Down Yet Another Rabbit Hole

tree trunk with burrow in autumn woods

I’ve long been prone to overthinking. For all my life, I’ve taken my trains of thought off the rails. I’ve chased so many bunnies down so many rabbit holes, visiting aspects of wonderland that most people don’t even realize exist. Imagination is a beautiful thing, but it can also be wildly and dangerously addictive.

Deep thinking is often not as productive as some well-intentioned clear thinking. Thinking deeply about things that probably don’t really matter has long been useful in stabilizing my often inexplicably foul moods. Chasing proverbial bunnies down holes allows me to distract myself from things I’d really love to do something about, but have no real ability to change.

It’s also often true that deep thinking helps me to dispel those manic states I’ve often found myself in when I’m so convinced that I’m absolutely correct about something. I end up having to play the devil’s advocate for myself, because when I try to bring other people into the conversation, they often don’t follow my train of thought. Mostly, I’m so far off the rails by that point that my journey has taken me so far off any map that most people are either too scared or apathetic to want to continue on that journey with me.

I find myself standing at many forks in the road lately, especially when it comes to where I want to go with my writing. Where one wants to go and where one actually needs to go are often quite at odds with one another. Most recently, I’ve been having more vivid dreams than usual, but they often have little to do with one another even in the course of a single night. For many years, I turned to poetry to try and capture the essence of my more vivid dreamstates. Yet, I have abandoned writing about so many of my dreams because for me they simply defy explanation.

It’s long been an inclination for me to more deeply explore my poetry. There are many abandoned poems that began to go somewhere that I couldn’t quite adequately capture in verse. I feel oftentimes that I simply lack the ability to describe my dreams in any useful or tangible way to make it worth writing down. Then again, I’m far too hard on myself. Perhaps those souls who tell me I’m better at writing than I believe are indeed correct. Why must I constantly downgrade my own talents and abilities in order to make myself more comfortable with my own insecurities and self-doubt?

For years, I’ll hide out in fictional worlds, many of which connect with others I’ve created. When my own fiction doesn’t bring me comfort, I turn to fantasy and science fiction to immerse myself in other dream worlds, letting my own imagination take a break for a while. Truthfully I often feel that my own imagination is lacking in some way and I need someone else’s to give me a jumpstart, much like a car battery that’s been on a slow and steady drain for far too long. Perhaps I truly have a few short circuits that I’m not sure how to repair, and by now, they may be irreparable.

More often I go off on deep thought explorations about things that don’t really matter in the long run, but give me some sort of satisfaction in having explored those things to the absolute maximum that I can. Yet, even when I feel my energy for exploring a topic finally waning, my interest in said topic waxes even more brilliantly. I create shiny objects for myself to admire, and on rare occasions I find that some people will even admire them with me. Still, the days pass and these shiny objects polished with deep analysis and shameless intellectual pursuit lose their luster for the rest of mankind. Soon enough, I must find some way to give those objects a new coat of stain or paint to make them look shiny and new again.

What rabbit holes are actually worth me exploring? Many of them have to do with me trying to combine success with fulfilling my dreams and maximizing my own happiness. While I don’t believe that money and success and the freedom to pursue our own dreams have to be mutually exclusive to one another, it’s often extremely difficult to see how they can ever be compatible. Yet, after so many years of fruitlessly exploring many rabbit holes, a few have yielded me the wisdom I long sought. We create our own realities to some extent, and the best choices we have deal with responding to how others try to, consciously or not, force us into sharing in their realities.

What I choose nowadays is focusing on freedom and dreams, even at the expense of material wealth and success. Too long I let the luster of success distract me from what is more important to me which are my dreams. Perhaps every choice we make is an illusion. But, recently I’ve come to realize that while we’re often presented with illusions of choice, those illusions often obscure the choices we should make that will impact not just our own lives but potentially many others, as well.

As long as I’ve wished I could live in a vacuum, I now realize that it’s not only an unwise and unhealthy choice to do so as much as it is also unfair and inexplicable. I’ve learned that bringing joy to someone else every day, even if it’s the same person most of the time, is one of the best choices a human being can make. To connect with others is often a daunting and potentially hazardous choice to make, but one that’s worth making. 

I’ve come to finally realize that ignorance is, in fact a choice, and ignorance can’t legitimately be used as an excuse for refusing to make a choice. In fact, I’ve decided recently to accept that making the wrong choices in life because it turns out to be much better than having choices inevitably made for you, which it will be. Choosing not to act, in itself, is a choice. 

I keep telling myself “don’t give up on your dreams” when people feel success will never come to them. I know that sounds cliche, but we all need to hear that sometimes. Things will happen in their own time, and they often don’t happen on our schedules as we wish they would. I’ve come to realize that success comes to you in its own time if you keep choosing to make reasonable and productive choices. See through the choices that are actually illusions meant to keep you where you are, which is often in confusion or indecision. Chasing success isn’t the way to go, but choosing to be successful at the little things is what eventually adds up to make living your life worthwhile.

As I bring this, yet another rabbit hole thread, to a close, I choose to recognize that little things do actually matter. We often try to make huge life decisions all at once as they present themselves. Mostly, we never feel ready to make what we think is the right choice. Truthfully, you are never actually ready because you’ll never have all the information. Choose what seems to be the more productive and reasonable choice, rather than not making a choice at all. Yes, ironically that will mean choosing not to act, but you should only come to that decision if it’s actually reasonable, not out of indecision.

It’s also definitely okay to seek out others opinions and thoughts. Too long have I closed myself off from opening up about many of the thoughts that cross my mind. Perhaps I simply came out to the wrong people with my queries. We all have our shortcomings, and admitting that you don’t know is a start. The trick is that you must choose to know, but realize that you may never really know. Still, choosing to act positively is going to be most often better than making no choice at all even if you’re faced with a negative result. Keep choosing what seems right, even if the choice may be to make no choice at all. 

Right now, I choose to end my trip down this rabbit hole and go in search of yet another to then tell you about!

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

2 thoughts on “Down Yet Another Rabbit Hole

  1. I am a self-diagnosed chronic overthinker who obsesses over the smallest of details, such as insignificant decisions and things that I have said and done from as far back as I can remember. It’s a relentless cycle of introspection that is the quintessential evidence of being INFJ.

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