Overlooking Overdoing It

I have a tendency to over do things. I over think, I over-analyze, I over-obsess, I live my life in an overly manner. I push myself above and beyond, I demand more of myself than I do of anyone else, and I tend to believe I’d rather over-do something than to give little effort.

But the problem with challenging myself and placing pressure on my success, my love life, my appearance, and anything else is that no matter how hard you work, how must trust you develop, or how many miles you run – sometimes, it just isn’t enough. Because unlike my severely independent and control-freak self will tell you, there are so many factors in life that you have no control over.

You can control your efforts, but you can’t control the results. It’s a simple truth but one that’s really difficult to accept. As women, especially the type-A personality that I am, I don’t accept what I perceive as failure well.

By being a person who does things in terms of more and better and faster and stronger – constantly searching to improve myself and my life, when I hit a stumbling block or a bump in the road, I let it go overboard. I start devising the worst case scenario in my head, I go over each word I said, each step I took, each email I sent, each kiss I shared, each everything that could have affected the outcome…and I criticize myself. Instead of encouraging myself to move forward and visualize the opportunities on the horizon, I only see what could have been.

I imagine what the success of the failure would have looked like and fail to see any successes to come.

But if I continue this pattern, I’ll have a long list of all the wrongs and no account of the rights. I won’t see all the progress I’ve made because I’ve been wise enough to find a new chance instead of focusing on the one that was missed. I won’t see the person I’ve grown into because I’ve faced disappointment but not let it get the best of me. I won’t realize when something is remarkable because I’ve seen when something was falling to pieces. I won’t be thankful for what I have if I never watch what I love walk away. I won’t consume the taste of sweetness if I never have to swallow my sour pride.

So what’s the trick to stay onboard instead of going over? What’s a gal to do when the easiest reaction is to overanalyze, over think, and over-exert her emotions to compensate for the pit of pity she can’t shake?

You stop looking to the outside and you go inside.

You reevaluate your priorities. You reestablish what you want and what you need by figuring out the difference between the two. You reenergize your spirit by treating yourself to positive thinking and indulgent compliments paired with sensible criticism.

Because while you’re looking in, you’ll find that all the overtime you put in, all the overtures you made, all the times you felt overlooked, and all the plans you had that may had been over your head, will work themselves out. And while all this worry and frustration won’t be over forever, you’ll find yourself less focused on being more and find peace in being present.

That is, in an overly excited way, of course.

You Probably Think This Post is About You

I’m overly analytic of nearly everything in my life, which is probably the reason why I’ve been able to consecutively blog for such a long time. My friends always comment on how they’re amazed how a single moment can cause me to spew a 1,000 word post in twenty minutes. I can’t explain it other than I feel like I was born to write because it comes easier to me than anything else and I’m lucky to have it as my day and night job.

So, with idle time this weekend after finally finding the perfect apartment for me (more details to come), I spent some time in the back-end of this blog, figuring out what I could about the people who visit and the readers who comment. Always interested to see what works and what doesn’t, I went through the posts to see what topped the list. As trite and overly cliché as it seems, I was under the impression that the most read and most liked daily journals would be the ones I considered empowering and demanding. The ones that slap you in the face with their boldness and their dedication to being fiercely single and satisfied. The posts that I wrote when I felt completely content being alone and celebrated the fact that any opportunity was around the corner, and if it wasn’t, I was more than okay stomping to the beat of my own Louies, while telling the man of the hour or the man of forever to hell with himself.

And as I usually am when I think I’m right about something – I was totally wrong.

Apart from the blog that made it to the homepage of WordPress (and is primarily the reason many of you are reading), “Frankly, I Do Give a Damn” – the most read posts have to do with one thing and one thing only: Mr. Possibility.

This discovery not only annoyed me but confused me: why is he the breakout star of my blog? Why do I receive more traffic when I write something about what he does or how I feel about him? Why does he matter so much in a space that’s supposed to be about declaring independence and breaking away from whatever bounds restrict us to the need to feel completed by a dude? In a blog that’s about the journey to learning to love myself, why is everyone so concerned with who I possibly could be falling for? Why does Mr. Possibility get all the attention?

