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Overindulging​ In Details

Do you struggle with a compulsive need to justify your actions and/or analysis paralysis? I know I do and it feels like I’m on trial every day. And no lie, I’m exhausted. It is tiring to consistently live in a state of self-defense.

Today’s three big questions: Where did it come from? Why do I do this, now? How can I stop over explaining myself?

Context is king in my book because logic wasn’t welcome in most debates or conversations. Consequences were dolled out depending on erratic mood swings with bouts of violence. It didn’t matter if you could enunciate your feelings on the matter, and fact never beat fiction. The rules for living and disciplining never made any sense.

When your home environment thrives off criticism and every move you make is put under a microscope to analyze on a cellular level why you fucked up and how you should’ve known better, you begin to get defensive. You’re trying your damnedest to be good enough and it’s never enough.

I believe this creates a habit of needing to defend your actions which leads to striving for perfection in hopes you’ll be perfect and free from criticism, which then shapeshifts into analysis paralysis because you can’t move forward unless you’re absolutely sure nobody can come at you from any angle…

Now, as an adult, I feel obligated to give detailed answers to any personal questions thrown or tossed my way where it feels like my actions and/or behaviors are being questioned because I don’t want anyone speaking for me or twisting my words or assuming why I am the way I am.

I don’t want anyone else in control of my narrative.

Here’s the thing though, I can explain myself until I’m blue in my face to preserve how I want to be seen (to prove I’m good enough and smart enough) but it doesn’t matter because people truly are going to believe whatever they want to believe. If anything, over explaining, makes me feel less sure about my decisions.

What I didn’t know then is, it doesn’t matter how close to perfect you come when the person critiquing is looking for negatives, because when you’re only looking for the negatives you’ll find them every time.

And somewhere along the line my want to stay authentic, intertwined with compulsive justification. Being authentic does not require explaining all of your actions, neither does being honest and transparent.

Have you ever Googled, what’s the difference between honesty and transparency just for fun? I did and got this, “ honesty is when you reveal the truth you feel NEEDS to be known. Transparency is when others can see for themselves the truths they feel they need to know.”

Basically, if you live honest to yourself it will show. Not, must say all the things in order to be honest.

So how do I (or you) stop defending and over justifying your answers?

You’re going to hate the answer (because I did, too), but it takes practice and paying attention to when you overindulge with details. And also take the time to remind yourself you don’t NEED to explain yourself to anyone and everyone. 

Be comfortable with silence. Practice confidence, and remind yourself of how many obstacles you’ve already surpassed. You are capable.

Chinese proverb

 

What is Happiness?

Kinda feels like I asked you about String Theory, right? It’s a vague question with no real answer because the truth to this question is different for each person reading this sentence. So how do you even begin to answer it?

Typically I’d blow past this question without giving it much thought because this feels like heavy emotion and homie don’t waste time thinking about emotional crap. Except now my bookshelf is filled with true stories of triumph and self-help, growth and empowerment books, so…here we go. What is happiness to you?

“Happiness is many things to many people. It can be lots of small pleasures, a general feeling of contentment or that moment when your heart soars.” The Little Book of Happiness pg.5

Happiness for me feels complicated because even when I go to answer the question, I don’t trust my answer. So I asked my husband, to stall, of course. What is happiness to you? You feel happy when… “I feel happy when…I’m watching a sunset at the beach,” he said.

My natural response to this question is, “I’m happy to have money in the bank to pay the bills and be in a place where I’m not as poor as I once was three, five, ten, and fifteen years ago.” But does making money make me happy? Not really, I could live with way less because I have. Money doesn’t make me happy, it makes me feel secure, which is comforting, but happy? I don’t know.

When I go to fill in my own, “I feel happy when…” the images that pop up in my head do hold emotion and that shit is uncomfortable. For example, I feel happy when…:

  • Reading a good book in a quiet room, snuggled between a puffy white comforter or blanket
  • Playing Rummy with my Hubs on our couch’s ottoman
  • Getting caught in the rain while running with my pups
  • Cooking a good meal for those who appreciate it
  • Any one-on-one time with my Hubs, actually
  • I love new: traveling to a new place, hiking a new trail, or learning something new always makes me happy

Hmm, maybe I’m the ‘lots of small pleasures’ person listed above. And actually, that makes sense, I’m a moment to moment person which is cool to know and acknowledge. This wasn’t too painful of an exercise except for the trying to feel what my happiness is…LOL.

***For the record, please insert 10-15 minutes of quiet time in between each of these paragraphs if you’d like to get the FULL experience of what it was like to write this thing.

Now, take the time to answer the question for yourself. What is happiness to you? You feel happy when____ .

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.

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Come be my friend on Instagram. I  just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here