overthinking overthinking


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overthink /əʊvəˈθɪŋk/ 
-to spend more time thinking about something than is necessary or productive 

"Your brain is going to end up your worst enemy." My mum repeated this sentence like a broken record for as long as I could remember. A fast reader and always top of my class, I was often described as 'clever' and 'smart' since I started school. I thought that was what my mum meant when she kept echoing the same sentence. It took me years to realize that being smart wasn't the case - or at least not in the way I thought it was. 

You know those brainstorming trees that teachers made us do when we were in grade school - the ones where you would pull out 'branches' of related topics that came to mind when mentioning the core issue? That's quite graphic translation of how the brain works - some people just have a better concentration focusing on a particular thought path. I was never one of those people - sure, I'd be able to concentrate, but more often than not, I'd end up firing 10 questions when presented with a simple one that could normally be answered within seconds. A simple question was never simply solved in my head - I always had to complicate the easiest 1+1. 

I didn't think this overhyped reaction of my brain would be a problem until some years back. Long story short, I realized I single-handedly screwed up 80% of my personal relationships with people because I just had to overthink everything. Nothing was a simple gesture, there wasn't a word choice that didn't have a reasoning behind it. I spent many 3 A.M.s lying awake, staring at the ceiling, trying to decipher every single move and every syllable. 99% of the time, I would just drive myself half-mad without any results. I never thought I was overthinking - at least not until a friend who I thought was the overthinker, knocked me in the head when she said that she was the tip of the iceberg when compared to me. Otherwise put, your over-thinking could sink about a dozen Titanics

The most useless but valuable advice people give me is Don't overthink it. They know I'll never take that advice - not because I don't want to, but I just don't know how to not overthink things. But they say it anyway, because 97% of the time, it's the solution to the self-induced stress I'm dying under. I'm still a thousand miles and more away from not overthinking things, but I do keep a reminder that sometimes things should just be taken at face value, and not everything is a labyrinth. 
I don't need to plant a conspiracy behind a simple gesture, and I don't need to have my brain step in and screw up my personal life. I'm working on controlling my overly wild thinking track to a less insane and crazed state. Sometimes 1+1 does equal two. Sometimes, it is just that easy. 

However, while I'm burdened with the talent of over-thinking just about everything, I was also blessed with the superb ability of compartmentalizing - I think the forces of the universe took pity on me when they decided to give spice up my brain activity. While I lose more hours than I sleep over agonizing on how to make my life harder than warranted, it rarely spills over to the daytime as I'll tuck everything in a small drawer when the sun hits the earth. So while I've lost relationships because I overthink things, I've saved a lot even more important ones because I know how to compartmentalize the worries that have me piling on undereye concealer in the morning. 
So in all, I guess it all balances out? I dunno, the universe works in mysterious ways. If that wasn't my worst and sloppiest ending, I don't know what is.
With Love, 
Daphne x