Confessions of a Chronic Over Thinker

I’m quite enjoying the theme I have adopted for my 2017 blog posts – nostalgia.

It can be jarring to think just how many years have passed since I left high school, travelled overseas and lived independently for the first time, since I first I lost my first tooth, buried my first pet ( RIP Bruce the Budgie, 1988)

And yes, as the title suggests I have been a long-suffering over thinker. I suspect it first took hold in early primary school and crippled me way into my mid thirties. But to those in the grips of a will I or won’t I crisis – there is hope…I am living proof. Chronic over thinking can take a back seat and you can sit out days, months even years, experiencing life in the here and now, not some repetitive version of a story from the past, or  future.

But, and this is where it gets interesting, the life of a Chronic over thinker makes for good stories, good blog posts, good nostalgic writing – but do take note – I do not pine for version of myself that is evident in the tale I am about to tell.

It was 2002 and I was living in Edinburgh Scotland. I was working at a Pub on the Royal Mile, living in the staff quarters of a hostel ( ?) and surviving on a diet of cider, hot chips and backed potatoes. I was plump, I was happy.

On the rare occasion that I was not rostered on the weekend shift at the pub, I took it upon myself to book an overnight trip to the Scottish Highlands – visiting the towns of Aberdeen, Inverness, the famous Loch and hairy cow spotting.

I was travelling alone and don’t recall the nationality of the other tourists on the bus….it was not fully booked but I do recall one bus patron – Frank from Germany. Tall, good-looking and apparently, taken by me.

It so happened that the feeling was mutual. We paired up pretty quickly as bus buddies, took turns of taking solo tourist photos at all the hots spots and shared a pint or three that night.

Our connection was just plain sweet and at the conclusion of the two-day escapade, Frank asked me to join him on a day trip to St Andrews the following Monday.

We swapped mobile numbers and parted ways.

And then it started – the over thinking.

Whilst it was ALWAYS present on the Highland Tour,I had done my best to relax in his company, to lose myself in the crisp air and stunning natural beauty that surrounded me.

But apart I tortured myself at EVERY possible opportunity.

The story I told myself went along these lines –

  • What does he see in me? In a tour setting he was not able to see the real me, the flawed version, the true version.
  • A day trip to St Andrew –  a solo trip, just me and him, the real me with be revealed, he will hate me, I can’t ruin his day!!
  • What will we talk about?
  • What if he tries to kiss me, I am prone to recoil from intimacy in ALL forms….I’m a nutcase, I cannot let him see the real me.

Over and over and over and over….In the 48 hours till Monday, I embarked on this relentless campaign of self-critical chatter.

Monday came and I was right mess. I was panic-stricken, I had not slept, I was on edge and I could not be reasoned with. I felt it was unfair to send Frank a text, lying by saying I was sick and unable to attend the day trip.

So in my wisdom,  I decided to tell him person I was not coming…… I bolted across the Royal Mile, down to Princes Street and to the Bus Depot in my pyjamas and all-weather jacket. My bed hair was pulled back in a pony tail.

I guess I thought if I looked unprepared and unpresentable, Frank would understand why I was not getting on the bus.

I was wrong. Perhaps the language barrier was to blame – actually no, he spoke perfect English…..he just did not understand where the person, whose company he had truly enjoyed only a few days prior, had gone.

I was powerless to explain that either – for at that time in my life, I really had no coping mechanisms to manage my chronic, crippling over thinking ways.

And that my friends, is the end of that story.

I did not see Frank the German again.

He was a tall, handsome man who came into my life for but the briefest of moments in 2003.

And now in 2017, can I look back upon that time in my life and fully understand how I came to find myself in situations like that often. My tendency to over think absolutely EVERYTHING robbed me of so many opportunities to revel in the beauty of the here and now.

Not going to waste anymore time worrying about that!!!

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