walk down memory lane

A high school friend reached out to me (hi, P). It’s nice, though admittedly somewhat strange, to get back in touch with people who knew you way back when.

I feel so much different, but I am pretty much the same person I was all these years ago: just as dumb and aimless as i was, only now it’s more obvious. I’m more aware of it, so i dont even try to hide it anymore.

Because that’s all I talk about, it may seem as if I were capable of change. I don’t think I am though, and I worry that people like her will give me a chance and I’ll just disappoint them all over again.

(by the way, it’s really quite strange being able to tell you’re idealizing someone as it’s happening. She’s my savior. She understands. She inspired me to quit my job. P, if you’re reading this, please don’t be overwhelmed. it’s normal for me, it happens all the time. and let me tell you what comes next: i see a sign of rejection or mild disapproval, and i withdraw into my shell. Or that’s what usually happens… I’ll do my best not to let it.)

talking to her made me realize that my self-perception is even further from how other people see me. which one is more accurate, then? if, going by what she said, in high school I appeared driven and conscientious, does that mean I was? even though it was the last thing i wanted to be?

I have had people comment that i seem really calm, and i always had to stop myself from laughing in their faces. but, i mean, they only have my behavior to go on, so i guess their impression kind of makes sense??

all this makes me wonder how much of what I think about other people is drastically different from what they believe about themselves or feel internally.

But yeah, apparently people admired my good grades or my English or whatever. but who the fuck genuinely wants to be the teacher’s pet in fucking high school? of course i would rather have had a social life of some sort and had people actually like me,,,, but i was unlikeable and insecure, so i resorted to controlling the only things i knew how to control.

But maybe the image we project unintentionally is more genuine and has more merit than your own self-judgment? if i seemed like a nerd, then, well, i must have been a nerd. so what i didn’t feel like one. so what “driven” or “ambitious” were far from what i would have considered accurate descriptions.

I was so lost. So lost. I had absolutely no clue what i was doing. I clung onto school because that was what gave my life a semblance of meaning or a sense of direction, but the truth was, all I needed was a friend, a true friend who would have called me out on my bs and made me confront all my pain and grief and get real about what i wanted.

but none of that had any chance of happening since i was so proficient in the art of denial and keeping people at arm’s length.

still nothing’s changed.

messier

I started five individual blog posts today, and found myself unable to finish any one of them. I tried Polish, i tried English, i even tried visuals alone; all I ended up doing was getting more and more frustrated.

And then I got it: I have to learn to be okay with expressing imperfect thoughts with words that only “kind of” fit. Some days ideas will present themselves to me already fully formed, other days i’ll write for hours and still I won’t be able to get to the bottom of the issue, and still ill end up saying things i dont mean.

i put off writing until what i have to say can be condensed into a few neat paragraphs. it’s reflective of what I want my brain to be. But the truth is, that’s not what anyone’s actual thought process looks like at all. The reality is much more messy, confused, and at times off-topic, and I don’t want to deny that any longer.

I don’t want to give you the sanitized version. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m sure of anything — to arrive at fake conclusions to calm my own anxious mind with the illusion of certainty — when in fact im sure of nothing.

I don’t want to be afraid to think. It might seem like I’m not getting anywhere, but at least i’m exploring new territory. i might get into some dead-ends or say things i end up having to take back…

but it’s just my thoughts we’re talking about, and I feel like a huge part of my problems stems from denying myself the simple luxury of fantasy. I’m superstitiously fearful of “thinking the wrong thing”. as if there’s some thought so awful that it’s going to permanently corrupt my mind and — ??? (unimaginable horror follows).

there are gaps. there are inaccuracies. there are blind spots. there’s so much that needs uncovering and deconstructing and just replacing, but to do that i have to find out what it is. to do that I have to think. I want you to see me try on different ideas and beliefs, even if it means creating sub-par “content”.

This blog was never about content, anyway.

a life of non-statements

I’d like to preface this by saying that I experience the world, including my own emotions, in very physical ways. which is to say that when i’m talking about food, for instance, i’m not really talking about food, you know what i mean? With that in mind, i present to you a conversation about moisturizing.

the back of my hands gotten all irritated again. I showed it to my parents and kind of laughed about it, but they didn’t seem amused one bit. Stern looks on their faces, they kept asking why i don’t do something about it, and i kind of just stood there limply, not really knowing how to respond.

They were both growing increasingly frustrated, so i thought about it for a moment and replied (let me remind you they are very right-wing), You might be relieved to learn that it’s not a feminist statement where i make myself purposely ugly or anything like that. I just… don’t care.

they looked at each other, their expressions going from blank to baffled to offended, and then my dad asked, Well is there anything you care about?

