Friday, August 7, 2015

I noticed.

Recently I read this line in a book:

"I noticed.  I can't stop noticing.  That's my whole problem."  (About Last Night, by Ruthie Knox)

Okay, it was a cheesy romance novel, and the conversation was about attraction, but the line really stuck out to me as a general life problem I have, and I wonder if other people have it too.

Noticing is something that I just do.  All. the. time.  I can't get away from it, though I sometimes wish I could take a break and move through life for a week or two blissfully unaware of my surroundings: footloose and fancy free. 

Unfortunately, I am the type of person who will replay a situation over and over in my mind looking for meaning.  I will be sad if I detect that I've let you down in some way.  I will debate my ethics in a conversation with myself.  And if I haven't been in contact with a close friend in a while, I feel it, and it wears on me - Is this person still my friend?  Are they thinking horrible thoughts about me?  Will reaching out to reconnect make me look foolish?

I notice the weather, changes in landscape, broken property and broken people.  I notice body language, rolls of the eyes, airs of uncertainty and unspoken exasperation.  I notice people missing from regular places in person and online.  I notice changes in pattern, in words, in posture. 

And then I wonder.  What's going on?  Is it my place to ask?  Will I help them feel valued?  Make them embarrassed?  Will I embarrass myself? Are they wondering why I'm not asking? Do they think I don't care?

Seriously, there is just too much thinking going on when you can't stop noticing.  My brain never stops.  There is relief in talking about things, but sometimes stuff just can't be said out loud.  You know, politeness and all that.

Anyone with me on the noticing train? 

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