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Under Pressure...

OGBF here. I am writing the introduction of this blog post to explain how much this process has changed her. When Sasha first started writing this blog, she didn't tell anyone. It took us hanging out multiple times before she mentioned it to me.
A blonde woman sitting at a counter typing on a laptop, a tasty adult beverage is on the left side.
OGBF hard at work

She was overthinking it. Classic Sasha.

We travel together a lot. Most of my most memorable trips have been with her. But no matter how far we travel or how long we are going for, she ALWAYS overpacks. She is ready for ANYTHING. It doesn't matter how much I remind her to pack light, that I refuse to wait for her at the baggage carousel, and that I am taking public transit when we get there so pack light... we will show up to the airport, me with a carry-on and her with a big ass suitcase.

Even though I can't stand the way she travels, I still go with her. We are currently sitting in her apartment planning our next adventure. She's the ying to my yang. But something is different now.

Her walls are coming down and she's ready to pack lighter. Finally.

Sasha, I am grateful that you are choosing to trust and open up with people so they can see the real you. I've been lucky enough to see it throughout the years, but more people need to experience it. I think you are ready to drop the baggage and start flying with only a carry-on.

I recognize the irony of what I am about to say...I have been mulling over the contents of this post for well over a month. I first got the idea during a random conversation I was having, "You're putting too much pressure on things Sasha, just let it flow." A day or two later someone else said the same thing to me with no context of the previous conversation I had. I decided this was a good topic to write about - the pressure that I place on myself and how it can consume me, even paralyze me.

I could have written about other things, I have a growing list of ideas and so many draft posts...but I couldn't. My brain wouldn't let me move on from this idea of putting pressure on things, and making them perfect, it has to be the best. Frozen by this idea of not knowing what to write, frozen by the racing thoughts and not knowing how to connect everything. Then along comes OGBF, I never let anyone pre-read what I write, but this time I let my sounding board give it a read.

Of course, everything she said made sense. With all the reflection and insight from 27 years of knowing each other, she just (tough) lovingly put it all together. Having OGBF add to this post made sense to me and I am, forever, grateful to have this gal in my life and to have her grow with me these past 25+ years.


You see, it all started because I've had a few panic attacks lately. Over, like, the stupidest things. Small things that I have tried to put a lot of effort into. It's made me realize that my perfectionism was really starting to show. This state of mind where whatever I want to do just comes with like this huge ball of anxiety attached to it where I just....freeze.

Nothing like a good freezing to make sure you can't progress any further. That's what happened last year. I kept proclaiming that I wanted to write about more than just what started all of this for me. I have about 12 drafts in my folder that are all partially written. I put so much stress on it that I have writer's block. Or more like a writer's anchor, something just holding me in place not letting me move forward.

I was really able to put recognition to it last week when I was hanging out with my new therapist. It had been a while since I had seen her but several things needed to come out that day. I had made some promises and was pretty harsh on myself about the results. I just froze in the execution of them. And then that led to me recounting many....MANY times I had felt this way. Where I had yes to something and I had such bad anxiety about the end result I ultimately failed or I was talking about simple things that I put pressure on and never do because I paralyze myself with the idea of it. Just so overwhelmed that I watch another movie or doom scroll. No matter how many lists and plans I make this has typically been a result for me (please see OGBF comments above). I had started to discuss this with my therapist but I couldn't find the words to even release it. I think I was shocked at how much of a pattern this was in my life, so much so I fell back into it and was overwhelmed by it all.

She kept asking "What is your brain or body telling you?" or "Where is this anxiety sitting in your body?". Honestly - I just wanted to tell her to f off and leave me alone because I had no answer. But, that wouldn't have been polite and this is what I was paying her to me work through this stuff. Even typing this now and re-reading my notes from that day, I still don't think I know where this lives in my body.

We talked about what overthinking looks like for me and essentially parked it until I had some type of better understanding of this idea of pressure and an inability to flow like water. So of course I decide it's going to be a post. I've done some great rationalizing in this space, I've worked through some pretty tough stuff here, so why not another one?

.............maybe until now?

I stared at this screen forever. Nothing.

