The Overwhelm and the Sensitive

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I met Fadra at Blissdom last month and she’s always been a blogger I admire, but I’m mostly a lurker over at her place. (she tweets here) Today, however, I’m participating in her Stream of Consciousness Sundayfor the first time. Here’s how it works:


  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Intro: I’m in Vegas for Tribefest. I’m not a gambler. I’m also in Amy Oscar’s Soul Caller Training class, through which I’ve confirmed something I already knew: that I’m “a sensitive,” or someone who’s easily overwhelmed and often takes on the emotions of others. That being said, here we go…


Bright flashing lights, whizzing signs and bare legs abound. Women crammed into their sequined dresses like sausages. The loud noises make me want to cover my ears like a child scared of a crack of thunder; the smoke assaults my nostrils and I wonder why all the waitresses are like tiny China dolls, wearing even tinier getups and nude hose with their open-toed gold shoes.

People sit at slot machines winning or losing big. They sit and sit and sit and I wonder what makes this place so magical. My eyes, ears and nose are overwhelmed, I feel a whirring in my head and the swirling carpet makes me dizzy. My eyes follow the bright red pattern as I walk, not wanting to look around because it’s too much. It’s all too much.

Too many people going too many directions and they’re having the time of their lives.

Someone bumps into me and I look up at the swarm of bees buzzing around the casino, alighting here and there. I feel like a lab rat caught in a maze. I stop to sit at a slot machine and stare because at least people watching is fun. But it also makes me pensive. Who are they? What are they here for? What do they do, where are they going? What are their lives like when they’re not in Vegas?

Then, invariably…WHERE AM I GOING? WHAT AM I DOING? WHO DO I THINK I AM, passing judgment on the girls in short skirts? I have a lot to learn and a long way to go. These people are having fun. Which is apparently something I’m clueless about.

I guess I’m just a sensitive girl sitting in the middle of the desert trying to figure it all out.

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  • Evonne

    We’re quick to judge.  At least I know I am.  I think it sometimes makes me feel better about my own insecurities.  I would love to go to Vegas someday, but I know it would be a lot to take in.

    • Erin margolin


      I think you hit the nail on the head. And I wish I could stop that part of my personality. Yes, Vegas is a lot to take in, but I think it’s one of those places everyone should check out once, you know?

  • Kimberly

    Your description is really beautiful.
    I think that goes with all new territories…feeling lost and dont know where to start and the giant overwhelming feeling of it all.
    Vegas though? SHe is one busy buzzing place.

    • Erin Margolin


      Yes! Vegas was crazy! I could never live there….or visit there too often. My senses are still buzzing. LOL

  • Gooddayregularpeople

    Ah. I should have thought of you and SOC years ago.

    What a perfect fit for you, and your style of writing: open.

    I always wish I would do Fadra’s meme, but my thoughts are a downer.

    Yours are introspective.

    I am going to love visiting your Sunday SOC. It’s so meaningful and insightful for me.

    Your SOC is authentic. Some I’ve seen seem “prettied” up to reflect only good thoughts.

    Or, maybe there are people who have only good thoughts.

    I know mine would never be about loveliness, etc: It would be all self doubt and disappointment on not getting more done. And rumination. LOTS of rumination.

    I really liked this, Erin.

    I hope you keep doing it: it fits you.

    • Erin margolin


      Do you not think mine is rumination and self doubt and a downer? That’s how I totally see this piece. And I don’t think there are people who have only good thoughts. If they seem that way I think they are hiding something.

      Thank you for your kindness. I am looking forward to doing SOC again tomorrow, and maybe going along w/ Fadra’s prompt…or maybe not, depending.

  • Frelle

    Im glad to hear from you amidst the hustle and bustle of Vegas. And you have some great thoughts in there.  Deep and introspective. And very Erin :)  *HUG*

    • Erin Margolin


      Awww, thanks! It’s funny to hear you describe something as “very Erin.” I’m not quite sure what it means, but I know it’s a compliment, coming from you.


  • Amy

    I love the way that your sensitivity shows itself, even here. While you may have been overwhelmed – and your writing shows it beautifully – you also somehow noticed all the details (inner and outer) so you could share them with us. Love it.

    • Amy

      PS Thanks for the link love. :)

    • Erin Margolin


      Thank you. I guess I’ve been thinking a lot about our phone conversation and my being sensitive and overwhelmed. That’s why I thought the title and this topic were kind of perfect for each other…

  • Jenni Chiu

    Love the flow of this.
    I felt the same way when I was in Vegas last. I finally realized it WAS because I didn’t know how to have fun. I kept worrying about the baby, the husband, the dogs… and was evious these other people weren’t doing the same. By the time I figured out how to let loose, it was tim to leave.
    Guess I’ll just have to go back… you in?

    • Erin Margolin


      I know what you mean. I was worrying a lot, too. Plus? I don’t know how to gamble and what little bit I learned I didn’t find very fun. More disappointing than anything. Maybe next time I need to do more shopping, people watching, and go see some shows (but not Celine Dion). Definitely in if that sounds up your alley!!! ;-)

  • From Tracie

    I find fun to be hard sometimes (okay, most times), especially when it is busy and loud and hectic around me. In fact, that definition of a sensitive you shared up there really resonated with me.

    This was a beautiful first SOC post. You captured a lot of great thoughts and moments, and I think you could definitely take some of this and turn it into a longer post in the future if you want to. 

    • Erin Margolin


      Thanks so much, sweet one. This is the kind of post I could seriously write all the time, but it would probably get boring. Yet I’m already itching to see Fadra’s prompt for tomorrow!

      I am definitely sensitive. It’s hard, like you said—several times I almost felt like a panic attack was coming on. Too many things going on around me, so much movement, noise, commotion, yelling, etc…

  • Christopher Cole

    Erin, I am so with you on Vegas. I’ve been there a few times and always shake my head walking around the place. Sure, seeing the strip for the first time is exhilarating, but after that I just don’t get all the hoopla. Gambling for a little while is interesting, but that wanes rather quickly. People who go multiple times per year truly perplex me. Loved your SOC writing.

    • Erin Margolin


      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!
      This was my second trip to Vegas. First time was just a girls’ trip, this time was for a real, bona fide conference/purpose. I don’t think I would go multiple times per year, either. It’s completely overwhelming. Hence my title!

  • Jackie

    Great SOC post!

    I think that Vegas would be overwelming and the best place to people watch ever!

    • Erin Margolin


      Yes, it was a really wonderful opportunity to people watch. Too bad I didn’t skip out on some of the sessions to sit with a notebook and pen! Great blog fodder. ;-)

  • Juliecgardner

    I love love love you in the raw.
    (Well, you know what I mean.)

    This line gets to me the most:
    “They sit and sit and sit and I wonder what makes this place so magical.”
    That’s life right there. It is. 

    • Erin Margolin


      Are you going to BlogHer?
      Also, do you like sushi? Oh wait, that sounds really bad.
      But was just thinking about your raw comment. LOL

  • Anonymous

    So clearly I’m way behind on reading. I love your natural use of words but I’ve been to Vegas and I get your perspective. I’ve always felt like I was looking through a window at all these people. I don’t know how much it’s changed since I was there, but I looked at people who saved up all year for the chance to sit in front of a slot machine with a cigarette dangling out of their mouth.

    It’s an artificially beautiful place but I also think it’s a vile one.

    • Erin Margolin


      I couldn’t agree more. It is vile. I didn’t care for it at all and hope that next year the conference is in another city. THat place is so NOT ME at all. Now Nashville? I liked it there. Or I guess I should say I liked the Opryland because we never left there.