I begin by sharing that I’m not sure overthinking is actually something you can do. Over-worrying sure, that can be done and can indeed be extremely harmful to the person doing it. But when it comes to being an over-thinker, I don’t think you’re actually overdoing anything. You’re simply using your mind to contemplate and question shit, which is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.
I’ll preface this post by giving a little insight into my own life– a life that has been lived through the mind of an over-thinker. I’ve always found myself questioning things; the institution of public education, for example, has been a huge topic of question. I wonder, why is it that when I asked why grades are so important the only answer I got, in chronological order, was: “So you’ll be prepared for middle school. So you’ll be prepared for high school. So you’ll be able to get into a good college. So you’ll be able to find a good job. So you can make more money”? Wait, wait, wait… We go through over a decade’s worth (12+ years) of schooling just so we can get a job that will give us a satisfactory amount of money? Something that doesn’t actually have any intrinsic value whatsoever?? So our entire education system, which is supposed to enrich, expand, and enliven the minds of children and adolescents, is actually set up primarily for the purpose of achieving something as superficial as money???
(I know public education is not quite as simple as I have laid out, it just made a good example of my overthinking)
(I do still think it’s kind of bullshit though…)
The paragraph above explains pretty well my being an over-thinker. I spend a lot of time asking a lot of questions that I probably will never get satisfactory answers for. And I get angry through my overthinking, the good kind of angry. It drives me and motivates me. When I feel something is a bit off, or is just blatantly fucked up from a moral/value standpoint, I can’t get it off my mind. There’s no way to somehow attach wings to my thoughts and have them simply float peacefully away leaving me in blissful ignorance.
So, back to my main point then, why has this term “overthinking” become so commonly used, and with such negative connotations?
I think it has to do with the privilege of not having to think at all. So many people go through their days doing the same old shit, talking to the same people, and thinking relatively the same thoughts that have filled their minds for weeks, if not months. They are for the most part comfortable in their routines and have no reason to question why things might be the way they are.
For this group of people, thinkers are bad. Thinkers question the routine. Thinkers demand answers– answers that non-thinkers don’t have because they’ve never had to think about them to begin with. Thinkers create change with their thoughts, words, and actions. Thinkers threaten the privilege of not having to think.
That’s what I have for you with this post, and ironically it is not a very long one.
So to all my fellow “over-thinkers” out there, keep overthinking. Keep questioning, keep challenging, and keep using your mind the way it is supposed to be used. I can’t honestly tell you that the path of being an over-thinker will be the comfortable and easygoing one. You will be met by opposition whenever you use your mind and your voice to ask your questions and speak your truths (apologies for the one-after-another “and” combos).
My hope is that more people will start turning their minds on and really thinking deeply about life, which is so damn complex it really demands nothing less than deep thinking. And my hope is also that all those people who stay quiet and passive on the outside, but have a whirlwind of thoughts and questions spinning around their heads, will find the nerve and the confidence to speak up.
I can tell you that I certainly do not have all the confidence in the world, and regardless of how sure my writing may sound I definitely don’t have all the answers– not even half. The only thing I can tell you with 100% certainty is that I know I’m a person with an active and powerful mind and it would be a goddamn waste not to use it to its full capacity. And that goes for you and me both. Whether people oppose my thoughts, words, and actions or not, it’s vital that I never stop wondering, never stop questioning, never stop contemplating this strange world that we all live in.
This blog is one of the many ways I am using my mind, and I really do hope people are able to enjoy or get some use out of it. And if the reality is actually that no one likes or reads the posts, that’s okay too because I am still somewhat fond of them 😉
DANNY P WRITES