I thought if I started with some automatic writing techniques, get into "flow" something would come.'s the results:

This world is full of shudda, cudda, could build mountains out of all those opportunities that you thought you missed, that you never made steps towards or never followed through on. There's always going to be another chance, another opportunity, another avenue that comes your way - if you stop looking behind you all the time.

What is meant for you will always come back around, but if you keep looking behind you, all you'll see is it pass you by...again and again and again. Nothing is worth waiting around for. You have to forge your own path and build your own roads. You have to let go of what no longer serves you and meet people where they're at. Cuz honey, if you're stuck on that....people are going to be meeting you where you're at and you're going to keep wishing that you were farther ahead than where you think you are.

There is no sense in blaming what got you here. Those were experiences that shaped you, that you developed from. Yes - they might have left scars, but those scars are a reminder of where you came from. They healed and so can you. There is nothing holding you back except yourself. There is nothing that's not worth fighting for anymore. You wanna do yourself dirty - that's your choice to make sweetheart. You are the only one that's in control of your destiny.

Buck up. You have come a long way, but you have a long way to go in a new direction. You can't be carrying around this old luggage, it's just weighing you down. Taking it's time to release and be free of it. Shed what is no longer there and move along. Whatever you need from that language is in your heart, you don't need anything else from it. You will find nothing else from it to help you along this second journey that you are now.

I love reading that back - a little soul pep talk. And, while it speaks to my heart, my brain is still in this

old pattern neuropathway rut. My logic side needs to be nourished too to help calm myself for when I am out of water, out of flow. I think the universe knew that and gave me something special today...a podcast suggestion.

It has been months since I opened that app. I mostly follow comedy or old Viner talk podcasts - light-hearted things, but today they suggested Jay Shetty and his overthinking episode. In this podcast, he gave me the one thing I have been struggling to really do, give permission that this is an ok trait and that it has a place in life. Overthinking is your brain's natural state of problem-solving on hyper mode.

This state can be really great for some things, like solving a problem at work or planning vacations to new places ;-) it can be crippling when it creeps into things that don't really have a problem to writing a blog post.

I don't want to go into all the details, he gives 7 points to reduce this cycle, but I'll share my biggest takeaways:

a. Don’t ask too many people for their opinion: keep who you ask advice for to their expertise or experience. Don't go shopping for support or opinions - it adds too much unnecessary information to the issue that you're spinning on. Think about it in four categories: the person who cares about you, experts, someone with high character/moral integrity aka the rational humans and someone who has consistently been there.

The idea behind keeping the circle small, and building a structure to find the solution can help with overthinking. As soon as you introduce someone who has never, oh let's just randomly say, dated in 2024 at the age of 37 and hasn't had to deal with a generation that is in dating purgatory between apps and wanting to meet someone naturally in person like the old days, I'm not going to talk to them about how tough it is to meet people. But...I might talk to the high-character person about something I've said or a reaction I am having.

Keep it small and keep it simple = slowing the spinning down to catch all the views and make a rational decision.

b. Focus on the good things and small wins: oh man! This is a tough one - this is what the automatic writing was telling me to do, this is what OGBF was writing about. A win for me right now is being vocal about boundaries I have and even just recognizing that it's coming up for me. It may take me a day to communicate it, but I got there and didn't just ghost! Progress is progress and you can't negate that. I've been trying to practice gratitude in the mornings and I can tell when I miss days, my spinning happens faster, I'm harder on myself and it's just a terrible mood.

Small wins for the win!

After all of this am I "cured" from overthinking, absolutely not! Do I have steps to slow the spinning, f ya. Am I going to forgive myself for taking a month to write better believe it. I'm just going with the flow now, not beating myself up for not meeting an arbitrary schedule I've created for myself. Or not putting extra pressure on something I've said yes to that ultimately blocks my creative brain.

I have my task and my homework for the next little bit: divert the neuropathways into creating new information flows to take time to relax, enjoy the view and dip into the river that flows.

See you on the path to finding joy ✌🏻!



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I think one of the greatest gifts we can give each other in the world is authenticity and vulnerability.  Something I avoided for a long time. 


So as one of my favourite people in the world, Glennon Doyle, once wrote, "be messy and complicated and not afraid to show up anyway."


Welcome to my mess.

Let the posts
come to you.

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