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Conversation


How are you guys? I'm happy to say that sun has started peeking out just now. Perfect timing really. I got to roll around, lazy, in bed for a little while longer this morning-- or it felt that was with the sun behind the clouds-- like an excuse to do it. I pulled myself up to get some work done, and just as I sat down, the sun was like, "hey! here is motivation in happy form for you." (I mean, the sun did that for me right? ;) Either way, I'll take it.)

I think it'll be one of those days where the sun comes out for a few minutes before hiding behind another fast moving cloud again-- back and forth teasing us with rain all day. I'm okay with it. I ended up deep cleaning the house on tuesday-- and planned to get more work done on Wednesday, but then at the last minute (literally -- just twenty minutes before jumping in the car) we decided to head down to Miami. I was invited to lunch down there and my friend Claudia was in town for just one last day-- so it seemed like the necessary thing to do-- you know, in order to have a random, happy, go-with-the-flow type of day.

I guess I have a few questions for your guys. I've had a lot of conversations in the past three days. Different people, different topics. Some with people I've known forever, some with people I've met on a few occasions, and some with completely new people I've never met before.

Are you guys big planners? Do you need every step arranged and in line before you can make a big move? Or do you believe in jumping? I'm pretty sure that if you've been here long enough you definitely know I'm a jumper. I'm a strange contradiction. I've had three people this week alone tell me how complicated my brain works-- how they'll never figure me out. Not necessarily in a bad way, but in a "whoaaa Drea" way, haha. Because on one hand, I do like to have a lot of control over my life and know what I'm doing (not a huge fan of surprises over here. Okay, I actually still dislike surprises)-- but on the other, I jump. And I jump quickly, without too much concern. I've had conversations with people this week who find it hard to take a leap into the next step. They need careful planning to take place before they can make any sort of move and people who were like, "it just felt right, so I'm doing it. And I'll figure it out when I get there"-- no weeks or months of over thinking-- just going for it-- and with it.

It's weird how my anxiety can or can't play into this.

Speaking of which I was interviewed for a magazine on anxiety yesterday. I'm interviewed often-- I'd say at least a few times a month-- but it's usually on food, travel, design, those sorts of things. This was my first time very openly being asked about my anxiety. It felt foreign, but also comfortable (you guys know that if I'm good at anything its being an open book). On the drive down to Miami yesterday I spoke about my deep struggles that I once had with anxiety. About how there were times I could hardly leave my house-- or even my room. And how I at one point-- and up until pretty recently, I couldn't walk into a place where I didn't know anyone. That it made me too nervous, uncomfortable, and anxious. And now--- how I've slowly over come that-- or how I am currently overcoming that.

And the funny thing is-- this conversations took place on a way to a lunch. Lunch is always a great idea-- but for me, I guess it's more of a opportunity to work on the personal anxieties I struggle with. A test to walk into a room where I know absolutely no one--- to have more conversations. And within minutes (seconds really) I was meeting strangers and being asked questions and talking about how I would have never been able to do this (walk into a room without knowing anyone), even three years ago.

(Funny enough, the first question I was asked was how I come up with topics to write about each day-- well, this is how).

Do you like conversations? Do you like them with family and close friends? Do you love conversations with strangers? Honestly, I'm starting to love both. Or I've started too not too long ago. I'm still nervous to overstep my place in conversations though. What my place is though-- I'm not actually sure, but I still have struggles in speaking out and asking questions to the people I'm with. Not because I'm lacking interest or questions. I almost always have ten million questions I want to ask the people I'm with, but because I find myself often too timid to raise my voice. Is it my anxiety? Or is it actually an insecurity? I'm not sure. It often feels like insecurity-- though I don't necessarily consider myself insecure.

I wish at twenty years old, that I had the confidence that I do right now. And I wish that right now I could have the confidence in. myself that I plan to have in ten years. I don't yet, but thats okay.

