Monday, November 1, 2010

I am occasionally neurotic.

It took me about 27 years to discover that I was a valuable person and that I was worthy of being happy.  That might sound retarded to some; but, honestly, I think a lot of people can relate to that.  I think that we, as a society, are taught humility and guilt and shame, and that any sense of self worth is egotistical and selfish.  So, I spent years feeling guilty about everything and anything, trying to be everyone to everybody, and convincing myself that I was worth less.  That being me wasn't good enough, I had to serve others in order to make them like me.  That was a hard lesson to unlearn.

So, although I've gotten much better about trying to find the line between caring for my friends and family and going overboard to try to earn everyone's love, affection, and attention; I still find myself falling into that pattern from time to time.  It never ceases to amaze me how I can think I'm on a solid foundation and yet something simple and small can just shake me to the core sometimes. 

Lately I've been nervous.  Not like that dreadful, overly-anxious type of anxiety that I normally feel, but the type of nervous where I get preoccupied and forget to eat or sleep.  Where I start to really care about what I look like.  Where I care what I sound like.  Where I can't have a conversation without wondering what kind of facial expression I'm making.  Where I start to think that my best isn't good enough - I need to be a better singer, a better salesman, a better friend.  Then, I start to think that all the things I pride myself on the most I actually suck at and that I'm a horrible person.

Maybe I'm too Type A for my own good.  Maybe I'm doomed to always end up shooting myself in the foot.  Maybe I've been too scared to build myself up because I know that's just harder I have to fall.  But, I do it.  I look back on all the years I wasted telling myself that everybody else was better than me.  Why should I convince anyone that I'm less than the best?  That's for them to decide.  I shouldn't make that decision for them. 

But, with the idea that I have the potential to be the best for everyone and everything comes the flip side - what is the best for me?  Are there bigger, better, more fantastic things I ought to be doing? Have I fallen into doing what I am because it is optimal for me? Or am I simply settling for less? 

I make mistakes.  I screw things up.  It happens.  I work very hard to ensure that it does not happen, but I fail.  But, I learn my lesson (or so I hope), pick up the pieces, and get to work on fixing it.  I think how swiftly and effectively you fix problems shows almost as much if not more character than not letting them happen in the first place.  I try very, very hard not to go home and ruminate on it.  But I do.  I go home and I dwell on it and I stew over it and I let it run circles in my head until I'm a mess.

So I guess I question myself. I question why I let other people continue to have power over me.  If I am my own master then why do I choose to allow myself to be so influenced by my perceptions of how others view me?  Why do I consider my standing with the people around me to be so important? 

I know I'll be revisiting this topic later and this isn't a very well thought out or designed post.  I think I'm just going through an insecure phase right now and that makes me neurotic.

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