I’ve been avoiding writing my weekly blog post. All. Day. Long. Y’all ever do that? No? Just me? I don’t believe you… moving on…
Since reading Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” in 2013, I discovered and have worked to adapt accordingly to a quality I’ve always had, but didn’t fully recognize.
I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP).
The term sounds a little weird, in my opinion – like someone who is highly sensitive is extremely emotionally fragile or easily offended by jokes or something. Far be it from me to dispute Dr. Elaine Aron, who coined the term in the mid-1990s to describe those of us having the trait of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS).
It’s more highly sensing, than sensitive, in my opinion – but I digress.
What HSP really describes is a high level of sensitivity to external stimuli. It tends to go hand-in-hand with deeper cognitive processing and emotional reactivity. Sometimes, for me, there is so much sensory input in a given period of time that I’ll feel completely frazzled with no clear, obvious reason why.
This was how I felt today.
I’ve been taking more and more steps to further my burgeoning freelance writing business. I took more baby steps of action this past week alone than I’ve taken since I decided freelance writing is what I want to do for a living. It was exciting! Like, “I’m doing it!” I felt like a badass, butt-kicking queen.
But exciting = exhausting.
Not to mention, Friday was my birthday! I happen to love birthdays; they never get old – even if we do. Ha! I was touched to receive several texts and well-wishes on social media, Some came fairly unexpectedly and those were particularly appreciated. It was actually a very humbling experience, to think that so many took time out of their day just to tell me they were thinking of me and hoped I had a great day.
My husband got a text from me at 11am that I was already Feels Crying.
Birthday night, I was doing a good bit of peopling with lovely friends at dinner. Pretty much all large-scale (uh, a group of 5 or more is large for me) social contact is draining for me- the intersecting conversations and energy, whoa. So, since the drain on my own energy is inevitable, I have to be selective about how and when it occurs so that it’s worth the time it takes to recharge later. Birthdays? Totally worth every minute. It was a great night.
But then there’s the mindset factor.
I’ve been reading the super-popular book, “You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. I expected a light-hearted, funny book that would help me overcome my feelings of self-doubt. I mean, the title promises to do exactly that! Plus, with ‘badass’ and ‘awesome’ in the actual title, I already liked her.
This book is deceptively heavy.
And I mean that in the greatest way. You Are A Badass delivers amazing epiphanies on almost every page, between hilarious childhood stories of sibling torture over Halloween candy, and starting an all-girl rock band, despite not actually knowing how to play any instruments. You almost don’t realize the fierce truths being dropped at every turn. Like, “So often, we pretend we’ve made a decision, when what we’ve really done is sign up to try until it gets too uncomfortable.” It’s shining a light on a lot of old limiting beliefs I’ve held my whole life, and I’ve been journaling to work through what’s bubbling up.
In short, I’m freaking exhausted.
This morning I walked 3 miles on the treadmill while watching ‘Parks and Recreation,’ because that is the happiest show ever, which I love to watch when I’m doing something kind of boring, like use the treadmill. The minute I was done, I stepped off the platform, held onto the handle and cried. Why? Hell if I know. My best guess is the cumulative effects of all of the above.
It took me ten minutes to think of the word ‘cumulative.’ And yeah- I almost cried.