Equally intrigued and irritated, I painstakingly went back through all of the top 20 posts, 13 of which mentioned, referred or described Mr. Possibility in some fashion, and re-read them. I looked for trending topics and themes, the style of writing and the language I used. I tried to pinpoint my tone or the overall conclusion I reached by the end of the topic-of-the-day. I read through comments, I checked the links I linked to, and even Gchatted a few friends to see if they would join me in my rather unimportant research.

Could it be that everyone loves a love story? I suppose if there was a “Mr. Big” of the blog, Mr. Possibility would hold that title. We did see a Broadway show starring Chris Noth, so maybe that analogy isn’t so far-fetched. Nevertheless, is it the possibility that something more could unfold, that I could find happiness in romantic love while blogging the e-pages of the endless tangled web of WordPress? Is it the ups and the downs we’ve experienced, the drama that’s unnecessarily unfolded, and the fact that the ending is undetermined as happily ever or undefined? Is it that we relate to a character who shows promise, who grows on us, who we give a second chance to, or even just a first if we’re so jaded that we often refuse to give anyone a window into our hearts? Is it from the lovers who want to see love, or the haters who would like to see me crumpled on the cold New York pavement, that so many hopefuls like myself, have found themselves, in the decades before?

Or is it the honesty? Is it the willingness to go on record (even if it is just my own) and say how I feel before a world of strangers? In front of people I’ve never met and most likely never will? Is it that while you can share your name on an online space that belongs to you, there is a sense of anonymity in blogging – real names, real emails, real anything not required to begin, comment, or share? Is it inspiring, entertaining, and comforting to read about the dating dilemmas we all have in common? Is it that we’ve all felt the same things at different points in varying towns from California and Georgia to South Africa and London? I mean, isn’t any man a Mr. Possibility until he proves to be the right guy or another in the long list of Mr. Wrongs?

Or is it me?

In re-reading through the posts, trying to take an outsider’s perspective on my own experiences, I discovered that somehow, along my path to self-love, I took a different direction. Instead of being a single gal parading about town, dismissing guys as quickly as I tempt them to buy me a drink, I found myself pretty connected to one person. And while my blog was always about finding self-love, with or without a relationship, when the prospect of being a couple doesn’t seem so scary or so far away, things change. Along with priorities and perspectives. And hype is built, along with hopes and plans of what a future could hold regardless of how likely or unlikely such a thing is. Somehow in those pursuits, I found myself swept and carried away, writing and rambling about my love life because that’s what I’ve always done. That’s the pattern. When someone new and exciting who brings me joy in a way others haven’t before, I get excited. The only difference now, is that I have a record showing the progression and the story I’m writing with Mr. Possibility merely a click away. There is no hiding from a published post, no matter how hard you try.

And so I realized again, as I tend to realize quite frequently these days, that I’m human. That when I like someone, I don’t hide it. When I’m upset, I write it. When I’m pleased, I proclaim it. When I’m tired, I damn it. When I’m hurt, I walk away. And when a Mr. Possibility is a possibility, I pour so much into the post, so much of that brutal honesty that readers seem to click.

I may have been so vain to think this post, this blog, is about me and maybe I was right. But popularity apparently is not based on the blogs that entice independence and make me look powerful in my super high heels. It is tracked, however, by the ones that get – and deserve – the most attention because they get to the heart of the matter. The heart of the person writing. The heart of the person who is dwelling in possibility or in impossibility, depending on the day or the time or the guest star.

And Mr. Possibility is currently deserving of that role, even if the length of his stardom is undetermined. My guess is though, should he lose, gain, or denounce that title, and another man takes it – the clicks will be just the same. I mean, he, just like me, can’t be as vain to think this post is about him. It’s about every Mr. Possibility who has ever been a possibility for any Lindsay or any anyone who has ever saw a glimmer of love that could make a someone into a something.