For the overthinkers

I think it’s safe to say that–by looking at my writing patterns–I love thinking. Be it on purpose or not.

In real life, I even overdo the thinking process. Sometimes, it forced me to be too careful with things, because it may lead to unwanted consequences.

It’s a gift and curse at the same time. I can anticipate things, roughly predict what will happen if I do something, it also helps me in learning as I can connect a dot with another dot quickly. But contrary to that, this overthinking habit can lead me to be a timid and too careful person, as I’m worried the condition I’m facing is so fragile that it can break with any slightest touch.

Of course, this habit is not wholly given. It consists of layers of what happened to me and what I learned so far which constructs who I am.

In retrospect, I’m not that proud with what I went through, though. This overthinking habit can be traced back to the year of my junior high school days. Back then I love watching sinetrons (soap opera), there was not a bunch of protests on sinetrons in my day, so I keep on watching it, even fell in love with one of it.

One thing about sinetrons, is that it embraces overthinking by creating myths that not only happened in one sinetron, but repeated in others. For example, if a (framed) picture of someone you love falls or broken, there must be something bad happening to them. Be it plane crash, car accident, or anything you could never think of. It happened to me back then, when my father was having a domestic flight and he didn’t call me when the supposed time came. You know what I did? I searched the internet for recent plane crashes and even cried for thinking that my dad might have lost somewhere in Bermuda.

But minutes later he called and he said the flight was delayed several minutes, since he’s already onboard so he turned off the phone while waiting.

That kind of thought solidified in my mind. This can be said as the start of this overthinking chain.

The next overthinking phase happened when I stumbled into Taylor Swift. Come on, boys of my age likes thrash metal; punk rock; alternative rock or anything while I’m sitting in the corner listening and shivering over Long Live and its magical lyric. I happen to like Green Day, Muse, Eminem (second to Taylor Swift) and all, but I don’t even know why Taylor Swift stuck the most to my head.

I kept it hidden for years since 2009-ish, and I can openly confess that I liked Swift in early 2014, when she held a concert in Jakarta. That was my first ever concert experience, by the way.

Another moment like those came also in early 2016, when I became infatuated (haven’t touched one year) to Korean musics and shows. I already know several Kpops back in 2010, but I wasn’t that in love like what I do now. Things was unbeknowingly turning around so fast. Now I even know a lot of words in Korean. But again, my gut raises a doubt about keeping things in secret, because you might face something unwanted in the following time.

However, I beg to differ. Somehow keeping it a secret is a sin, it’s something you know you cannot hold by yourself while knowing there are people out there who pay no single damn about what people say, and I sat there chickening out worrying something amorphous and have a slight chance to happen? No way, sir.

Fortunately, people are not like what I perceived. They either don’t have problem with it; don’t care; or keeping their despise on their heart. But seeing it, I am somewhat relieved. Plus, my girlfriend also likes the same music as I am, so, why should I worried?

This overthinking also affects my love of writing. I mean, it pushes my inner critic to be unrealistically perfectionist. When I write something, I always think that my writings are mediocre, or somehow do not fulfill the minimum criteria of a pile of words to be called as “writings”. Often times I thought that this is just a doodle of words.

But then something strikes me yesterday. Following last post, I bought Haruki Murakami’s Wind/Pinball. In the opening, Murakami explains how he got into writing novel and create such a beautiful writings. He wrote:

“To tell the truth, although I was reading all kinds of stuff–my favorites being nineteenth-century Russian novels and American hard-boiled detective stories–I had never taken a serious look at contemporary Japanese fiction. Thus I had no idea what kind of Japanese novels were being read at the time, or how I should write fiction in the Japanese language. For several months, I operated on pure guesswork, adopting what seemed to be a likely style and running with it. When I read through the result, though, I was far from impressed. While my book seemed to fulfill the formal requirements of a novel, it was somewhat boring and, as a whole, left me cold. “If that’s the way the author feels, I thought dejectedly, a reader’s reaction will probably be even more negative. Looks like I just don’t have what it takes. Under normal circumstances, it would have ended there–I would have walked away”

He carried on by telling the readers that he was not good at creating words in English, his vocabulary was limited at that time, as well as knowledge about the syntax. While at the same time, he had a complex thought and thousand things running in his head. He found out that a novelist named Agota Kristof, born in Hungary, who happen to wrote a novel in French and win prize, also in the same boat as he was.

His story gave me such an epiphany of how life is not limited to my perspective. I do aware of motivational images attached with quotes, but the longer I live, the more I know that not all motivational quotes can give you a boost, and not all motivational quotes are…. motivational. They do have their own niche.

Before the story strikes me, I always write with a hope that I can impress people with my pretentious and avant-garde words. Expecting likes or feedbacks with “that’s a good writing!” inserted to it. I did get some positive feedbacks, but only from several people who happen to stumbled into my writings. Which most don’t. To write like that is a solemn torture. Because I forced ideas to grow in an unusual and premature fashion.

Most of my written fictions were written within 1-2 hour, with raw ideas that are continuously filled my heads whenever I write. So it’s like… *type* *type* *type* “Oh okay from here I should go with this twist…” “or should I prolong it?” *type* *type*

Again, at this time, I overthink too much. Sometimes the thought of writing a novel or just a short story crossed my mind, but this overthink stuff hamper me and keep making me down. Stuffs like “you gotta plan the whole plot or your story’s gonna be bland!” or “you need to study Murakami’s structure of writing so the reader won’t be confused when they reading your story” to “study grammar again! back to nature! you can’t write without all of those in mind” keeps on popping in my mind, which makes me either end up dreaming about writing novel or just do a quick write with a hope to appeal people.

So the prologue that was written by Murakami in his Hear the Wind Sing made me relieved. I don’t have to take a literature major or participate in any short courses because even Murakami didn’t do that. This may enrage the literature major or another authors that put much effort into their writings, but with all due respect, I think that is not a blasphemy to literature.

The prologue not also gave me some sort of hope in writings, but also strengthen my thought that I should not wholly care about what people think of my writings or what am I doing with my life. This may sound cliche but we do not live to please people is a good quote that I think overthinkers should keep in mind.

So to end this, I think overthinkers should really encourage themselves to not let what they perceive get the best of themselves. We are free to do things we like. I keep on listening to the above mentioned songs, only to find out that I actually appreciate every singer who sings a song with top-notch lyrics. I appreciate singer whom I know had gone through hell to get to where they are now. I appreciate a lot of things. If I know how complex or difficult to write a lyric, play some instruments, cook a fine food, or anything, I would appreciate it so much that I can be infatuated with it. Also, I will keep on writing without letting people know that I write in this blog, I just left the address and let them find this treasure. I should be very carefree, though, about the critics and anything negative towards my blog.


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