So everyone has insecurity issues sometimes. Okay, maybe not everyone, but I already wrote about Nadine. But for the rest of us, there are days where we are just almost crippled with that feeling of "oh no I can't!" I have said before that I have a good deal of impostor's syndrome and you all know it's true because you read my blog where I spill my secrets, well they aren't really secrets since I spill so many. And I wrote a few weeks ago about getting hit with an issue that I didn't even still know I had. And you all know I've been drifting for a little bit trying to figure out the what next for me.
So this morning as I was working out and my "surprise me" playlist went for all of the slower songs with the heavy lyrics I started thinking. Still trying to figure out the goals thing, trying to decide what to do. I was listening to Dawes and the lyric "is anyone that's making anything new only breaks something else" just flared in my head. And then of course in the song it's quickly followed by "Oh you can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks.
Yes, you can stare into the abyss, but it's starin' right back" And it lead me to thinking that maybe what my goal right now should be is to stop worrying about what other people think I'm breaking and go back to being my own sparkle.
How many times do you let someone else decide who you are? Big ways and small ways? I've talked over and over about the whole potential thing, and the fact that I've never ever been able to figure out what to do as a "grown up" and that I am starting to figure out that that is my point. My purpose is to not have a purpose. To not figure it out. To always question and look and see and share. To be the most me I can be, and that means curiosity, a drive to share what I see and a strong level of dork. But how many times do I step back and change what I was going to do because of someone else's issue?
I post a lot on Facebook. And there are a number of people out there that feel the need to point it out to me. "How many posts is this today?" Which gets the split reaction from me, the Good Denise/Bad Denise response. Usually Good Denise answers "A lot" with a smiley face, while Bad Denise seethes, "You tell me, asshole, since you are obviously keeping track" And Insecure Denise pauses before posting the next thing and thinks about it.
They have been painting the house for two weeks. TWO WEEKS... anyway...today I was cleaning house and had my music up singing along while I cleaned. I noticed the ladder up by the window as they were going to start painting the trim and my first thought was to turn down Neil and stop singing Forever in Blue Jeans. What a dorky song. But then I thought...why? I love the song. I have no qualms about loving it. And I don't even know the people painting my house so why should I care if they think I have lousy taste in music? And I thought to myself, how many times do we do this? Turn down the radio because we think the people in the car next to us might not think our music is cool enough? Too many times I think.
Looking at Facebook and Twitter and any number of articles that are posted there is a strong current right now of people trashing other people to make themselves look better. Did I say right now? I meant always. It's always there. You see it in political ads, they spend all of their time telling you how awful the other guy is instead of telling you what exactly they are going to do. You see it in tweets about movies or music or TV shows, the put down of something you like or you watch to make it look like they are smarter, cooler, better. And you all know how I feel about the Book/Movie people and their snide comments.
So what is going on when I've posted my 5th post for the day and someone wants to tell me about it? Why do I then hesitate to post again? Or conversely why do I then post 6 more things in rapid succession? It's because I'm buying in to what they are saying. And I don't have to do that. Facebook has a button they can click to unfollow me and another one to unfriend me completely if my abundance of posts bothers them.
And how often to we buy in to an opinion someone shares about us that we don't really agree with? I don't drink much and I am an early to bed, early to rise person. Even if I don't sleep much I still am in bed by 10 during the week 10:30 on weekends and out by 6 or 7. And this seems to bug the crap out of people. There is a lot of talk about my lack of drinking and staying out late. Like sobriety and an early bedtime are personality failings. That I am somehow missing out on the world because of them. (I am working on a short story that was born from this idea, I think it will be a good one, there are aliens in it) And there are times where I buy in to that idea. Which is ridiculous. But I can't help it. It's human. But I shouldn't. Not ever. Even when I am feeling smug when the Saturday afternoon hangover posts start rolling in. I shouldn't do that either.
How many times have you seen a post on Facebook by one of your more passive aggressive posting friends and seen the responses of people wondering if it was about them? I tend to stay away from such things because it makes me crazy. If you have a problem with someone tell them. Don't post "some people need to learn how to constructively present criticism..."
But here is the big secret. The big truth. It's not about you. Ever. It's really not. Even if it is clearly about you, it's not about you. It's about them. What's the famous quote? Your opinion of me is none of my business. Because it's their opinion. It's all about them. Not about you. Not really. And I have to keep that in mind. You are bothered that I post a lot. You are bothered that I am sober. You are bothered that I eat incredible food and take a picture to share it. You have issue with the fact that whole world is fascinating to me so I want to share it. None of that has anything to do with me. And when I am frustrated with what someone else is doing I have to keep in mind that it's not them either. It's me. Why am I frustrated? What bugs me? Is there a valid issue here? Or am I just over tired and over done?
Now here is where it gets tricky for me. Thinking about other people is part of who I am. I want people to be happy. I want them to live great lives. I don't want to be rude. I want to be inclusive. If you tell me a word I've always used is offensive I'm not going to call you out on being too PC I'm going to try my best to take that word out of my vocabulary, because to not do that would be rude. And I cannot abide by rudeness. So what do I do when someone is snarky? Or posts something that makes me angry or sad or feel less than?
Honestly, I bitch to my family about it. They have to love me. It's a rule we have. Even if I am being horribly, awfully, disgustingly, bad, they still have to love me. They get to tell me I'm being an asshole as well, but they still have to love me. And trust me, they can tell you there are times they get an earful, or a paragraph worth depending on which family members get hit with the barrage. And we bitch for a bit, the release valve is reset and I am able to put it all back in perspective. Though they know my triggers and can see them coming, "prepare for barrage in 3, 2, 1..."
So where does this leave me now?
With my August goal.
It's a nebulous one. Much harder to track, but worth the time I think.
This month I am going to work really hard at just being me. If I feel like posting 30 times in a row I will. If I feel like spending a day absorbed by the fascinating world of whatever and then share it with you, I will. If I feel like rocking out to Neil Diamond then I will. And what you think of it? That's really none of my business.