So, What Do I Do About It?

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I’m experiencing a reoccurring thought that’s a bit confusing and quite out of character. It’s new, and it came out of nowhere. There I was, minding my own business, and it felt like someone threw something at me. It hit me right between the eyes, and I was startled, to say the least. But now that I’ve had some time to nurse the bruise, I have to ask: What do I do about it?

Now that it’s here, it won’t leave me alone. It’s joined the chorus line of repetitive ruminations. Most of these internal musings involve self-flagellation and an incredible dislike of the many sides of my personality. My mental health is a buffet, and my mind is a glutinous fiend. It goes back for thirds, fourths, and when the table is bare, it throws a fit until it’s replenished.

Most of these random thoughts are so old and tired, I shrug them off with a sigh. Sometimes I have to yell, Oh, shut the f**k up! That usually sends them scurrying off for a while. Unfortunately, I’ve only bought myself a temporary reprieve so, I square my shoulders and shake my head. For the moment, the thoughts retreat, and all is quiet.

Ah, that’s better now, isn’t it? I can finally hear myself think. Damn, now that I’m thinking, the thoughts are coming back. It’s a vicious cycle.

The real problem is, the only way to clear these thoughts off is to yell out loud. Silently willing my brain to give it a rest is met with a chuckle of derision. Or what, my mind and asks, what will you do? It’s not like I can press the eject button and catapult my mind to the dark side of the moon.

Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely? Evicting the nightmare tenant in your head and replacing it with the perfect occupant. Quiet, respectful, cheerful, but it still knows how to have fun. It never throws wild parties at 2 AM or trashes the place for shits and giggles. 

What I wouldn’t give to replace my psyche with a more agreeable one. If that was possible, I’d be a happy, happy person.

Sadly, I have to snap back to reality and scold my brain whenever it ventures too far out into the exclusion zone. If you go out and you see a short, square woman yelling at no one? That might be me, telling myself off in a vain attempt at internal harmony. And yes, it’s as awkward as it sounds.

I forget that I’m a person and not an invisible being. People can see me and hear me yelling at the thoughts in my head. Oh, the looks I get! It would be incredibly embarrassing, but I’m a half-decent actress that can fake just about anything. I point to my ear and roll my eyes. Hands-free baby. It’s the age of technology. As long as my hair covers my ear, they’ll never know that I don’t have a thingy-ma-bobber stuck in there.

We’ve all been there, stuck on a call that just won’t end. Some people just go on and on. They love to hear themselves talk. Blah, blah, blah. Who hasn’t wanted to yell, shut up? Add an expletive, and it would feel so good.

Telling yourself off? It feel a little odd and it’s complicated. Take that, you bitch, but enjoy the quiet. You deserve a peaceful afternoon away from yourself. Have a cuppa tea, go for a walk, and treat yourself. You deserve it, you giant pain in the ass. It’s weird, right? I’m not the only one who sees that? 

If I had to put a number to it, I’d say that 90% of my thoughts fall into this category. They’re bothersome, annoying, and aggravating. They serve absolutely no purpose other than driving me nutty. They’re simultaneously my worst enemies and my best friends. I don’t know who’d I’d be without them, but damn, it would be so incredible to see them go.

Do you know what I mean? They’re too familiar and automatic. They drag me down and hold me back. I’d be better off without them, but what would I do with the silence they leave behind?

As I said, I’ve been experiencing a brand new thought, and it’s a bit peculiar. At first, it was quiet and shy. It stood out a little because it was new, unfamiliar, and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Over the last few months, it’s become a little bolder as it finds its place in the clutter, but it isn’t any clearer. 

I’m having a hard time understanding it. The words are straightforward, and they’re in a language I actually speak. Unlike that one thought that might be in Latin, or it comes from a Snoopy cartoon. It’s a rush of syllables followed by a breathy grumble. I don’t know what that thought is trying to convey. But this new one? It’s in English. I should be able to decipher it.

This thought has found its way out of my mouth a few times. It’s one of the rare occasions when I give voice to something that’s banging around up there. It just slips out. I don’t think I can control it. I was walking my dog last night, and I looked up at the setting sun. It came out in a whispered sigh, God, I need a change.