Another pause from me, then a tentative shake of the head “no”. they stared at me in disbelief. The conversation ended there, and i went to my room.

And I’m sitting here, confused as to what it was that so exasperated my parents. and also — was my answer accurate? was it genuine? im inclined to say yes to both, because it was spontaneous, and, in a way, uncalled for. What i should have said instead was something along the lines of a dismissive “ughh you know my lazy ass & how i am about wearing gloves!”.

i don’t know why i decided to be honest when put on the spot today. probably because i had never tried to get to the bottom of my own poor decisions before. I didn’t have time to process the conclusion that i arrived at at that very moment.

But it’s really quite simple: I just… don’t care.

part of it is because i don’t feel like i deserve to feel good about myself. another part is that i’m really too lazy and lack initiative. yet another is that im too indecisive & easily overwhelmed. maybe i want someone to take care of me. maybe i need attention. but it all comes down to the same thing.

let’s extrapolate to something more serious than my 80 year old’s hands. let’s take education. work. dating. friendships. that catch-all called “personal growth”. let’s take something as basic as physical health.

I used to care. but it was all… too much. too much effort & too little payoff. too many disappointed hopes. too much stress & pain. too many… options.

I’m still in two minds about the relationship between my lack of internal motivation and lack of self-esteem: i cant decide which one caused the other. but maybe at this point it doesn’t even matter. it’s a vicious circle, anyway.

I’m empty. I sympathize with nothing. I strive for nothing. I stand for nothing.

i learned a valuable lesson today. it’s that there’s only one way to find out what i want. i need to at least perform acts of caring, if only to realize at the end that i didn’t “truly want” anything; if only to be able to say that i didn’t give up.

but it’s so hard, so scary, to allow yourself to want.

bottomless well

You seek to protect your ego at all costs. But that requires a great deal of cognitive dissonance, since your particular brand of self-acceptance, if you can even call it that, is very conditional: you’re only worthy IF.

And every time you find out that you don’t meet your own arbitrary criteria, you have to go through a grieving process. One of a number of things can happen as a result:

  • total denial of the issue (not sustainable)
  • you can tweak something here and there by lowering the bar and/or overestimating your own abilities (not likely)
  • or, you can accept that you’re a failure & give up on yourself altogether, which is what I usually go for.

and you keep letting go of condition after condition, but not of their “objective” significance. Meaning, you still believe them to be true and right, you just lower your standards to accommodate your new & ever evolving definition of “bare minimum”: you expect less of yourself, but you also think less & less of yourself.

and you keep adjusting to the new lows, until apparently there is nowhere else to go, but it is never enough. and right when you think youve reached rock bottom, it turns out there is one more thing you’ve been taking for granted.

and you keep reevaluating your situation. You’re forever chasing after the most accurate way to assess how you compare to others, because you cant be happy UNLESS.

Of course a happiness predicated on the notion of being somehow “better” (as “good enough” naturally implies that some people… aren’t) is presumptuous, superficial, and bound to always induce anxiety and a lingering sense of inadequacy — ready to come out the moment you sense that you are “worse” at this thing or another.

What’s more, I don’t actually believe the same things about other people: I think everyone else can & should be happy, regardless of their looks, health, intelligence, personality, sense of humor, you name it. Well… that is all fine and dandy, but people who were blessed with more desirable traits probably are happier.

But okay… let’s not consider social approval for a second. How do you maintain a steady sense of self worth regardless of external validation? Or put differently, what amount of reassurance and compliments would it take to make you feel secure?

…ah… I see.

two I’s in friendship. one I in… I?

The day L left, I went into survival mode. I’ve been hanging on by a thread for going on a decade now, which is more time than we were close friends while she was still here. Of course L is her own person, and I shouldn’t be building my healing around her any more than I should have built my life. She has her own identity that goes way beyond being a signpost for my life or my recovery. Above all else, she’s a dear friend, and the last thing I want is to objectify her like that.

Regardless, in my mind, she stands for everything wrong with me. She wasn’t a person in my eyes; she was way too perfect for that. And by idealizing her, I failed to acknowledge that she, too, might have her own feelings & needs; I was too immature & superficial to meet them, though.

She went on to develop more mutually satisfying relationships, and I was hurt… now I know why: ours was a very asymmetrical one; I got emotional support, she got blind loyalty. Now she gets to be vulnerable and understood, too.

All this being said, even though I understand those dynamics in retrospect, I can’t change the past. Her departure was the catalyst for a process that had been a long time in the making: the disintegration of my own identity.

She is her own person. But, to me, she is also a stark representation of the idea of relying on someone else for your own sense of self, like I did for mine. She deserves more than being reduced to an archetype… but, again, to me she is both.

