When Details Stress You Out
By Z Zoccolante
I’ve been thinking about traveling lately, my mind seeking escape from my frantic routines of work and school, and all the nitty, gritty details of life.
I’m not a great detail person. I’m more a big picture thinker. I used to have argument/discussions with my ex because it took me a week to realize the house needed cleaning while he was bothered on day 1, and thought I was ignoring it.
The quote says that “God is in the details,” but lately the details stress my brain. I feel like I’m juggling a dinner set and suddenly someone throws in a few forks and a spoon and knife. What the . . . ?
My whole life I’d been the type A child – perfectionist, straight-A’s, and oh so good please validate me and tell me I’m good, so good, so good.
But I remember somewhere in college when something in me realized that I liked learning more than I cared about a grade, that I liked seeing new places more than I cared to photograph them or write home for all to hear. I can still see fields of sunflowers streaming past train windows, my mouth open in wonderment.
Someone recently told me that my energy is free spirit and yet I’ve suffered because I haven’t yet lived into what I actually am. When she said it, I believed her, because I felt it to be true.
My life has been structured and being the responsible one, the good student, reliable. Pushing myself like a square peg trying to fit into a circle hole. I can do it but it hasn’t felt like me at my happiest.
At my happiest I’m not the one in control. I don’t have to be serious or provide safe spaces or be the adult. I can be silly and laugh till I cry. I can be the kid part of me. I can joke around. I can wander in the backyard or in my mind. I can “make pretend” the phrase I was famous for as a kid, “Let’s make pretend . . .” and then I’d create another world or a spin a story out of air and play for hours.
I am free spirit and yet I find myself spinning out when I don’t do things right, when I can’t keep all the details organized and on track. There are two sides of me here. The side that cares about this is conditioned to care, conditioned to see me as the responsible one.
But the other part of me doesn’t care at all. I just want to do my thing. I just want to learn in school, I don’t give a shit about writing papers or turning things in on time. I just want to do therapy, I despise all the logistics about tracking intern hours. All the details stress my mind, because I want to be the happiest part of me. I want to be free spirit.
And yes, I still do my papers, all my reading, all my homework. And yes, it takes for-e-ever. And today, as I sat at my desk for hours upon hours, I kept thinking to myself, I’m going to find a balance between these things I must do to get what I want and the person I want to be who wants to be free spirit.
And maybe just that intention is a good place to start, for me and for you.