I rethink things. Too much sometimes. For example, I had intended to revisit the TV Time Loop episodes I'd watched before (here, here and here) for this blog when summer break came. Watched two off the top of the randomized list yesterday and then looked back at the previous entry that included those two and I'm not sure I really added anything especially notable in the more recent discussion. Rethinking my actions, or worse yet, overthinking actions before I've even committed to them--this has been a problem of mine for a while.
Today we--the speech team--had our first of four planned summer practices. One of the team-building exercises we did involved "fear rocks." Basic idea, at the beginning of practice everyone got a rock--mine was particularly big and kinda wedge shaped, the kind of thing that would cause blunt force trauma a bit too well if it came to that. On that rock, we each wrote a fear we had regarding the upcoming year in forensics. Then, we had to keep that rock with us the rest of the practice--about four hours. Weren't even supposed to set it down, though you could put it in a pocket (mine would not fit in a pocket). At the end of the day, we gathered to discuss not our own fears but someone else's rock selected out of a pile. And, we left the rocks behind when we left for the day. It's a simplistic symbolic exercise, but it works almost because it's so metaphorically on-the-nose.
For me, there was a weird extra element...
First--and this is going to relate to Groundhog Day, just for the record--you should know that what I wrote on my rock was standing back like last year. This past year was my first official year as a coach and I had a tendency to do just that, to stand back when I should have been stepping forward. I was in charge of oral interpretation but even on the oral interpretation days in class, when Sean--another coach--might start talking about something related to speeches people were working on, or would start explaining something or other about oral interpretation, I would let him take over. It's a common thing for me. I've always got something to say, and as a teacher and a coach this past year, I've always had advice for my students, but if someone else stepped up, I got out of the way.
Stepping back to let life go on around me has been my modus operandi for my entire adult life and before. And--here comes the Groundhog Day link--unlike Phil Connors, I didn't substitute shallow womanizing and... hm, I almost said that I didn't shield myself with sarcasm and casual insults and a sardonic wit, but that's been my thing for as long as I can recall having a thing. Phil's a special case... or I'm a special case. Right now, I'm not actually sure. I'm also not actually sure I'm the same case I used to be. Phil, special case that he might be, pre-loop, sought out meaningless connections with the women around his office, and probably women he met at bars or wherever (I don't get the impression that picking up someone like Nancy Taylor is a new thing, only the specific methodology utilized) because he cannot manage real, meaningful connections with people, women especially. He could probably use a therapist regularly, not just that one time during the time loop.
I saw one regularly after my wife and I first separated, and since I have the tendency to overthink things, figuring out my problems was not the hard part--I'd mostly figured out the origins of my issues on my own (confirmed by the psychiatrist)--rather figuring out ways to deal with them and get on with my life was the hard part. I don't let things go easily, probably because I spend so much time with everything in my head. For me, sometimes it seems like every little thing is a fixture that will be hard to lose. It's not a time loop that would scare me or disrupt my life; it's the end of that time loop, the return to the possibility of new things.
I wrote a while back about a fellow grad student I was interested in. I overthought the possibilities and the approach and by the time I finally let her know of my interest it was too late; she was seeing someone else. Opportunity lost. Story of my life for the most part.
Anyway, the weird extra element, as I put it above, was this: when someone else had my rock and Geof, the head coach, suggested we just leave the rocks behind and go home, my impulse was to retrieve my rock and take it with me. A silly little metaphor and I'd grown attached.
Picture me shaking my head, disappointed in my self of a little more than six hours ago. The thing is, I'm not particularly disappointed in myself of late. Even that weird moment today when I wanted to take my rock with me--hell, even now writing about it, which means I'm overthinking it all once again--this doesn't disappoint me, per se.
It doesn't disappoint me, present tense, because I think I've got a better handle on my life today than I've had in a long time. Like when I saw that psychiatrist a couple years back, I know what my problems are. I also have figured out ways to deal with most of them. On an ongoing basis, I mean. Some of my problems, I think, are embedded so well in the foundation of my being that there is no way to get rid of them. I acknowledge and I work around. And, life goes on. Day in, day out. The time loop of reality.
Today's reason to repeat a day forever: to have nothing to fear... except then I wouldn't be human anymore, and where's the fun in that?