Since she left, I’ve been… getting by. Coming up with countless ways to not think for myself; to not think at all. I always had poor impulse control. I feel like it might have something to do with not using your internal monologue to its full potential. And when I shut it up altogether to avoid confronting painful feelings & ugly truths about myself, I also deprived myself of a tool that could have been incredibly helpful in regulating my behavior.

It’s not a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” kind of situation. I know I must have always gravitated towards certain types of people because of a natural inclination to follow rather than lead. It’s just that I wouldve saved myself a lot of pain if I had figured it out sooner, and perhaps taken steps to counteract it.

As things stand, I still seek that perfect relationship to lose myself in. I have this need to merge with the other person so completely that there is no more “you” or “I”, there’s just “us”. And I still believe that finding that person will solve all my problems: that they will live my life for me; that they will regulate my behavior; that they will fulfil all my needs.

I don’t (intentionally) deny the other person their right to privacy and their own complex and separate identity… As far as I’m concerned, they can even lead a life all of their own; Ill be sad and jealous, but I’ll understand that I’m not enough for them. But I need them to know & take care of me. To take the lead. Anticipate my needs. Tell me what to think. Is that mommy issues or what? 😬

In the absence of a favorite person to cling on to, and with no hope of ever finding one (because now I know it’s simply not possible in the sense in which i mean it), I am completely lost. I know I’ve discussed this before. But here I’m not talking about emptiness or idealization themselves; im talking about how they relate to impulsivity.

I always used to assume that the latter was an attempt to remedy the former, substituting compulsions and obsessions for a personality. I’m afraid the truth is much simpler than that: because I don’t think for myself, all I’m left with are my urges & no way to talk myself out of giving in to them.

It’s hard to exercise any degree of self-control when you have no sense of self. I may or may not be capable of “self-discipline”, but I’ll never find out until I know what my goals are & what’s good for me. Without some sense of your own personhood, there’s no self-discipline; there are just random rules and restrictions. And why follow those, if going against them doesn’t seem to interfere with any of your goals?

Of course I do have goals. Hopes. Ambitions. Which is why numbing out is so frustrating: every time I engage in harmful behaviors, it takes me that one step further from what I’m too afraid to admit I want.

I

am so…

c o n f u s e d.

sheeple need a shepherd. sheep person is me

maybe the way to take advantage of my current inability to identify with my past is by trying to make sense of it. the less attached i am to my past feelings and experiences, the lower the stakes, the easier it is to disengage and stay somewhat objective.

and when i do that, certain patterns start to emerge. regarding my temperament, interests, attitudes to relationships. and things start to kind of fall into place.

take my apparent inability to take care of myself, and utter helplessness in the face of adversity, real or perceived. i’m dependent, im avoidant, and i refuse to take responsibility for myself. i shift the blame without meaning to; i simply feel so powerless that the idea of being held accountable doesn’t seem to apply. if i’m not in the position to fix anything, i can’t break or ruin anything, either.

i always expect other people to take charge. the only time it doesn’t happen is the rare instance i believe, often wrongly, that im the more competent person / better equipped to deal with a certain issue. and if they don’t take charge, at the very least they must tell me specifically what it is that they want me to do, or else i will languish in uncertainty indefinitely.

it frequently happens with my job, even when i do receive clear instructions. well, clear to-do lists; the execution is left up to me, and i find that intolerable. so incapable am i of planning out my process, and so insecure in my ability to distinguish between the optimal way to accomplish a task and the countless dead-ends, that i get overwhelmed and kind of just give up, or start doing something else entirely. (Do i need to point out that it also happened with my BA?)

welllll….. told ya. this blog is your guide to (my) stupidity. what can i say, im a dumb bitch, i cant help it. Ugh, anyway. The question is, do I like being easily manipulated, and is there anything I can do to compensate for it and/or minimize the effect it has on my life. or can i atleast affiliate myself with people whose overall influence on my life is going to be positive.

except that would require some goal-oriented behavior on my part…

of course i can’t really increase the processing speed of my brain, or its operational memory or whatever. but there must be some skills i can learn to make up for that.

or that’s what i need to believe… :/

asymmetry

I’ll definitely continue writing predominantly in English. It’s an invaluable therapeutic exercise that allows me to explore uncomfortable topics in a safe context, not to mention it’s pretty much the only opportunity i get to use & practise english in my day-to-day life.

It never ceases to amaze me how much people talk about themselves. I don’t at all mean it in a bad way… I just never noticed it before. They talk about what they did, what they’re going to do, what they like to do, what happened to them, the new album that came out that they’re so happy about… they’re just never short of ideas.

