To what extent do you find yourself preoccupied with your own thoughts and challenged to share your inner world with others? Also, how do you preserve your need for solitude and still make room for the people you love?
I don’t have a need for solitude. That’s…not a thing. I have a need for company and community. I *can* spend time by myself, if I have the internet and/or a book readily available, but my ideal chilling night involves other people. Sometimes I feel like my struggle is more how to give the people I love space for their alone time, rather than how to take alone time for myself. This is probably a privilege, but in the moment it often sucks to feel like I spend my downtime just waiting to spend time with other people.
I’m not one of those people who is always on like 14 different levels in her head — I was telling JJ a couple of weeks ago that my mind is generally a quiet place. It is very easy for me to devote all of my mentality to whatever I’m doing in the moment. However, I do get caught up in my head sometimes, especially when I’m worried about something or trying to sort something out. I often have conversations half in my head and half out loud, much to the amusement of others. I’m a person that requires processing time, which can sometimes distance me from people when I’m wrestling with my reactions to my emotions. I get into these thought-spirals where I feel a (usually negative) feeling, try to assess the depth of the feeling and what other thoughts/feelings/insecurities might be underlying it, then try to determine whether the action or event I am feeling the feeling in response to is significant enough to prompt discussion about the feeling, then try to figure out what I want to say about the feeling and when and how to bring it up in the least harmful way.
I become preoccupied with my own thoughts in moments of heavy self-interrogation:
What am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way? What specific things has this feeling popped up in response to? Am I okay with feeling this feeling, or is this feeling a sign that something is wrong? If something is wrong, is it a substantive something that will still be wrong in 3 days or a month if I don’t say anything, or a fleeting wrong that I’ll have forgotten about by this time tomorrow? Does this feeling mean that I want something to change, and if so, is the necessary change on my end or someone else’s? Do I think the change that I want or am thinking about in response to this feeling is a reasonable request? Should I learn to accept and work through this feeling instead of trying to change the circumstances that have inspired it? How can I express this feeling in a caring way and from a place of love and wanting to make things better without diminishing its negativity?
These are the kinds of questions that take me out of my moments and into a far away place in my head. I don’t know if they’re entirely helpful or not — there must be something to be said for being able to react and respond in real time that I lose with this intense processing.