There are a million possibilities out there, a million ways to do things, a million reasons for living, a million photographs that I might find fascinating, a million people I have yet to meet. If I stood for a moment and tried to process all the information coming at me every single day, all the people who might still make a difference in my life, I might go stark raving mad. The human brain just wasn’t meant to process so much information at once, or at least mine wasn’t. But that doesn’t stop me from considering the vastness of the universe, and of every single thing within it that could even marginally relate to me.
My wife says that I am a random thinker, but I’m not. I’m really a constant thinker, which means at any given moment in time I’m thinking of multiple things at once, making connections between things that others might wonder at, and creating new paradigms for my world. Last night I spent five minutes cycling through Phil Collins’ lyrics in my mind, searching for the common link between all those words that have somehow found a space to call home within my brain. But if you want a Phil Collins lyric for any occasion, I’m your man.
Being a constant thinker means I’m constantly analyzing what I’m thinking, so the entire time I was cycling through songs like Sussudio, Easy Lover, and Testify, I was also trying to figure out what it was about Phil Collins that fascinated me enough for my mind to so intensely focus on him and his creative mind. These ideas of constantly thinking about things, and then analyzing those thought processes at the same time make for strange bedfellows. In fact, I’m often up late into the night lying in bed wondering when my brain will finally let me sleep. Some nights it doesn’t happen.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I’m any smarter for all of the thinking, or at least any smarter than I’d be without all of the thinking. I think it has just become a part of me and I can’t stop doing it. It’s not like a light switch that I can flip on and off. It’s always there, like my fingers and my nose, like the fact that my skin is brown, there’s no getting around it. And believe me, I sometimes wish I could get around it. I sometimes wish I could challenge my mind to a duel and if I won it would promise to zone out every once in a while.
Yet here I still am — a constant thinker — and here’s where I will remain, because life has so many possibilities, because my brain likes to consider all of those possibilities and create connections in my mind for each and every one of them, because if thoughts can be endless I don’t want to be left behind.