I have written and rewritten this post numerous times. Each time choosing not to publish it until now.
After reading the words I'd written and thinking of the frame of mind I was in at several points while writing, I think it was probably the right decision.
I've gone through my own personal downward spiral of sorts in the last few months. I indulged or maybe a better word would be wallowed in some self pity, a wee bit of self loathing, a good deal of anger...directed at my family, my friends and most especially at myself...then finally moving on to numbness and a sadness I couldn't seem to get a hold of.
If someone had died I'd almost think I was moving through the stages of grief. And maybe in truth there is in part a death of sorts happening inside me. I've had to look at myself a little closer. I've had to rethink a few of the truths I had believed about myself and I realized that I don't like all I see. I've had to be honest with myself and admit that I'm not exactly the person I thought I was.
The good news is I'm not a totally worthless human being. But I'm finding that it's far to easy to dwell on all the mistakes Ive made and continue to indulge in guilt and anger as well as feeling sorry for myself. Which I know ultimately is a pointless exercise.
I am used to being my own worst critic, so it's very easy for me to slip into those above feelings and be caught up in them. But what does that type of thinking or behavior prove? What problems will it solve or what positive action will result from it?
I think the answer is that it solves nothing. While it's true in one aspect it might give me a better understanding of my mistakes so I don't repeat them....so I suppose it could possibly be seen as a positive in that way. Overall it isn't anything but a deep bitterness that not only holds you down but eats you up over time.
EE Cumings said "It takes alot of courage to grow up and be who you really are".
I think he's right it does. I am starting to realize how hard it can be to just be true to yourself. To be who you are deep down to your bones and not just a reflection of what others want you to be.
Henry Frederick Emile said "Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with good grace all that you are not"
This is a lesson I haven't quite mastered. But still a valuable one to learn I think. I need to realize I'm not always going to be the good person I might imagine or wish myself to be. I make mistakes. I have hang ups and sometimes make some really bad choices.
Some might say that it's normal and human to do this. I would agree it is. But I used to believe that good intentions were the most important thing. Because as long as I was trying to be a good person, trying to live a decent, honest life, trying to be genuine and sincere with others that's what counted most.
Now I realize while those things do matter they don't absolve or erase wrongs done. Those actions are what they are. They have consequences and they stand alone. You can't repair or fix them with good intentions or other good acts. All you can do in truth is feel a remorse and hopefully learn something so you don't repeat them.
I don't know who said this one but I can relate to it....."There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroads... afraid, confused, without a road map. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our lives. Of course when faced with the unknown, most of us prefer to turn around and go back"
I have spent far to much time in my life pulling back and or digging in. It was wasted time. Fear of failure, or rejection or disapproval by those that mean something to you is a hard thing to over come. Maybe that's where the courage comes in. Maybe you have to face forward and keep going no matter how afraid you might be to fall.
Nathaniel Hawthorne said "No man, for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true".
I'm finding out first hand how true this is. It's very hard and exhausting always trying to be what others want or expect you to be. Especially when you know deep inside you it's not real. If that kind of mask is worn long enough I think you really do forget and start to lose track of which face is the real you. I think you have to be brave and expose yourself to the world. The real you and not allow fear of being different hold you back.
EE Cummings also said "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it's best night and day to make you everyone else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight. Never stop fighting".
I know I'm not unique here. I know that I'm not the first person to feel like this or struggle. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever caved in to the wishes of family, peers or what is considered the societal norm ....So no this isn't some new revelation. I guess I just realize more than ever that I have choices to make. Life is short. I have one chance to live today. So I can revel in my individuality....I can explore this person I feel inside me. Or I can conform. I can blend in. I can become invisible.
I know this isn't one of those choices you make and once made it's done. I think this is a daily walk out into the world conscious act. I think you have to be self aware and work at it. You have to fight to keep on track.
Sometimes I think during the course of normal life we get shown things that will make us better if we pay attention and take action. And sometimes we find out we have to rethink and change the course we are on.
Mick Jagger said "You can't always get what you want...but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need"
I have to agree.