I choose people.

“Deepen your compassion for the messy structures of other humans.” -my horoscope [Co-star]

I don’t believe in horoscopes and I read mine purely for entertainment, but this line really made me think. Or question — should I empathize with the messy chaos or avoid it entirely? I abhor clutter. Especially the mental variety. But I love mentalizing.

After I got tired of myself, I switched to other people. Understanding your own thoughts, motivations, and desires is one thing, but to do so for another adds much complexity. To me, staying in your own mind is level 0. It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s the most obvious choice, requires the least effort, and has the highest probability of pay-off. But also, there’s only so much you can explore in that world before you have to level up.

To be completely honest, the messy interiors of other people never bothered me before. I thought this was because I wasn’t as perceptive back then, which is true, but it’s true because I was too busy being frustrated with my own mess to care beyond that.

If I were to rate my current level of frustration on a scale from pebble to volcanic implosion, I would give myself a solid “lightly smoking”. Back when it was my own mess enlivening me, lava was oozing.

I’ve always been this way.

It stemmed out of my irrational adolescent insecurity of never being good enough and grew into an enmeshed personality trait. In two words: imposter syndrome. I used to push myself to overcome this deep-seated feeling of inefficacy, but I gave up on that. Now I bask in it.

I realized that I thrive under pressure, grow under stress, and succeed in perpetual striving. And so I accept these feelings of inadequacy as fodder for the fire. I only ever applied this principle to the external world of goals and achievement — but what if the same holds true for the inside?

I find problems to solve when nothing’s wrong. I create work to do when there’s nothing to be done. And I find worlds filled with clutter when mine is tidy.

I guess I just need to accept that.. I love cleaning?