I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed. Lately my dreams have felt like long periods of forced socialization: I find myself dreaming that I am at a party, a group audition, an auction, a club; the location doesn’t seem to be important only the fact that it is always filled with people. In the language of the subconscious mind I suppose this is probably symbolic of stress since there isn’t much that I can think of that is more stressful than spending long periods of time among crowds of people. What is an introvert to do when even sleep becomes an exercise in social chiropractics?

For a while I was bound and determined to write down my dreams. I hoped they might show me some meaning in my life that would make the unbearable aching and distraction of the change-of-seasons more tolerable. I gave up, though, when I found myself writing the same thing over and over again. If I was going to have recurring dreams, why couldn’t they be portentous or at least exciting instead of so… routine. Routine anxiety. How underwhelming.

Know what else is underwhelming? The feeling that you get when you feel like nothing that you do seems to make any difference. This time of year I get that a lot. I think it has to do with the time change and the weather hovering for days on the brink of breaking. In my life it is like spring has to break through a crust of black ice around my brain before I can think again and until then it fills up my brain space with all the creaking, snapping, crushing pressure of boredom and insecurity. I’m not sure which is worse- having more items on my to do list than hours in the day or having more hours in the day than I have accomplishments to fill them.

So I wake up stressed. I struggle to concentrate all day. I go to bed exhausted and aching from top to bottom for no valid reason. And people wonder why I hate the spring! There is a happy ending to this story, though: you might think that for starting each morning with a heaping helping of brain-static that I’d be a wreck right now, but not so. It turns out that all it takes is one warm day to finally balance things out in a happy medium. Today in particular I found that I was a lean, mean, task-mastering machine. For having a to do list as long as my arm I actually seemed to make progress for the first time all week. Maybe this is a good sign that I’ll just blaze through everything else that I have to accomplish this weekend. I feel whelmed. I always liked the idea of being “whelmed” not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed, just whelmed. I’m feeling pretty whelmed right now- and it feels pretty good.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 18, 2011.

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