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Brains, Girls, and Lazy: icecream-eaterrr I just heard this woman say "you procrastinate because you are afraid of rejection. It's a defense mechanism, you are trying to protect yourself without even trying." and I think I just realized what was wrong with me eupheme-butterfly Yep, this is a very, very common reason for procrastinating. It's also why procrastination, even though it's often associated with laziness, is a fairly common trait in a lot of people with anxiety and perfectionism issues dsudis This idea You're not lazy, you're protecting yourself- hit me really hard while reading, of all things, Emily Nagoski's Come As You Are, which turns out to be as much about how brains work and how relationships work as how orgasms work. In an early part of the book she talks about Fight/Flight/Freeze responses to threats-the example she uses is being attacked by a lion You fight, if you think you can defeat the lion; you run away, if you think you can escape the lion; and when you think there's nothing you can do, when you feel the lion's jaws closing on your neck, you freeze, because dying will hurt less that way. You just stop and go numb and wait for it to be over, because that is the last way to protect any scrap of yourself Later in the book, she talks about the brain process that motivates you to pursue incentives, describing it as a little monitor that gauges your progress toward a goal versus the effort you're expending. If it feels like too little progress is being made you get frustrated, get angry, and, eventually, you.. despair. You stop trying You go numb and wait for it to be over, because that's the only way left to protect yourself. So it occurred to me that these are basically the same thing-when facing a difficult task, where failure feels like a Threat, you can get frustrated and fight it out-INCREASE DOING THE THING until you get where you're going Or you can flee-try to solve the problem some other way than straight on, changing your goal, changing your approach, whatever. Fight or flight But both of those only apply when you think the problem is solvable, right? If the problem isn't solvable, then you freeze. You despair And if you're one of those Smart Kids (Smart Girls, especially) who was praised for being smart so that all tasks in the world came to be divided between Ooh This Is Easy and I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN DO THAT AND IF I FUCK UP I WILL DIE, then... it's pretty easy to see how you lose the frustration/anger stage of working toward a goal, because your brain goes straight to freeze/despair every time. Things are easy and routine or they are straight up impossible So, you know, any time you manage to pull yourself up and give that lion a smack on the nose, or go stumbling away from it instead of just falling down like a fainting goat as soon as you spot it on the horizon, give yourself a gold star from me. Because this is some deeply wired survival-brain stuff. Even if logically you know that that term paper is not a lion, it really is like that sometimes Source: icecream-eaterrr 517,124 notes Procrastination
College, Dude, and Future: Every graduating senior is scared, to some degree, of the future, but this was on a different level. When my class left our liberal arts experience, we scattered to temporary gigs: I worked at a dude ranch; another friend nannied for the summer; one got a job on a farm in New Zealand; others became raft guides and transitioned to ski instructors. We didn't think our first job was important; it was just a job and would eventually, meanderingly lead to The Job. But these students were convinced that their first job out of college would not only determine their career trajectory, but also their intrinsic value for the rest of their lives. I told one student, whose dozens of internship and fellowship applications yielded no results, that she should move somewhere fun, get any job, and figure out what interests her and what kind of work she doesn't want to do - a suggestion that prompted wailing. "But what'll I tell my parents?" she said. "I want a cool job I'm passionate about!" Those expectations encapsulate the millennial rearing project, in which students internalize the need to find employment that reflects well on their parents (steady, decently paying, recognizable as a "good job") that's also impressive to their peers (at a "cool" company) and fulfills what they've been told has been the end goal of all of this childhood optimization: doing work that you're passionate about. Whether that job is as a professional sports player, a Patagonia social media manager, a programmer at a startup, or a partner at a law firm seems to matter less than checking all of those boxes. What's worse, the feeling of accomplishment that follows an exhausting task passing the final! Finishing the massive work project! - never comes. "The exhaustion experienced in burnout combines an intense yearning for this state of completion with the tormenting sense that it cannot be attained that there is always some demand or anxiety or distraction which can't be silenced," Josh Cohen, a psychoanalyst specializing in burnout, writes. "You josieandthepussycatsofficial: reading this article is like staring into a mirror https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/millennials-burnout-generation-debt-work
Beautiful, Complex, and Food: delladilly do you ever see someone in some quiet intimate moment and suddenly love them so desperately you feel like you're dying #1ike when they pass a mirror and make a face and mess with their hair a little #or when you hear someone singing in their car with the windows rolled up as they drive past you #1 don't know how to express this i ust and it makes me so sad and filled up sometimes le are le mrrrl I love seeing grown humans setting about little creative tasks out of boredom and then looking quietly pleased with themselves, like maybe a middle-aged woman on her train home from work manages to make a tower out of empty coffee creamers and gazes at it proudly for a few seconds I love seeing other people make the overblown OOPS I FORGOT SOMETHING performance for no-one that most of us do when we have to turn around in the middle of the pavement. I love seeing stony-faced people in queues unable to contain a smile when a baby looking over its mother's shoulder in front of them locks eyes and does that astonished stare brittajj26 when someone is standing in line and they don't quite dance to the music playing, but you can SEE their head bop and them mouthing the words when someone thinks no one's paying attention and they sing-talk themselves thru a task when they laugh or try to hide a laugh when looking at their phone elodieunderglass when someone does the thing where they enter another space (such as a supermarket aisle) striding with total purpose, then suddenly forget what they re doing/looking for, and stop there looking blank for a millisecond while they reboot. when people are looking for scissors, in their home or in a store, and they make the scissors gesture with their non-dominant hand as an aid to remind them what they're doing - when automatic social interactions glitch, like when you tell a waiter that you hope he enjoys his food too, or tell the stranger on the phone that you love them the hand gesture people make when they're thinking at their computer, not typing, and their elbow rests on the table, and they feel the edge of their fingernail with their thumb. This is such a lovely little gesture and to my knowledge I have never seen it in fiction. You'd think it would come up all the time in fic. - when you're sharing an experience with a complete stranger (like watching a seagull throw up in public, or waiting for a late train) and you make eye contact, and some comment to each other, and then you guys are, like, ALLIES now. Like you would willingly ride to war to save them. You can't make eye contact again, but you are very aware of them - just evidence of other people's rich, baffling and complex inner lives 207,680 notes Everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details

Everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details