05 January 2009

Mind Maps

Let’s not have a breakdown
No, not another breakdown
You’re on your own a long way from home
Let’s not have a breakdown

(J. De Martino and K. White)

Who knew that under their fun and friendly dance/electro beats, the Ting Tings could offer me such an appropriate reminder?

Thankfully I have taken those words of wisdom to heart, and although I have been on the verge of breakdown since yesterday evening, I am somehow keeping things together.

A number of different anxieties from various aspects of my life are hitting me hard all at the same moment. My biggest concern at present is my post-colonial-cinema final exam which is a three-hour, fun-filled extravaganza that counts for half of my grade for the semester in the class. But no pressure or anything.

Presently, I am managing to keep my head above water as it were. I actually accomplished a great deal toward preparing for my exam during my five-hour rendez-vous with the library at Paris VII.

I also invented my own anxiety-management technique. I created a fifth-grade-style mind map of all the things that were stressing me out at that exact moment. After everything was down on paper, I violently crossed off those which I should not be worrying about either because they are frivolous or much too far in the future. I prioritized the remaining anxieties so that I can address them systematically.

I know the context is different, but Kanye sure has me pegged – “You worry about the wrong things, the wrong things” – and this priority-based method helped me sort this all out.

Also, remembering to breath, that’s a good thing. A very good thing.

Musique: “Traffic Light” The Ting Tings

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