Inside the Mind of an “Over-Analyzer”

(WARNING: This post may cause you to feel a slight increase in anxiety)

Hi. My name is Britany and I have a problem. I over-analyze everything. I realized this was a problem last weekend when I was on my way to the airport thirty-three minutes before my flight actually took off. You see, normally when I schedule to go to the airport, I ensure I get there two hours before, JUST in case something happens, such as I get hung up in security because I am wearing rhinestone underwear that goes off in the metal detector, or I get off at the wrong stop and have to back track and can’t find my gate, or I run into one of those “long lost friends” that I can’t get to shut up and miss my flight, or I accidentally step in gum so strong that it yanks my shoe off my foot and I have to hobble to one of the kiosks to buy new shoelaces (hey, it could happen!). It’s better to be safe than sorry, so I always try to build in extra time for any of these possibilities.

Packing for a trip is always another interesting endeavor. This last trip I took was to Portland, Oregon, which is somewhere I have NEVER even been close to. So, of course, I contact all of my friends who have ANY connection to the area and ask them what I should bring. The standard response: layers and a rain jacket. So, what do I pack? 10 pairs of socks, five of which are crew and the other five are tube socks (JUST in case I step in a puddle every single day I am out there and need a change of socks), three pairs of jeans, not including the ones I wore there (you never know if you might fall off a curb and rip the only pair of jeans you brought and then you are screwed the rest of your trip), two contact changes (what if you get hit in the eye with a rain drop and your contact falls out and you can’t find it because it is too dark outside?), five t-shirts, three long-sleeved t-shirts, my swimming suit (in case, for some magical and unpredictable reason, the sun comes out and it is 110 degrees outside), flip flops, Birkenstocks, Sperry’s, tennis shoes, a pair of boots (there was no room for the snow boots, unfortunately), a pair of nail clippers, tweezers, replacement nail polish, three different kinds of mascara (you know, just in case one gets lost and the other dries out in the Portland air), a button sewing kit?, four different kinds of gum (minty, original, fruity, and cinnamon, because who KNOWS what kind of mood I will be in), the cherry-red lipstick that I NEVER wear (but who knows if I will want to wear it why I am there so then I have to pack it just in case)…and just remember, this was a Friday-Monday trip…

Oh, and forget dating. I was recently writing a card to someone and spent three day, pondering over how I was going to sign the card. I hadn’t even written it yet. Do I…sign it ❤ Britany, like I do all of my other cards? But, then that might be coming off as too strong. Do I…sign it -Britany? But, then that might come off as ‘too friend-like’, and I definitely don’t want to send that message. Do I…sign it XoXo Britany? But, then that is kind of juvenile and middle-school-like. Do I…sign it ‘Sincerely Britany’? But, then that is kind of formal and old-person like. Do I just not sign it at all and hope he knows who it came from? To cure my anxiety, I think I ended up just scribbling some kind of symbol that could be interpreted in many different ways.

Teaching is also another nightmare. Here is what goes through my head when I am planning lessons: should I…pass out the papers and then tell them to move into groups? On one hand, I can explain the directions, but then moving to groups might be too big of a distraction and they might forget the directions and then I have to repeat myself anyways. But, then again, if I move them first, they will get their blood flowing and be less likely to fall asleep. But, then again, they can only handle one direction at a time. Should I…have them use the red pen or the blue pen to underline their thesis statement? Blue, on one hand, is a pleasing color to the eye, but red, on the other hand, stands out more.

What I am learning, however, is that life is very unpredictable and cannot always be planned for, especially when it comes to relationships and teaching. There are so many factors that I could not possibly plan for, such as traffic, weather, angry birds running across the road, that sometimes, it is best to turn your brain off and go with the flow (which is much easier said than done!).

So, I would like to say thank you to all of my friends and family and room mates and co-workers who have to deal with my constant over-analyzing-ness. Sorry for over-analyzing everything. You really are gems. The good news is, you will get awesome presents, because I have probably contemplated over what I am going to get you, what color I am going to wrap it in, what kind of tape I want to use, for the last six months…

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