Wasting Time Thinking

I spend a lot of time thinking. In fact, I probably spend too much time thinking. From the minute I hit snooze on my alarm clock until I reset it at night, my mind is racing. There are very few moments of thoughtlessness during my waking day, if any. I’ve even started to dream more than I ever remember doing.

The issue that I’ve been facing lately is how to deal with the unproductive, or irresolute, thoughts.

It’s Friday night, and I’m at home. I wish I could turn up the music, while I’m writing this, but it’s at a comfortable level. I would do laundry, but the laundry room is closed until tomorrow morning. I would go to a laundromat, but it’s raining rather heavily outside. I’ve got a few beers, and a bottle of bourbon. And, my cat is never too far away.

I could be doing homework, but is that any way to spend a Friday night? I’ll work on this blog post instead, because it’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks now. So, I’ve got my iTunes playlist on shuffle, while I put together a driving playlist, and I’ll spend some time blogging.

Here is a list of the things that I spend time thinking about that take me away from thinking about things that I should be spending my time thinking about:

  1. Women.

I like to think of myself as a creative person. I’ve got a lot of ideas that I’m not doing anything about, and many of those ideas could be materialized as stories or blog posts. I don’t do photography any more – I should spend some time thinking about why – but I still very much enjoy writing. I don’t have a lot of time to write creatively, what with school and all, but I would like to spend time expending my creative energies on organizing words in an interesting, yet communicative and understandable, fashion.

When I start thinking about women, however, I forget about everything else. It’s very interesting to be in my head when I start thinking about women; no other thoughts can enter my mind when I’m thinking about women. I wish I had this type of focus in other areas of my life. To become so wrapped up in undulating and cyclical thoughts is like losing yourself in a forest at sunset.

(I have to admit to being distracted by looking up older R&B songs.)

Women make me crazy. I lose all sense of social convention, and forget that I have a life outside of thinking about the woman who is occupying my thoughts. It’s not that I don’t get the rest of my life done, but the attainment of my goals is often impeded by these distracting thoughts.

Let me be clearer, falling in love is dangerous to me. If I’m being even clearer, I’m not in love right now, but I’m in the mood to be. This mood has my eyes open, and my thoughts wandering.

Here’s the kicker: when I start thinking about what falling in love might be like I call on my memories of being in love to inform my imagination.

This, ultimately, is preventing me from moving forward. Why? Because I can’t envision a future that is not informed by my past, despite knowing that I’m not the same person I was when I was last in love.

Those of you who know me, and have known me for a while, will know that I’m as fickle and unregulated as they come. My hedonistic tendencies mean that I’d rather take a nap than clean my room, I’d rather go out with friends than stay home and read, and that I’ll say what’s on my mind when I’m in the right mood. I have said the wrong thing, at the wrong time, to too many people. This fickleness of mine also means that my emotions are as unclear to me as they are to you, the woman affecting my thoughts.

My recourse is usually to just lay it all out for you, as confused and unpolished as my thoughts are, and have you respond, if you’re kind enough to. This, for the guys reading this, is not an effective courting strategy. In fact, it’s quite detrimental. It leads to shame and embarrassment, and gives you just one more thing to start thinking about.

So, what do I do to avoid embarrassment? I brood. I spend time thinking about what might be, what would’ve been, what should be. I play out the scenarios in my head, and depending on how deep my crush on you is it ends either well or badly.

I imagine all sorts of scenarios, but I mostly place you next to me in a situation that I find myself in. I pretend – only in my imagination – to be having a conversation with you about the people that we find ourselves sitting next to. I conjure up thoughts about what you might do first thing in the morning, when you and I are both not excited to be waking up early. I ask Riel (my cat) what he thinks about you when he runs quickly away from me as I try to pet him. I’ll even place two glasses next to each other when I’m preparing a cocktail for only myself.

This world of my imagination is so far removed from reality. I mean, really, what girl will drink bourbon neat? This isn’t the troubling part, however. The worst part is that I don’t act, cleverly or otherwise, on these thoughts that fill my brain.

This, ultimately, is why these thoughts are a waste. What is the point in thinking about something that you’ll never actually do or realize? The whole point of life is to experience it.

But, in the end, it’s Friday night and I’m writing about what I would rather be having a conversation about. And, well, it won’t be time wasted when I’m sitting on a love seat, watching a movie that I don’t want to see, and loving every minute of it.

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