Experience and Stress: A Breakdown

Experience and Stress: A Breakdown

A Story by James Bonner
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A look at experience and stress

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I have been thinking a lot lately about experience. What experience is and what it means to be experienced, and whether or not wisdom or time really have anything to do with it. I was journaling in a coffeehouse in southern Texas when, while writing about experience, the topic of stress came up. How stress affects experience and all the little things that would have to come together in any given moment that will force us to learn from our experiences. As I was writing I began to notice different aspects of stress kept creeping on to the page, when I thought that I had mentioned everything there was to mention something else would pop up, then different ideas would lead me again, and again to the topic of stress. When are we the most capable of learning--OR--at what point are we mostly likely to Change? What has to be happening in our lives for us to really notice and want to learn from our experiences?

 

 

As far as stress is concerned in the past year and a half I have been divorced, have had a number of relationship oriented issues. I have moved eight times, two of which were to a different state; leaving a place I was comfortable with for a place I knew nothing at all about (twice). Of being a supervisor at Barnes&Noble, (which only a handful of you are capable of understanding) trying to support myself as a freelance writer in New York City. Of being someone that was an ear for the stressors of those around me (which was a role I established myself). Dealing with my own emotional, financial, and uncertainties of the future…issues. And currently not knowing a soul to talk to, feeling lonely, nervous about a job, and, again, uncertain of the future, which of course nobody is. Just plain and simply, confused. 

 

 

Now, by no means am I fishing for sympathy or pity. I am Just illustrating a point; and inviting you to consider your own stressors, and how they affect who you are and are becoming. Stress plays a big role in our experiences and I have learned through the course of my lifetime, as obvious as this may seem, that you really have to stop every now and again to consider those experiences and DECIDE how you are going to grow from them. It is a conscious choice that needs to be made and an active effort that many of us are just not taking for ourselves. The differences, in my opinion, at the moment anyway, between stress and those subtle experiences are how we recognize them, when we recognize them, and how we choose to move forward once we do. Meaning we are capable of learning from our experiences but many of us choose instead to let them become stressors, and worries that will continue to build up until we have to deal with them, even still most of us don’t. I had the emotional breakdown recently that I should have had six months ago but never allowed myself to, and before then I wasn’t growing as a person. I was simply living stagnantly. 

 

 

This life is so seemingly complicated because we ignore the most important aspects: Who we are and who we want to be. I think that most of us are living, instead, considering what we Think we want, what we Think we need, what we Think we owe other people, and what other people are Thinking. Living by those standards it is easy to ignore what our experiences are trying to teach us, until they become stressors; at which point the cycle of stress continues. We have a breakdown and we feel a little better, maybe we’ll go for a jog and tell ourselves that we should be doing that more often, go home, take a shower, go to bed, then wake up having learned absolutely nothing. Then we wonder why we’re not happy. We begin to fear making the mistakes that we’re going to make, or the choices that we are uncertain of. Without ever realizing that you’ve made those mistakes before, you’ve made those choices before and you haven’t learned from them, you haven’t grown. You have just gotten older. When different responsibilities, different unknowns,different stressors continue to mask the mistakes, and the cycle. It all seems new, but it’s not. It is just different. A different reflection with the same mask; different mask in the same mirror…Either way it’s an illusion. 

 

 

And only because we couldn’t stop for a few moments to recognize our experiences, and how we choose to move forward once we do. Because we are capable of learning from our experiences. This life is so seemingly complicated because we ignore the most important aspects: Who we are and who we want to be. I think that most of us are living, instead, considering what we Think we want, what we Think we need, what weThink we owe other people, and what other people are Thinking. Living by those standards it is easy to ignore what our experiences are trying to teach us, until they become stressors; at which point the cycle of stress continues. We have a breakdown and we feel a little better, maybe we’ll go for a jog and tell ourselves that we should be doing that more often, go home, take a shower, go to bed, then wake up having learned absolutely nothing.

© 2011 James Bonner


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I can't tell you just how much I relate to this. Everything, from moving to an unknown place, to the postponed emotional breakdown, to caring too much about what others think. Thanks for the read, it opened my eyes a bit.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

James Bonner

11 Years Ago

I'm thrilled that you were able to take something from this, thank you for the review!
James
Sir Altitude

11 Years Ago

Of course, it's the least I could do.

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Added on January 29, 2011
Last Updated on January 29, 2011

Author

James Bonner
James Bonner

Santa Fe, NM



About
I am a writer living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. WritersCafe is like my dessert, an opportunity to experiment and develop different aspects of my writing through feedback from fellow writers. more..

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A Story by James Bonner