So Much

I can pretty much promise you that I have no idea where this entry is going. I believe this is what we call “freewriting,” or a brain dump.

The salad I’ve now eaten for three days straight:

  • Dole organic baby spinach leaves
  • Roma tomatoes, sliced and then sliced again into little half-circles
  • Hard-boiled egg, sliced
  • Bleu cheese, cut & crumbled on top.

No dressing. You don’t need it. You could sprinkle a little balsamic and EVOO (drink!) on it, if you wanted to, but I haven’t. You can grind some black pepper on top if you are so inclined. This is the best salad on God’s green earth. I personally guarantee it. I will probably eat this salad again for dinner, but I’ll have to get some more tomatoes first.

I didn’t come up with the specific ingredients for this salad, but it is possible that I’m craving them because I ate so little during the last few weeks while my fever was raging. Most days, I was lucky if I ate a little container of yogurt, or a cup of soup, or if I made it halfway through a sandwich. Thursday was the first time I ate more than one meal in a day since I don’t know when. Yesterday was the first day I actually ate three meals.

I’ve lost eleven pounds. That might be a nice benefit of illness, but feeling like shit wasn’t really worth the speedy weight loss, and I’m sure it’ll come right back once I’m back to my average everyday terrible nutrition.

I’m still coughing. Yesterday after I posted I went to the grocery store, and as I approached the entrance I was coughing, as you do, and this little old lady I’ve never seen before in my life came up to me and grabbed my arm and exclaimed about how terrible I sounded, and told me to take medicine and buy soup in the store, and told me I was too pretty to be so sick. And I was like, awww, old lady, I don’t know who the hell you are but I want to hug you. This is the kind of thing that generally only happens in the South, and when it does, it makes up for all the times I almost had to strangle someone in the parking lot of the very same store who almost ran me over in his monster truck with a peeing Calvin static blaring bad country music.

Chicago was cold and beautiful and I missed it madly. I rode the El and I rode Metra and I rode in a cab and I got panhandled and I got shoved and I got called sweetie by the lady at Corner Bakery and I stayed in the coolest hotel ever and also in the cheapest cleanest only-slightly-sketchy hotel ever and I chattered in the wind and sweated in the stores and, honestly, loved almost every minute of it. I also spent time with some of my favorite people in the whole world, so all in all it was a good trip, even though I spent a few hours of it at the hospital.

I have a lot of things going on right now, and a lot of things to think about, and a few things to decide. I’m never good at making decisions – sometimes just the fact that I need to make a decision paralyzes me completely. And one of the things I need to decide is something I thought I decided early last week, and then some new information that came to light today made me reconsider that decision. And another of the things is something that I should have known I’d have to think about, but I didn’t, and it shouldn’t be that big of a deal and I shouldn’t be worrying so much about it, but that’s what I do. I worry about even simple decisions to the point that if someone asks me if I’m close to making the decision I freak the hell out and feel pressured and get defensive and unhappy and stressed out about it. I have reacted this way to questions as simple as when I’ll make travel arrangements, or what I’ll do this weekend. I spend more time than you could possibly ever imagine worrying about what the right thing to do is, and what the best thing to do is, and if I ever make that decision and it turns out to be wrong (which happens a lot), I will endlessly go over and over it and ultimately will conclude that I decided too fast, which means the next time a situation comes up, I’ll take forever and two days to decide instead of forever and one day like I did the last time when it all went wrong. I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want anyone to be disappointed in me or angry with me or upset with me. I don’t want anyone to feel bad.

As you can imagine, this tends to complicate things. I should learn to trust myself. I’m better at it than I used to be, but I’m not there yet. In some contexts this is perfectionism in one of its truest forms, and it kicks my ass sometimes. In my current situations, you might call it emotional perfectionism, and there’s no way to win that game.

It was once suggested to me that I find a way to stop searching for flaws in the beautiful opportunities I’m given, and I wish I could say I’ve learned that lesson by now. I halfway wish I could elaborate more on this here, but that would break two of the rules I’ve set for the website.

I wish I could chill out and stop thinking so much.

11 Replies to “So Much”

  1. I have a really hard time making decisions too; from what shampoo to buy to whose house to stay at during the holidays. Someone is usually dissappointed with whatever decision I make.

    You just have to realize that you can’t control someone else’s feelings and then figure out what decision would make you the happiest. At least, that’s what I’ve always heard and am trying to work on right now.

  2. dude… all that spinach?! How are you not like green-shitting your brains out? i tried a spinach salad a d-hall earlier this year and it.. TORE ME UP!

  3. i am also a slow decision maker. usually that means making the right decisions, even if we hurt ourselves in the slowness, right?

    i just got done emailing yoel to tell him i want to visit him (the next time i go somewhere that is not chicago or korea), and that i want to include a side jaunt to you as well. i’ll fuckin greyhound it if i have to.

    look for me on IM if you have chance. i’d love to catch up with you.

    be well. i did something today that i think will please you, once you find out. :-)

  4. I liked the shout-out.

    (Damned rules.)

    And hey, that does sound like a great salad. Maybe I’ll try it sometime.

    [back to lurking…and enjoying the Lake of Fire]

  5. Ok, I’m a guy and we are wont to help solve problems.

    In terms of making decisions, if it is a significant one, write down all the important criteria about an optimal outcome. Next, spell out the key points of the alternatives. Give a number (1 is low, 10 is high) to each of the criteria. Add up each alternative, and go with the one with the highest score.

    This is what I have to use at least once a week to justify an engineering decision, and it transitions well to my personal life. A little to dry? Hey, it helps getting over the frustration and going around in circles, wondering what to do.

    Once I make a decision, I don’t look back. Playing “What if” games is counterproductive, and we are only human to begin with, so perfection is impossible. I’ve made many wrong decisions, but much fewer since I sat down and detailed the alternatives. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s there if you so choose.

  6. I’m with Will, when making a big decision, you can’t look back – and you have to stand by it. And believe me, you HAVE to make the decision based on what will make you happy and not how it will affect others. I found that out in 8th grade. And since then, I’ve found out that once those that might be affected by the decision realize that it was a decision that made you happy, they will come around.

  7. I’m with Annika. As one who tends to make decisions impulsively, I’m always interested in hearing what it’s like from the “other side”, as it were…

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