I have a degree in Overthinking. It’s from the College in My Head, which I know for a fact is not accredited, and yet I continue to be a student there. Over the years, this not-fine art of overthinking has probably been the most difficult habit for me to break. I’d say it’s definitely been the most difficult habit for me to break, but then I’d reassess saying ‘definitely’ and probably switch it back to ‘probably.’ Is it easy being me? No. Do I have it way easier than many and create my own stress? Yes! Do I win something for that? A trophy where someone is just gently patting someone else on the back? Probably not.
Here are some examples of how it goes for me: I regularly make decisions about what other people were thinking when they said or didn’t say something to me, only to later find out that they don’t even recall saying the original thing to me in the first place. That’s how much weight the moment had for them. None. Even though I’ve spent hours deconstructing these moments. There have been occasions when I’ve decided that people don’t like me and why they don’t like me during the same period of time that I was their favorite person. Here’s another. Often, when someone says that they have to talk to me, my initial instinct is that they’re either going to break up with me or fire me. That’s right around when I try to remind myself, I’m neither dating or working for them. My head works way harder than a rocket scientist’s, without the super smart about rocket science part.
Now, does this happen all of the time? No. But it happens enough and one thing I know for sure … it’s a tremendous waste of energy. I have a headache thinking about the headaches I give myself. My Advil has tiny baby Advils that they take when they get a headache from my headache. There should be a self-help workbook to guide you (read: me!) out of this ridiculous pattern. Perhaps it could be loosely modeled after The Artist’s Way. But this one will be called The Overthinkers Way Out: A Spiritual Path to Thinking Less. The book will likely only be purchased by actors and writers, but at least that covers my overthinking ass. I’m assuming everyone else (all of the normal people) can fend for themselves. I picture dental hygienists, architects and biochemists seeing The Overthinkers Way Out: A Spiritual Path to Thinking Less, rolling their eyes and sighing “F**k’n writers.”
I have an idea. Right now I’m going to make a pledge (that likely so so few of you will care about) to try to overthink 25% less than I usually do. That seems a reasonable place to start. 1/4 th less overthinking. Now, I’m just showing off with my fractions. But, a girl’s gotta take it where she can get it, you know? Anyone else want to get in on this hot hot 25% less overthinking action? Vegas just called. They want a piece of this. Nevermind, they just called back. They misunderstood. They thought the bet was pledging to overthink 25% less about who I sleep with. Oh well. I’m still going to really try to stick to this and report back to you how it goes. I’ll also try my very hardest to, in keeping with my new pledge, overthink 25% less about you guys judging me for this column. And for my hair. And … STOP.
Jill “25% Less” Kushner