I'm working on it. Things that help (me): getting older, breathing in and out, traveling (SO much), and accepting the fact that I am a completely goofball, and not everyone will enjoy that. Some will hate it, while some find it absolutely entertaining and endearing ;)

Ask me a question and I speak. Making it a point to not over speak. Have you seen that moment in a conversation where someones eyes just sort of -- I dot know, glaze over? And you realize they've lost focus and have moved to another topic in their head? I hate that feeling. I never want that feeling If I even think its abut to happen, I get choked up and start tangling my words to shorten my thoughts. I'm working hard to never do that--- the tangling of my own words yes, but mostly being the one who glazes over. And for someone like me, who has ten million thoughts in their head at any given time-- it can be hard. Again, not because I've lost interest--- but because well, I don know, I guess I haven't worked on and advanced my focus enough yet---- I'm working on my conversation (skills).

Have you guys thought (too much) about conversations? Do you go back and play and replay every moment in your head? Or does a conversation happen and pass? For me, I play back-- again and again. And I store everything. I'll probably revisit each conversation half a dozen times more-- whether it was about something superficial (but amazing) like goats (haha) or deeply meaningful like giant life changes.

So how do you work on conversations? (If you do work on them). For me, a lot of it has been accidental. Just changes that came with working on my anxiety. But a lot of it has been intentional with working on my mindfulness (I still hate that term, btw). But I don't know, I guess it always goes back to the whole 'life is short' thing--- I want to take in every single moment and feel it-- learn from it. Because at some point, none of it will be here. And what will it all have been for? I don't know.  So right now (and for my entire life) I want be completely and totally intentional in every moment that I am here.

And it's maybe weird how someone who would have been/was so anxious and so depressed for so long could want to feel everything so deeply-- instead of completely numbing it out. But it's really good too.


pps. one more topic: I watched a ted talk a few months ago on introverts vs. extroverts and it said how introverts use so many more words such as "possibly, maybe, perhaps" etc. While extroverts are more decisive and to the point with their statements. Re-reading this post I can see that ten million times over. Cheers to all you fellow introverts! And cheers to you extroverts too, cause you guys challenge my comfort zones in the best way.

19 comments:

  1. "You realize they've lost focus and have moved to another topic in their head? I hate that feeling. I never want that feeling If I even think its abut to happen, I get choked up and start tangling my words to shorten my thoughts." YES!!! That is SO annoying. I used to struggle with that ALL THE TIME b/c I felt like everything I said was boring people to death!! I went through therapy (for anxiety) and ended up gaining confidence that what i have to say IS important, b/c I never believed it before. Now I try not to think about it too much.... but mostly just avoid people that do that b/c who needs them anyway!!

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    1. exactly-- when it does happen, I either don't think about it. much or I know its often times the other person and not necessarily me sucking, haha. Mostly because I know people who do that often--- and not to me, but to everyone. Often time it can be someone else inability to converse and not our own issue. Not always, but often :)

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  2. I get told my brain is confusing too. I'm an engineer, but live most of my life spontaneously (it appears). Most people don't know that I over think every move before I make it, and that I have super anxiety when things don't go like I think they will. I think I do an ok job of hiding it.
    I also totally relive conversation in my head, and anticipate conversations before they happen, I like to be prepared I guess? idk, but I totally relate to so much of this.

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    1. yay confusing brains!

      Oh I totallyyyyy anticipate conversations before they happen. I have full blown two sided conversations in my head on how I think something might or should go :) For me it's def. a prepared thing :)

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  3. I AM the person who loses focus...��I work hard to find interesting whatever I am being told but it is hard. I used to be very bad at small talk and having children madre me work hard on it.
    I get bored with small talk but talk to me about something that is important to you and I am a very good listener. I hate talking about the weather, I do not care about the weather. I get dressed without checking the weather forecast.

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    1. I sometimessss struggle with it. Not often, but because I am constantly making an effort to not do it. Alex is that person, 100%. I used to take it sooo personally, until I realized thats how he is with everyone in every conversation. And small talk issss hard.

      I get dressed without checking weather-- but bring three alternate options in case the weather changes--- I wonder what that says about me? haha.

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  4. Not liking surprises, but being impulsive and having certain anxieties are not contradictory at all--in all cases it is about you being in and having control. You seem like someone who needs to have a lot of control over your situation (what the weather is like, what you are eating etc). Probably you would be less down with spontaneity if you weren't the one making the choices...

