If I were to put a label on two aspects of my personality, it would be these: I’m tenacious, and I’m an overthinker. And it’s the second thing I’m going to focus on here. I know I worry about stuff that other people just do not linger on, not for a second. “Hitler’s Painting” was an article I did specifically to address an instance of that. I have been told, since a very young age, “you’re thinking too much about this.”
And, yeah, they’re right—I think. It’s something I’m learning not to do as much. But there’s a good side to it; a positive spin to the trait. Overthinking means calm in some ways, and usefulness in others.
I see it this way: I overthink about a lot of things, so, if I’m not worried about something, then it’s super fine. Like, if I’m not concerned, then it really is safe and good. It’s an assuredness, in a sense.
And then there’s the upside. Being a planner. A schemer. A person good at keeping spinning plates. I mean, for books, I keep track of worlds and characters. My mind is familiar with holding pieces of a puzzle. I keep track of ways stuff can fail, issues that might arise, and what I call “danger points.”
Plan around failure—and then you can’t easily fail.
I’m not the sort to allow a problem to linger. Unresolved stuff drives me mad. For my own sanity, I work toward sorting shit out fast, and with maximum effectiveness.
Sure, to some, it makes me seem a bit odd, a bit paranoid, and I know I’ve upset people because they really would have not even known about the “danger points” or the possibility of failure had I not said something. Ignorance being bliss, as always.
But, eh, it’s how I’m wired. And I do my best to prevent problems for others when I can—even if they don’t notice that a crisis was averted. I’m happy to help with that.
Now, reader, don’t think I’m promoting overthinking. I’m not saying it’s something people should aim for—certainly fucking not. I would have a lot less stress if I was not always thinking too hard with things. But I don’t find it to be an inherently negative trait. I find admiring stuff in oneself—if one’s ego remains only reasonably inflated—is not a bad idea. It’s easy enough as it is to become critical of oneself, I see no reason to add to that.
And, besides, overthinking about overthinking goes nowhere.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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