Everyone has one. Some people have more than one. Some are bigger than others. Some are so small you hardly even notice they’re there until they suddenly hit you in the face. Sometimes they’re so big you get blindsided when you least expect it and wonder how you never ever saw that coming (but you should have, but really you shouldn’t, should you?).

Sometimes there’s nothing to overthink. I’ve been doing a lot less overthinking these days and it’s been quite pleasant. Better than that. Downright enjoyable, actually. But then sometimes the reverse of that is true and things feel overwhelming even when they’re really not you just know you have a lot on your plate and something hit a trigger for you that you never saw coming. But should have, or more likely maybe probably not. It’s not your fault, you tell yourself. It’s a trauma response, I know that. I do. Leaving is it for me. It’s why I rarely let anyone close and even more rarely get attached myself. I’ve said on here before more than once, I’m sure, everything I love leaves or dies. That’s what life taught me for the most part – for a long time – but that’s not true anymore. Certainly the past few years have been very very rough, but the past few months, for a while now actually things have been pretty steadily getting better. I should know better. Maybe not. Maybe I don’t know anything at all.

Triggers and trauma responses take time to extinguish. Like taking in a shelter dog who maybe has been through some shit and isn’t quite sure if the good things of the recent times will continue because the past has taught them to expect otherwise.

I let a lot of things roll off my shoulders. I try to focus on the things I can control – such as my actions and the choices I make and how I handle myself – and let the things I can’t control roll off my back. I carry enough weight. I don’t need to carry the weight of the expectations of others, too. And so in recent years, I learned to put that weight down, and for the most part I have. I am still and always will be my own worst critic, examining myself over and over like a scientist through a microscope always looking to learn more about myself, be more self-aware, always continually working to grow, and become a better version of myself.

Life is hard, choose your hard. Choose what to fight for versus fighting over. Choose how you see the world around you, how you spend your time, and who you spend it with. Not everyone leaves or so I’m told but funny how even the simple act of leaving can still be a trigger. It’s why I switch to logic over emotion and then my brain gets stuck there and can take some time to switch back. It’s a defense mechanism I’m sure. I remember as a child when I did something and got in trouble and my father was yelling at me, me timidly asking him to please believe me that however much he was mad at me and disappointed at me that I was already far more upset with myself and that I already felt awful and could he please stop yelling at me. He yelled at me anyway. I cried. Life wasn’t all bad back then. There were good times too. Good times don’t give you triggers. They make memories. I like those.

I thought perhaps I’d work on my next tattoo tonight but I’m not feeling very creative. I need to get my head together before this crazy week of work kicks off first thing tomorrow with games three days in a row and plans every day this weekend. I need to look at places for a potential speaking event in Citrus County, Florida in a few weeks. I need to look at flights again. I’m back on a plane or traveling once a month again at least now through May. These are all good things, and work is picking up again. Hiking today was nice, too. It’s always good to get out in the woods to my favorite loop and let the dogs play and hike and have fun. Usually I do that hike alone. It was nice to have company today.

My truck has some big blind spots. Funny how when it’s something you drive regularly you know that they’re there even when you can’t always see your own.