, brings up some questions regarding trust. Yet he’s also made me happier than any man before him. Doesn’t that count for something?

Then I look at all the relationships I’ve ever known. All of them have had some sort of conflict, at one point or another. To varying degrees of complexity and difficulty. Some started great and got rough in the middle, only to become stronger. Some started out difficult and took work, but made it in the end. And very few have been really solid throughout it all, hardly a hiccup in sight. And sometimes, when people tell me that I can “do better,” I want to point out that every relationship is different and maybe this one is just experiencing the rough patches at the beginning. I want to ask not to be so quick to judge, even though I know everyone is just looking out for me and wants me to be happy. And I haven’t been happy, recently. So I understand that. It just adds another level of complexity.

And then you get all of those corny quotes telling you to never pick a guy who made you question or made you guess or made you walk away. Then there’s the small excitement of meeting someone new, wondering who is out there for me and the excitement of flirting and getting to know someone; battle that against the comfort of already knowing someone and admitting there are some challenges there, but there is also certain happiness, as well. Then there’s the fear of never finding anyone else juxtaposed with the fear that I already found them, but I’m just giving them up because it takes work and everyone else tells me I should and they are proud of me for finally letting go of something less than what I deserve. But is that really what want?

Yeah, I’d love to just kill my mind for an hour now, thanks.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to two things: choice and risk.

Everything is uncertain. I have no idea if said dude will ever want to try an actual relationship with me. I honestly have no idea if I’m willing to try, if he wants to–my heart and hope scream yes at the same time my mind, my doubts and my fears shout no. I have no idea how I’d meet anyone else or what I’d say if I did. I have no idea about any of this and all this worrying and thinking I’ve done in the past week isn’t really helping.

Regardless of whatever happens, the choice is mine. And though I do recognize that I really rely (a bit too much) on the approval of others, I have to trust that those closest to me will support whatever decision I make. And I need to let myself make that decision, without basing it off the opinions of others.

Even though I’ve been searching for the right answer, through talking and blogging and praying, I think I’ve come to the realization that there isn’t one. There is no right answer. That’s why it’s a risk.

I can’t know that my choices are going to be the best ones. I have no idea how they are going to affect my future or if they are going to hurt me or make me happy. There is no guarantee that whatever choice I make is going to be the right or the wrong one. Because that’s what risk is. It’s making a choice and sticking with it even though you don’t know the end. It’s trying to decipher the feelings in your gut and learning to follow them. It’s talking with those involved and learning to trust them. It’s finding a balance between hope and logic.

At the end of the day, it’s weighing everything I’ve been describing and more, and then finally making a choice, trusting yourself to make the right one. It’s accepting the aftermath and forgiving yourself when you make the wrong one. It’s having the courage to change your choice, if that happens. Or the courage to stay, depending. Or even trusting yourself enough to believe that you made the right choice and believing that everything is good, even when it feels too good to be true.

That realization doesn’t make figuring out my love life any easier. I know that I definitely don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I’m trying my best to follow my heart wherever it guides me (even if that journey is a bit confusing, at times). I’m doing the best I can and I’ll take a small comfort in that. Because all I can do is try and follow my heart, trusting it to guide me true. Even it it leads to failure and ruin, at least I gave it my all.

Hopefully, when I look back at all of my choices, no matter how many were “right” and “wrong,” I’ll be able to take comfort and avoid regret, knowing that I did the best I could navigating this quest called life; amidst every wrong turn, pleasant surprise, lucky break, difficult choice, second chance, mistake, celebration and achievement, I tried and followed my heart.

Can we really ask ourselves to do more than that?


A Sliver of Peace

Overthinking, friends, is a bitch. It’s a bitch that I’ve been dealing with a lot, lately. I won’t bore you with all the fine details, but needless to say, I’ve been overthinking certain aspect of my life lately. A lot. Needlessly. Pointlessly, as there is no point in overthinking all of these things when most of it is out of my control anyway and I should ignore the voice in the back of my head whispering lies and instead just trust that things will work out the way I hope they will; that I’m a person that deserves happiness and is capable of achieving happiness. I know this. I am so totally aware that I am overthinking. Friends, family, both have called me out on it.

Yet I can’t stop.

And today, at work, with the quiet buzz of students working and nothing but a six hour shift to distract me, it gave those worries and anxieties power, as I felt trapped. So much power that I physically felt the stress I was causing myself due to a situation that is partly out of my control. I couldn’t focus on anything. The first hour of my shift was spent looking at everything I needed to do or should be doing–or hell, even wanted to do–yet my body was so pent up with anxiety and worry and fear spawned directly from thinking too much that I was left without an outlet. I was stuck at work, in a public place. I couldn’t escape anywhere else. I couldn’t slip into bed and hope tomorrow I feel better. I couldn’t hide in the shower and let hot bullets of water pelt into my back as I attempt to release my worries through tears safely shed in the comfort of my own home. I couldn’t even go on a run and try to physically rid myself of all this pent up ridiculousness that I shouldn’t be feeling to begin with but can’t help it because I’m so insecure and don’t know what I’m doing. 

Except, there was an outlet. One shiny, glorious and downright surprising sliver of peace: writing a pitch.

On my To-Do list was writing a pitch for THE RESISTANCE, the novel I’m pitching next week to the Pitch to Publication contest. I opened a document to start writing this pitch at the beginning of my shift, but gave up on it because of the knots in my stomach and the stress caused by overthinking things I shouldn’t be overthinking (which is only made worse being hyper aware that your worries are for naught yet they still exist within you anyway). I ate dinner during my break and came back and opened the blank draft again. And I stared at it for a bit. Eventually, I got a sentence down. And then another. I pushed and wrote and focused on the always difficult task of trying to sum up an entire novel into three paragraphs that make it sound enticing, unique and make you want to figure out the end, while also making sure the hook, the stakes, the characters, the genre, the age group and the word count are all included. And then I finished a draft of the pitch and reread it. And reworked it.

It wasn’t until I was tweaking a third read-through that I realized my chest didn’t feel so tight anymore; my muscles not to tense; my mind not so panicked. Granted, all those emotions are still lingering and fighting their way back to the forefront of my mind, even as I write this post, but for a moment there; for a solid 30 minutes of work, I was able to escape it all when I thought there was no outlet available to me, through crafting a pitch about my writing. Something that I normally loathed to do, because I suck at it. Yet in this instance, it gave me peace, even if it was short lived.

Life can get hard, sometimes. Living with insecurities and anxiety and depression and self-doubt and being a worrywort and an overthinker makes life harder than it probably should be, at times. Being aware of that makes it even worse. And there are so many aspects of my life that I don’t have control over; that I have to trust others with, knowing that things might not always work out, even if I desperately want them to. But I take a lot of comfort in knowing that no matter what life throws at me or what I go through (or sometimes put myself through) emotionally, there is one constant, one comfort, I can always count on in my life: my writing. I may never get published, but that’s not what I mean here, when I talk about my writing. My dream of being an author may never come true and a lot of that I have no control over. But that won’t stop me from writing. I’ll never run out of stories I need to pen or the desire to write. And I don’t think life will ever grow too difficult that writing won’t give me an escape or a chance for peace. I will always have that.

And thank God for that.