“I am…” Part 1

I found a list of descriptions of me that I wrote in high school in an old, forgotten notebook. It is strange to look back on it… And sad as well. There is only one semi-positive phrase, and the rest of it is negative. Well, mostly. The featured image should show you what I mean.

See, some of this is sad, but some of it just strikes me as pretty self-aware. I lament not feeling loved or being hugged by friends and family, but also comment that I am terrified of both love and touch. (They are both tied to vulnerability and being known, which makes them scary.) I note how hard I am on myself and immediately comment that I am my worst enemy. That kind of thing.

So while these insights are still depressing, I can’t see them as bad per se. After all, personal change cannot occur without awareness of problems. 

But I’m sugar-coating things to feel a bit better about them. Awareness honestly didn’t lead to change. I didn’t grow as a result. In reality, rather than in theory, I only ended up using this self-awareness as fodder for debilitating self-talk. Signs of my weakness, personal flaws, proof of my inherent brokenness.

That’s the thing- awareness and contemplation are necessary for growth, but they don’t guarantee growth. It’s up to us to choose which path we will walk. 

If only I was always strong enough to take the healing route! But there have been, and likely always will be, days when I only have enough energy to continue towards more pain, because the familiar path is always easier to walk.

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Commentary on ‘Seeking’

⭐️Note: This is a follow up entry for “Art Mini- Seeking” which was published about two weeks ago.

There are some ways in which I don’t think I should be explaining this, but I know that some of the people with whom I may be sharing this blog soon will wonder, so here goes:

I am not saying that truth does not exist; this is, instead, a commentary on how hard it is to find truth. The more I learn about a topic, the more questions I have, and in essence, the more that I learn, the more that I realize I don’t know about the topic. It’s not just me- for example, we thought that atoms were the smallest unit of matter in existence, but we have found smaller particles, like quarks. There may be even smaller ones too, but I’m a bit behind on my atomic science. The point is that when we make absolute statements, we end up being wrong fairly often.

This is paticularly difficult for me now, because I am trying to understand very intangible things like my coping responses and the nature of God. It’s probably not too surprising that each step forward just leads me to more questions and each question to more mysteries and on and on through the warren.

So it’s not that I don’t believe in truth. It’s just that I want it to be neat and tidy, but it really, really isn’t.

I apologize if this entry ruins something for someone- I know that some people really prefer their own interpretations of art, music, poetry, and stories. Please feel free to keep your head canon in tact. It’s ok.

Universal Confidence

As I have thought about what to post here and whom to share it with, I have repeatedly followed the train of thought that “if I just had everything under control like everyone else, then I could…” I have to chuckle a little because this type of thought has plagued me throughout my life, and I honestly used to believe that everyone but me was perfect. That type of approach brings pain like nothing else.

Actually, I still act off of this impulse, even though I don’t believe that everyone else is confident and that everyone else is perfect and that everyone else can handle anything that comes. It’s just so tempting to keep my crazy, broken, messy parts hidden away from the world. In doing so, I reinforce the same lie that’s been hurting me all along by making those around me feel like I have everything together, when I really don’t.

I’m feeding the flames that have burned me.

Maybe we all are.

Hiding

It’s a little funny- the sad kind, not the ironic or pleasurable kinds- but I am actually going through life changes and hiding them from you. You, my blog with one follower. (P.S.- Thank you, Problems with Infinity. It’s good not to feel alone out here.) You, my blog that I am writing with the explicit purpose of processing baggage in a public setting, so that hopefully, I’ll be diligent in continuing and maybe someone out there will benefit from it.

It’s ridiculous. And understandable.

What I paint is personal and if I don’t tell anyone, then maybe it isn’t real. Because if I don’t have to select the words or hear my own voice, then maybe it’s just thoughts in my idle moments, not signs of something larger.

So I hide it. But the thing is: this blog is bathed in obscurity and totally anonymous. No one will know it’s me unless I send them the address or physically show them the painting. So, in theory, I could post it up here and explain it, but STILL have it be hidden just the same.

Except that the Internet is a cruel place that follows a simple rule: don’t post it unless you want to take the heat. Content creators are shredded. Cosplayers are insulted. Musicians mocked and writers ridiculed. It’s like we are all a bunch of jerks- have always been a bunch of jerks- and today is our day to shine through anonymous trolling.

It’s scary.

It reminds me of elementary school, when my coat had a vest attached to it and everyone called it a life jacket and asked me about my fear of floods. One difference between us, one divergence from the norm, and I was fair game. So is it the same?

Are we all so insecure, so desperate to fit in that we will attack anyone who sticks out (because we hope that doing so will reinforce how well we fit in)? Is that it? Are we all just scared?

Terrified that no one likes us?

Terrified that we are less than we want to be?

Maybe. But if it’s true, it doesn’t really help me to know if I should hide myself or just thrive in spite of the sad small people. After all, cruel words really do hurt, no matter who says them.

Validation

As part of my general cleaning/decluttering work, I’ve come across my old school awards. When I got them, they were really important, you know? I was so proud- I had worked hard and someone was acknowledging my efforts with a tangible item! Even better, I was a kid before they started rewarding everyone, so I was really being called out as a high performer. It meant something.

I lived for that validation, for that praise. My whole worth as a person was riding on my ability to perform well. I NEEDED to be recognized. I needed to succeed. I needed my goals to be meaningful. These little plaques were part of the proof that I was worth while- that I should even exist.

I wonder if that sounds crazy. To be so desperate for something so small, but I think it’s pretty common. Is there anyone  who doesn’t seek something small to make them feel better- kind words from a specific person, a particular possession, a full social life, or something else? Don’t we all turn outside of ourselves to find meaning or value?

So, what do I do with them now? Ribbons and plaques that testify to my success? Are they really any different from my diploma or my bachelor’s degree? Those don’t affect my daily life either. Are my childhood award worth less simply because there’s not a recognized standard? Is being the lead actress in a local play insignificant simply because it isn’t Broadway?

Do small things matter?

Do normal people doing normal things matter?
Or are we fooling ourselves just to feel better?

Holding Pattern

I’m sitting at my pharmacy, waiting on a prescription that I dropped off almost 5 hours ago, which was supposed to take 1 hour, which isn’t filled because my insurance won’t cover it, but that I still need anyway. Sometimes, life is just like this. Work all that you want to, but you can’t get things to turn out right or play through quickly.

I wanted to avoid this trip all together- there’s a former/present?employee that I really don’t want to see. But I’m being an adult, and that means coming anyway. (I miss being a child sometimes.)

I’m just gonna sit here uncomfortably with my shame and this 80s radio station until they call me back to the counter. I wish that I could guarantee that I wouldn’t just end up dwelling on times when I gave everything, tried with all my strength, and just watched things crumble. But I can’t promise that, because I will, and I am.

Working hard is supposed to ensure success. Hasn’t anyone told the world about this rule? Heh. Of course not. Nothing is that easy.