In which we write stories

Something I feel like I’ve been talking about a lot lately in my personal life is my tendency to let my thoughts run away from me. It’s a daily occurrence that at some point, I will think too fast and lose my footing in reality, just for a moment. A coworker and I were having a conversation a month or so ago about her New Year’s Resolution to practice mindfulness. This stemmed from a similar problem she struggled with, that her thoughts, often worries, bloomed in her mind and spread too quickly to avoid her own pessimism.

For me, I let myself plot out all sorts of hypotheticals. I can’t even remember how many conversations I have thought about or planned in my head. Conversations that I knew I might never have, either by choice or by circumstance. Sometimes, usually when I’m excited about something, I think about all of the other good things that could come of that something. My mind can be a place of beautiful ideals, as well as reminders of the reality around me.

Last night, some friends and I had an amusing conversation about my cousin and his best friend. Right now, they’re in first grade, but I’m convinced I’ll be at their wedding sometime within the next twenty years. My friends and I, twenty- and thirty-somethings, talked about their growing up together, about their wedding, about when and how they’d realize they were “more than friends.”

And I couldn’t help but think that it all sounded like something out of a book. Because we were making it up, we were writing a story. And maybe that story will resemble the path that my cousin plods upon over the next two decades. And maybe it will look more and more like a lovely fiction. But, part of the human experience is dreaming.

For me, that’s where the runaway train in my mind comes in. I can let myself think and think and think to exhaustion because it’s part of who I am. And it’s a part of living – thinking about what you want or don’t want or who you want to be or don’t want to be. I don’t always feel so solid in my convictions that I can decide these things without due process. I need to play around, feel my way through the words and actions first. And that’s why I think the way I do.

I’m writing my stories.

This was originally written in April of 2014.

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