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    1. Well, heres where it gets complicated--- I do like spontaneity (from others) in certain cases! Or I'm at the veery least okay and ready for it! But I think thats because I grew up with my dad who would be like, "get in the car!" and for an hour or two or three or way longer my brother and I would be like, "where the hell are we going!?" and he'd almost never tell us. Then we'd end up in Disney world or some snorkeling trip or some other random place he decided to surprise us with. So now, I'm like, alright alright--- I'll get in the car-- show me an adventure. I just would like to know how long we're gone and that were actually going so I can bring clothes, haha.

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  5. I can relate to this on so many levels. I used to dread having conversations with people. Like being in a room with so many people..who do I talk to? what do I say? am I interesting enough? And I just am a quieter person so sometimes I feel like more outspoken people just take the reign in conversations even when I do have things to say. But through practice with people close to me and therapy for anxiety I have learned to be better at conversing and opening up-and it feels SO good when I can be open with people. But I do NOT like small talk. It makes me anxious and feel super awkward (which I totally am).

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    1. Yeah, I'm good with a small circle of people, but when Theres a big circle, I cannot speak up. They were asking questions yesterday and one question I could have listed ten more answers than were actually given, but I sat quietly, because speaking up (even if Im confident in my answer) is HARD! Oh and I am sooo bad at small talk. Alex calls me out on it all the time. I get SO awkward, haha.

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  6. Anxiety is such a tough road. Reading this I feel like so much of it relates to 5 years ago me. For me though, I always felt that I was an extrovert inside, I just didn't have the confidence to let that out. These days I'm definitely an extrovert and do things every day that would terrify the old me. It's not always easy, I still back out of events sometimes if the old anxieties creep in or find myself going inward when I'm very stressed or having a tough time in another area of my life but I do feel the way I act reflects how I feel on the inside now. It's been a long journey from being unable to make words come out of my mouth when meeting new people to being able to go to parties alone, not knowing who I'll know there and potentially facing the dreaded small talk and I have a ways to go. But it's good. And congrats for how you've come. X

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    1. What do you think helped you most on your journey? books? positive self talk? practice? :)

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  7. Anxiety is such a tough road. Reading this I feel like so much of it relates to 5 years ago me. For me though, I always felt that I was an extrovert inside, I just didn't have the confidence to let that out. These days I'm definitely an extrovert and do things every day that would terrify the old me. It's not always easy, I still back out of events sometimes if the old anxieties creep in or find myself going inward when I'm very stressed or having a tough time in another area of my life but I do feel the way I act reflects how I feel on the inside now. It's been a long journey from being unable to make words come out of my mouth when meeting new people to being able to go to parties alone, not knowing who I'll know there and potentially facing the dreaded small talk and I have a ways to go. But it's good. And congrats for how you've come. X

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  8. I know you mentioned your Meyers Briggs before, have you ever looked up the cognitive functions? Doing that helped me SO much. I'm an INTJ, and I used to get into circles of thinking all the time. Now I know I should just go with my intuition because that's how I make the best decisions. So I generally know that if I'm really struggling over making a life decision that probably means it's not the right one. When it's right I just know it and don't even think about questioning it. :)

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  9. Having to do presentations in grad school all the time has really helped me get comfortable with my voice, confidence, and articulation. Those changes have really carried over into conversations.

    I've also done almost a month of daily 20 minute guided meditations (I use the calm.com app). Has really really helped slow that overplaying in my head, made me more cognizant of my worrying and made me feel much more comfortable when situations are out of my control... Which is great because I am absolutely a control freak. Something I'm definitely working in :). Highly recommend the app and having it send you a daily reminder! Congrats on all the changes you've already made, just seeing your face more on social media than a few years ago shows you've come a long way.

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  11. Hi Drea! I've been Circling for a couple of years now and it's changed my life. As a shy, self-conscious introverted person who has always thought I might be secretly an extrovert if I could just get a handle on my empathic responses and my fears, the practice of Circling and the skills it brings to be are straight up magical. It'st a highly skilled way of relating that's everything my parents and ask the rest of society never taught me. I love the practice itself, but I've been permanently changed by the communication skills and the internal healing process it's given me!

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