I've written in a journal since before 1991. These days some of that has gone onto this blog. The great advantage having these tombs of nonsense is that I can use them to recognize patterns in my life. One of the things that I want to get good at for myself and others is recognizing patterns. It's good for a future counselor to recognize them, as well as, identify why they are there.
For most people, me included, this is a hard thing to do. I am blind to some of my patterns. Are you? I can recognize the pattern that I have liked coffee, swimming, and reading since before 1992. That's good self knowledge, but not really the type of pattern I'm talking about.
How about this one. I can recognize in every journal since 1992 there are laments about a relationship with some girl. [That's not the pattern I am getting to, that's just being a 'mo I think] In 1992 it was Lora, cute brown haired piano player who I worked with at camp. In the first half of my journal I wrote about seeing her, talking with her, praying with her, wishing she would hug me...again... every single day until the end when I wrote about how I smothered her. Is anyone really shocked? This was my pattern.
Now this is a pattern I had, and don't have anymore I am proud to say. And I worked on it really hard in counseling because it caused me a ton of self hate. A ton. I was working on it years before I even admitted to myself I was gay.
The pattern that I haven't changed and have just recognized again reading this journal is that I don't know how to relax and not think. While reading my 1992 self I think that if I had been able to just chill, not analyze, and play a bit, my little 1992 self would have been sooooo much happier, healthier..... It would have been totally inappropriate to flirt with Lora since she was straight, but I also don't think "holding hands and praying" and "talking about our relationships with God and each other" was quite the thing either.
I have been told a lot that I think too much, I need to relax, I analyze, I question too much. You would think that I would be aware of this pattern, but I forget, because it's just what I do. So after last week when a nearly perfect stranger told me the same day she met me that I analyze too much, I've determined I need to learn to chill.
How do other people do this? I watch movies, go out with friends.... I guess the issue is anything, even the most funny silly thing causes me to go deep and start questioning. Ironically therapy is a place where you are suppose to think and question and talk about all this....so I wonder how to work on this in counseling. Or in the future how to help other people work on this?
I should paint more. Painting isn't about thinking at all. Hmmm.