Wednesday, December 9, 2009

(De)Compression [Question: How does your personality change when you feel under pressure?]

[Another question from the Ten Thousand Questions blog.]

When I'm under pressure, I tend to shut out everything else and just get things done. I wake up and think immediately of the next task to accomplish. I stop getting enough sleep, I don't hang out with friends. I keep reading the Bible but I don't spend the time to really absorb, to really listen. I don't invest the time and energy it takes to seek the truth, whether via Scripture or simple reflection, prayer and a pen. I compress the tangled expanse of myself into a compact ball, and go bouncing from appointment to assignment to accomplishment. I ricochet off deadlines and collide with my body's needs. With my person crushed into a sphere, life is so much simpler.

Of course, it's not real life, either. With enough pressure, I begin to fall apart. After too many collisions, my compacted personality begins to unravel. I have to untangle myself. I tease out strands and lay them out carefully on the table, following each to its end and easing out all the pieces connected to each. Everything is crinkled and bent. Decompressing, unfolding, I smooth myself out and look for the patterns. . .

No comments: