A long time ago, I imagined a picture of what my life should become. It’s mostly unrealistic and unachievable, and whenever my real life veers from this preconception (which is constantly), I view it as a failure. And I focus on those failures so intently that I’ve grown blind to my successes. This, of course, is ridiculous.
I’ve created a situation where success is impossible, and I punish myself for failing to achieve it. I would never put this kind of pressure on someone else. Why do I do it to myself?
If I dare come close to accomplishing any small part of the magic picture, I derail myself. It’s like I want to fail… like I expect to fail… like I force myself to fail. And if I do manage to make part of the picture real, I devalue that piece. Must have been too easy. Everyone must be able to do this if I did it. So I turn that into a failure, too. God, is failure my comfort zone?
I insist that external forces throughout my life have landed me in this place – school, work, family, bad luck, genetics. I’ve mastered creative blame. I must be fucking amazing because nothing is ever my fault. I have thousands of excuses ranging from semi-valid to just plain ridiculous. But I know the truth… the blame is mine.
My dreams don’t come true because I don’t believe they will come true. I don’t believe I deserve them. If I don’t act a certain way or look a certain way, I cannot be worthy of friendship… of success… of love. Instead of worrying what others think of me, I should be thinking, “Here I am. This is me. Love me or don’t.”
Instead, I agonize over every decision, worrying what this person or that person will think of me and my life. I feel judged for my every action (or inaction). And I am being judged – but only by me. Where do we learn to be relentlessly hard on ourselves? I know I’m not the only one. I’ve read countless diatribes while procrastinating… while searching for distractions so I can avoid doing anything at which I may fail.
Even this blog – I spend far too much time worrying about how my words will be received. Seriously. I haven’t even been doing this long enough to have readership in double digits! Hey, if you’re reading this, I love and appreciate you. And I should just be me. Not who I think the universe wants me to be. I magically write with abandon when it’s for my eyes only. The moment I know someone else is going to read my words, however, I edit myself, second guess myself, talk myself into a pool of self-deprecation and self-loathing. My talent or ability is not the issue. Pretending to be someone other than who I truly am – that’s the issue.
I must stop fighting myself. ‘Cause I’m pretty fucking cool. Flaws and foul language, opinions and passion, humor and heartbreak, rules or no rules. I should write like it’s just for me… all the time.
This shall be my new magic picture. A moving, changing, evolving picture. As it should be.