Being an external processor

Some folks are able to sit with their thoughts and quietly come to conclusions and make sense of their life.

I am the opposite of that. Always have been.

This results in me talking to friends incessantly, usually via various messaging platforms but sometimes in person or on the phone, too.

To be honest, I’ve always found the written communications more helpful.

However, I’m also someone who fears being an annoyance and a burden. As those fears became worse over time, I started internalizing my thoughts more.

I found I stopped moving forward as a result. I kept far too much to myself and I languished.

Recently, a dear friend noted that she kept mainly to herself as she navigated some troubled times. She wasn’t sure what her thoughts or feelings were, and hesitated to discuss anything until she knew her own mind.

She wanted to approach conversations firm in her own beliefs, so as to not be inadvertently influenced by others.

This continued for months until, one day while talking with some friends, the floodgates opened. She started talking.

As she describes it, as the words came, so did her clarity on her own feelings.

Keeping to herself to figure out her thoughts hadn’t worked. She needed to verbalize her situation in order to understand it.

I think this is true for many of us, yet we mistakenly have this impression that we aren’t supposed to be this way. We struggle against it, we try to be self-sufficient. Sometimes, we succeed.

Sometimes, we don’t, and don’t realize it.

It’s one of those many annoying things that it’s so important to be self-aware about.

And it is why it is so important to write. It’s why journaling is so crucial.

Without writing I have no idea how I’d make sense of myself or the world. I don’t know where I’d be today without sitting and writing as part of my regular routines.

My guess is I would be miserable.

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