My Anxious Mind!

I was sitting on the plane back from Boston to San Francisco, enjoying my free snacks from JetBlue (PopCorners or bust), when I had this “great” idea that I was going to draw an outline of my brain and then fill it in with the various things I think most about. I then realized that identifying the primary themes/thoughts/topics that take up the majority of my “brain space” would be exceptionally taxing and, after having slept less than five hours last night, too difficult to undertake. (Basically, I figured I’d have to identify what I care most about in this world, which seems like a daunting task even after a solid night’s sleep.)

So, after ruling this more gargantuan endeavor, I decided to instead fill in the brain with thoughts I have on a regular weekday morning upon waking up. Learnings:

  • I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts
  • I could have kept writing for hours probably, if not for my limited “brain space” on the paper (is this… a metaphor?)
  • This page only represents the first ~five minutes of my day. No wonder I’m exhausted by 8am?
  • No wonder Thomas thinks I’m crazy…

Another reaction I had to the “finished product” was frustration: why do I always frame thoughts in terms of “I” or “me”? Why is it always about how feel, or what think? I hate that I do this, because I so desperately want to believe I’m not a selfish person, and the genuine majority of my thoughts and anxieties in life are centered around others (“What can I do to make them happy today? Am I making a difference? How is ___(fill in the name of friend/family member/possibly even more peripheral person here)? Am I making others’ lives better? Am I making the world a better place?). Should this thought framework be something I adjust? Can I focus more on others when I’m less wrapped up in my own perceptions of things? Am I a good person?!

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