The first time I remember someone telling me not to overthink was when I was trying to suss out breastfeeding. “Don’t overthink it,” said my friend, “just go with it.”
“Just going with it” is not something I do. I have to really understand what I’m doing and then I think through almost every possibility and eventuality, like a mind map on steroids. And I plan. When people say things like: “Who could have imagined XYZ would happen?” about some entirely predictable outcome, my most common response is “I could”. I have realised that for most people I am an overthinker, but for me, it is others who underthink. I just think.
Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that my overthinking, like most things, probably started in childhood. I had a loving, noisy but at times unpredictable childhood. Dinner was always on the table at the same time, and it was always delicious. My mother and father were always, physically, where they said they would be. But I grew up in a house where emotions weren’t discussed, they were bottled up, only to explode out in random unpredictable ways – or a silence would ensue for some wrongdoing I had to fathom out all by myself.