And I do! I need to change things in my life, but I don’t know where to begin. What I’m doing isn’t working for me anymore. It did work for a long time, but now? Now, I just need a change, but I don’t know what to do about it. 

It’s not an insignificant need like, I don’t know, I need a cup of tea or a bra with ice-filled straps. They’d both be amazing, but I can go without. This new need, though? It’s a screaming voice inside of my head that won’t shut up. I can hear it right now, and it’s triggering a sense of desperation. I need to do something different with my time and my life. I need to move, go, do…What? What is it? I don’t know what it wants from me other than change.

If you know me well, then this might make you laugh. I’m the type of person who resists change with a clenched jaw and white knuckles. When it comes to it, I have to resist the urge to throw hands at anyone who dares to bring up that dirty, rotten, no good word.

Ch…Don’t…Cha…I’m warning you… Change. Oh, now it’s on! Take off your earrings, roll up your sleeves, and getting ready to passive-aggressively stare each other down. Did you think I’d really fight you? No, I’m a coward, but you’ll know you’ve been looked at hard.

It’s not something I do or consider doing very often. When it comes down to it, it’s a battle of wills that I reluctantly concede if there’s absolutely no way around it. If I have to change something? Fine, I’ll do it, but I won’t go seeking it out. Hell, I’ve had the same bedsheet for eight years and refuse to buy a new one because what’s a little hole here and there? Change it out for a new one. Haha, that’s funny because it still covers 98% of the bed.

If I struggle to change out my sheets, how the hell am I going to switch out this life for a different one? I don’t know what life I want to live. I do know that this one isn’t working for me anymore. It’s getting heavy, it’s weighing me down, and if I don’t do something about it? I feel like I’m going to drown.

But what do I do? I don’t know, and that’s the biggest hurdle right now.

I’m ready for a change, even though typing those words scares the crap out of me. Change is terrifying. It’s too obscure. It’s in the shadows, and I can’t see what it is. Every cell in my body is telling me to run away, but I can’t move. It’s time. I’m ready. I need to do this. What do I do?

I just stared at my computer screen for five minutes. My fingers hovered over the keys. I bit my bottom lip and held my breath as long as I could. I tried really hard I could come up with some bullshit answer that sounds nice. It might even carry some truth to it, but it wouldn’t be honest.

I guess I can cross self-help guru off any future prospects. Not that I was aiming for that title. It’s kind of obnoxious, and those people are simply good spin doctors. They craft a good soundbite, but trying to put their advice into practical use rarely results in sustainable, healthy change.

Well, that’s been my experience but I could’ve done it wrong.

Are you hearing the same voice? Is there something inside of you telling you it’s time to make a change? I told a friend that I need a change, and she said that she’s heard a lot people say the same thing. Selfishly, I hope she’s right. If there’s a lot of us, then someone’s bound to stumble across some answers. Perhaps they’ll find an actionable step that perfectly accompanies this realization.

I need to make a change. Great, how do I do that? How is followed quickly by what. What is the change I need to make? How do I make that happen? Why isn’t this straightforward? The questions keep piling up.

We’ve all had a rough year and a half. Most of us have spent it alone so, we’ve had a lot of time to reevaluate our lives. We were forced off the hamster wheel, and now that we can get back onto it? I don’t want to, and I hear how petulant that sounds.

I need to change my life, and that need is quickly becoming this feeling of desperate agitation. I can’t sit still. I’m writing this on a Sunday. This is my day to relax, maybe do some cleaning, and not think about anything heavy. But I can’t just sit here. Sitting still makes my skin crawl, and I can feel the panic rise. It cranks up the volume on that one thought and puts it on repeat.

I need a change. This isn’t working. My life isn’t working for me anymore, and I need to change it. How do I do that? Do you have any suggestions? I’ve been looking for a new job and trying to find a hobby. There has to be a way to answer these questions and make a change. 

There has to be, right? Or do I need to yell at my brain again? I’ll do it. I’ll tell it to shut up if I have to, but this feels like one of those things I can’t ignore for too long. It’s really starting to get to me, and I need to do something.

I need a change. I..NEED…a change. It doesn’t matter how many ways I say it or type it. It’s time. I need a change, and nothing has felt truer than these words.


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