Have you ever had one of those moments when it suddenly dawns on you that your brain is having a conversation with itself without any conscious effort on your part?
It happens to me every time I stop and pay attention to what my mind is doing.
My thoughts think for themselves. If I don’t have something demanding my undivided attention, my attention divides itself into a million pieces and gives each piece a full inspection. I know, it sounds crazy. See what I mean though? My brain can barely finish processing one idea before it flies into an over-analyzation autopilot.
I’ve always been this way. You know the type. I’m the girl who can barely get past “How’s it going?” without a fifteen minute pontification of the potential significance of the abstract patterns the syrup made on the waffles at breakfast. I think too much about too many things entirely too deeply and it matters a lot more than it should.
As a child I would hold mock trials in my front yard. My friends never objected. You think I’m being ridiculous and I won’t argue, but yes. It really happened. Regularly, and often.
It hasn’t changed much with age, either.
I married a lunatic, which wouldn’t say much about the point I’m trying to make except that his lunacy is deeply tied to his obsessive-compulsive need for structure. Predictability. Order. Patterns. His world falls apart if he’s not at least an hour and a half early to wherever he’s going. You think I’m exaggerating; I’m not. His job requires him to be on site by eight o’clock each morning; he’s there by 6:45am every day. In all the years he’s been employed, he has never been later than 6:45am. Not once.
He isn’t paid hourly.
We’re as opposite as two human beings can possibly get. I traveled like a hippie in the gypsy-freedom of my 20’s. I stayed awake until the sun rose regardless of the day of week, sleeping the mornings away in a tent (or simply on a blanket when I didn’t plan ahead and bring the tent, which was more typical) in some various mountainous terrain, where I had intentionally gotten lost the night before, learning the basics of another language or reading an autobiography or working on a term paper or studying for a final or swimming alone all the way across the lake, drinking coffee with dinner and dancing to the silence until I had to return to work or school. Even while working full time to put myself through college, double majoring at that, I never sacrificed the opportunity to live life to the fullest.
Him? He built his credit and trained himself to become the best he could be in his trade. Made sure he kept his lawn obsessively manicured and his vehicle ludicrously detailed, spotless.
My philosophical mind drives him batshit crazy. The more curious I am about the why of things, the more OCD he gets about the how of them. My wonder is gasoline to the furious flame of his irritated ambivalence. It might be hilarious if it weren’t so totally crazy to live out in first person.
This particular wavelength I’m riding all started after a knee-jerk reaction I had to a flippant comment he made, the last time our polarities collided in a fury of spontaneous combustion. I told him he’s miserable because he takes himself way too seriously. He told me I make him miserable because I think too much and I take my thoughts too seriously.
His ‘crazy’ has a way of rubbing off on me; I digress.
I take my thoughts too seriously? Oh please. I take them as they come: all at once, all the time, all over the place and that’s that.
But as I continued to mind-screw his mouth-garbage, processing what was actually being said, an epiphany hit me. This is why I think too much (too deeply, too constantly, about too many things): my brain is searching for patterns in a patternless insanity.
I could’ve peed my pants with a “YES!”-type “aha” feeling when I stumbled upon this video; it hits the nail on the crazy man’s head: …Madness! WATCH IT THROUGH TO THE END.
What makes us who we are? Do you see a pattern?