Overcoming overthinking

Overcoming overthinking
Photo by Joel Lee / Unsplash

Overcoming overthinking

If gold stars were awarded for thinking, my overthinking brain would have stacked up boatloads of stars by now. It’d be an entire galaxy.

I started reading a book on social anxiety because I don’t know much about it: where/how does it start? What are the signs? How do you manage it?? The book began by listing six common situations—like using the phone and meeting people in authority—and asking the reader to rate their fear on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (very much). I already knew that I had it, but putting numbers on it made it more…real, somehow. Like it wasn’t all in my head. It’s severe, but not debilitating, and up until several years ago, I didn’t know other people had a different, lower baseline. 

It explains a lot of things: me constantly worrying about what other people think, overexamining social details, writing down scripts when I have to call someone, procrastinating anything that remotely resembles an “ask.” Or announcement. Or well, anything that puts me or my work in front of someone else. As you may see, it can get exhausting. But I’m so used to it that I don’t see it as exhausting. It was only when I started on an anxiety med that worked that I realized how much my brain was holding me back. And maybe the updose is helping this, too.

I am hoping that the more I do things that are scary, the more I get used to the feeling, the less anxiety will be created. Does this work? Have you tried this? I am trying to put less perfect things out into the world. And I am aiming to tell more people about these imperfect, scary things.

Since I announced the change in this newsletter mid-summer last year and shared a one-liner that I hoped would encompass my dreams, I have not achieved what I wanted. The steps I was taking were too small and imperceptible to anyone besides me. I worried so much about readers that it held me back (well, and burnout happened). So, I sat down and thought about what I really wanted out of this and what would drive me to create. Brainstorming story ideas led to identifying common themes, which led to researching what other publications have done with seasons. 

I ended up with several dozen article ideas centered on three themes. Coffee underpins the stories for each theme, but I am not an expert in every angle, so I’ll be learning about these right along with you. 

Season 1: Community 

The first theme will be around the idea of “community.” While I do have experience in building community, I am most excited to see where these tangents go: how do you sell and still be community-oriented, how can one use coffee to build community equity, and more. 

Depending on how my interviews pan out, the next free issue in two weeks may mark the start of season 1. Here—I promise I’m not overthinking—I’d much rather have several articles or essays done before I begin the season. It gives me more room to work ahead, and if you’ve ever planned content out before, it is a logical decision. 

I hope my excitement for this new iteration of tanjennts comes through your screen. A good sign that I’m going in the right direction is that this adds LOADS more work to my plate, and yet, I still feel excited! And hopeful! I hope you’re excited, too! (How many exclamation marks accurately convey my level of excitement?)


article links, personal updates, and a plant feature

Legal Weed Is Being Ruined By Corporate Greed
Weed isn’t even federally legal yet, but giant corporations are already ruining it—for consumers, for workers, and everyone, really.
Trulieve built an empire by exploiting policy mistakes in legalization, using their power to create more of those mistakes, and taking advantage of well-meaning programs. The giant publicly traded corporation somehow got the only “minority–owned” license for a dispensary in Alabama.
The experts: artists on 20 easy, mind-expanding ways to be much more creative
Move around, observe the world, draw on the bus, find your space … and don’t try too hard. Great artists describe how we can find inspiration every day
“It is always lovely to talk to artists, go to galleries and be part of that community,” says Ryan, “but when I’m making, there is a point where you’re looking at loads and there’s a point when you have to stop and look at yourself.”
Around the World in Eighty Lies | The Walrus
How a writer fabricated a series of stories for Atlas Obscura
His final article, from February 2023, was about the Scottish town of Moffat implementing “dark weeks” to protect the night sky from artificial lighting. Except: the townsfolk of Moffat had never done such a thing; experts and locals quoted in the story had never been contacted or interviewed, and at least one does not seem to actually exist.
2023 was the worst year for the news business since the pandemic - Poynter
It’s a sharp reversal from the last two years, when layoffs fell and some news outlets even expanded.
Inventing the Perfect College Applicant
For $120,000 a year, Christopher Rim promises to turn any student into Ivy bait.
In a survey of Harvard’s class of 2027, 23 percent of respondents said they had worked with a private college consultant. The gap widens once income is considered: About 30 percent of respondents from families earning half a million dollars or more per year hired a consultant, compared with just 6 to 7 percent of respondents from homes with incomes of $125,000 or less.

Source request: Looking to talk to some people about the concept of community and sales: as a salesperson, are you expected to always be selling, even as you attend community events? And, what happens when a company takes advantage of one's community connections and then lets them go, once trust with the community has been built? In both instances, I am happy to anonymize your quotes.

📜 Published: I spent a good chunk of my December with coffee-flavored baked goods.

Baking With Coffee For Beginners | Sprudge Coffee
Where to get started when introducing coffee to your bakes.

🛠 Current project: the new tanjennts season! I've got several interviews slotted in already.

🔏 Last week, paid subscribers received a preview of the seasons to come.

The future of tanjennts is [probably] seasonal
On Monday, I had—what felt like for the first time this year—space in my brain to dream. I’ve set the end of Q1 as the end of my marketing services, and it’s both thrilling and terrifying. It means a loss of income, but a gain in

🍩 What I ate/drank/snacked on:

A friend and I went out thrifting and she spotted this Yixing teapot for me! It's made with purple clay and will absorb future oolong brews, adding complexity to the taste over time.

large staghorn fern mounted to wood board. two other prints are also by it.
My staghorn fern is about 5.5 years old and has grown 4x-6x in size. It was clearly lopsided, so I switched it with another staghorn, so now it's filling out the other side.