My Meandering Mind: Train of Thought Derailing…Posted: February 16, 2013
I have this incurable (insufferable too?) urge sometimes, most of the time, to over think myself into a loop and say or do something immediately without much forethought. My parents have this problem, my brother and I inherited this trait. It’s like immediate gratification…maybe? Like I have to or else I’m going to explode.
It becomes this coffee pot that overflows because the remaining coffee from the day before wasn’t dumped out, forgetfully so, and then it spills out all over the counter fiercely hot. But then it gets out of control like you have to wait for it to cool off a bit or use a thick towel to wipe it up or you’ll burn yourself in the process of cleaning up the aftermath. (I’m feeling jittery after two cups of my morning coffee.)
It becomes a thorn in my side. A restless mind that I can’t control. Some kind of brain fart, if you will. Haha, I said “fart.”
So I’ve always had some bit of chaos in my thinking. Medication, along with numbing me and making me feel sluggish, I believe worsened it. And I feel scattered like someone with adult ADHD.
When I was younger, my major depression caused this learning disability making it hard for me to concentrate while reading. So for many years I would find myself rereading a paragraph, or even a sentence, without ever retaining anything. Simple sentences. I’m better now, but sometimes it still happens.
In many ways, math problems were much easier to contend with back then. Numbers don’t lie. They just sit there, staring back at you. Honest. Blank faced. 1 is always 1, 2 is always 2, 3 is always 3…well you get the idea. It’s not like there are 10 different definitions for the number 8.
Numbers represent something. A quantity. A label. A placeholder. You can tell me you have 7 of something; I might not know what those 7 things are, but I know you have 7 of them.
But then symbols (like the mathematical constant π) get thrown around because they’re easier to use. Alphanumerically, in Greek numerals, this has a value of 80. But it’s also a Greek letter, a component of words. You see letters and words always have to interfere. Cause confusion.
It’s not like there are metaphors and similes in arithmetic or trigonometry that make you feel like you have to know what that something is to understand what meaning the mathematician is trying to convey.
Sometimes I have trouble understanding sarcasm. It’s especially hard when it’s written down and I don’t have the context of the author’s personality to give me a clue. And there’s no “just kidding” written after the thought to let me know.
Other times I have some difficulty with idioms, proverbs, expressions, and slang. It could be that English wasn’t my first language, but now it is my native language. It’s more innate than any other language. I tend to think in English. Sometimes I think in my first language. Other times there’s a burst of Mandarin or Spanish in my head because I notice it likes to keep things interesting. Keep me on my toes.
(I’ve been exposed to a lot of Mandarin and Spanish–plus I took Spanish for four years in high school, but that was eons ago, and if you don’t use it, you sometimes lose it.)
It’s kind of like when people who speak Spanish as their first language, they often use double negatives in English because in Spanish that’s what they do. But in Spanish the sentence remains negative, while in English the double negative makes it positive. So the English language is trying to pose as math, but that’s what makes it tricksy. (“Gollum, Gollum.”)
And so I tangent to different things when I’m talking or writing because my train of thought often derails. I find myself reading too many books at the same time because my emotions are all over the map and I need to use books as sources to satisfy my present mood.
This post leaves me feeling sated because I was able to indulge that urge I felt when I clicked on New -> Post to try to write about what I wanted to write about, but wrote what I needed to write instead.
Update 2/16/2013 at 10:50 PM – Yeah, I gotta lay off the coffee. I had a bad headache from coffee withdrawal so I drank some, plus it just tastes really good. I ended up drinking two cups and finished around 2 or 3 PM, and then I posted this around 5 PM. I’m definitely cutting back and then cutting it out. I normally go to bed around 4 AM, so I don’t consume caffeine after 3 PM just to be safe.
- How Does Our Language Shape the Way We Think? (linguaphileapprentice.wordpress.com)
- 5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think (ted.com)