It’s actually one of my favorite things to do is to listen to people talk about subjects they are passionate about, and to share in their enthusiasm and enjoyment. I don’t know why it has always felt so wrong for me to talk about things that I am interested in. For as long as I can remember, whenever someone asked me what I had been up to, my go-to response would be, oh, you know, nothing much…

yes, it’s true that most of the time i am up to nothing in particular. But even when that’s not the case, i always kind of just assume that whatever I’m doing, the other person is going to find exceedingly, mind-numbingly dull. i’m perpetually confused as to why anybody would be truly interested in my opinions or activities, and it always feels like theyre just being polite or humoring me out of pity.

of course on many occasions i have done quite the same thing, listening to people talk about topics i knew next to nothing about or wasn’t in the least interested in, just to make them feel good about themselves, and that in and of itself felt rewarding to me.

i like the concept of people putting up with eachothers shit in theory, i simply don’t believe it applies to me specifically. i don’t expect other people to be flawless or endlessly entertaining, it’s my own imperfections that are unacceptable. i can understand that everyone else is sometimes funny and sometimes tedious; but i honestly find the idea of bothering someone with my presence, or them finding me boring or annoying, abhorrent and excruciating. which is not to say that it doesnt happen; in fact im positive it happens all the time. the difference is, it’s less because of what i do and more because of what i fail to do. In other words, they can just up and leave.

my default position has always been to expect them to leave, and i am always eternally grateful to every person who, for reasons unclear to me, decides to stay and listen. …But yet I still expect them to leave at some point. it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when they have simply had enough. and i really wouldn’t blame them, either; i would probably encourage them, and ask whatever caused them to give me a chance in the first place. some kind of oversight or a momentary lapse of judgment, surely, and then they just didn’t know how to extricate themselves from the relationship without hurting my feelings.

i try to be as unobtrusive as possible, but when i cannot contain myself any longer it comes off as obnoxious or over the top. alternatively i turn into this self-righteous killjoy because im just too self-conscious to join in to whatever fun people are having.

I was re-reading what i’ve written so far, and when i got to the passage about “people putting up with each other’s shit” it felt like new information. Really strange. Like, i know it happens. I do it constantly. But the thought of someone finding a flaw in me and not rejecting me right then and there???? Wild. My friendships are always like, I’m so sorry you have to endure this, is there anything i can do to make the experience any less miserable? if you decide to leave ill understand, just tell me when. Also, thank you for being so kind and patient and trying to fix me even though that’s impossible, I appreciate the effort. i mean i dunno why you’re still here, you can go, im sure you have better things to do than to listen to me go on like that… But enough about me, tell me how you have been!

I’m not saying that that’s the way every individual interaction goes, but I’m always vaguely uneasy when it doesn’t.

at the same time, however, i must admit it’s such a relief. liberating. empowering. …to… own the spotlight for once, and not care about how im going to be received. to indulge my own feelings, my own talkativeness, rather than somebody else’s. therapy’s like that, too: it’s a foreign feeling for me to be listened to, understood, accepted, and for me to not feel guilty about it. i mean i still do. i still feel like im wasting their time. but they validate me. and reassure me. and encourage to keep going.

I think I will.

reclaiming Polish

Powoli skłaniam się ku twierdzeniu, że moje pisanie po angielsku zawsze służyło po pierwsze zdystansowaniu się od własnych uczuć.

Zaczęło się to jeszcze w okolicach gimnazjum, pierwotnie dlatego że chciałam poćwiczyć pisanie w języku obcym; szybko jednak przerodziło się w sposób na zapewnienie, że rodzice nigdy nie dowiedzą się co mi siedzi w głowie. Nie ufałam że poszanowaliby moją prywatność jeśli znaleźliby mój pamiętnik. Ta ewentualność wywoływała u mnie lęk, wstyd, a co za tym idzie, chęć zamaskowania swoich przemyśleń pod pozorem ćwiczenia glottodydaktycznego.

Miałam być szczęśliwym dzieckiem. Wolałam nie myśleć co by było, gdyby moja mama dowiedziała się, że doświadczam jakichkolwiek negatywnych emocji. Przeczuwałam że miałaby mi to za złe i wzięłaby to do siebie, co z kolei mogło się różnie skończyć. Tak bałam się odrzucenia, że nie pozwalałam sobie na uczucia, które uznawałam za niewłaściwe lub potencjalnie przykre dla innych. Od tamtej pory już zawsze pisałam po angielsku i zdążyłam tak się do tego przyzwyczaić, że wydaje mi się to zupełnie normalne i oczywiste.

Samo pisanie to nic — mi nawet w myśli i w mowie angielski przychodzi dużo bardziej naturalnie niż poprawna polszczyzna. Jest to o tyle niefortunne, że żyję gdzie żyję i nie zawsze mogę być pewna że mój rozmówca zrozumie, kiedy wtrącę jakiś potoczny anglicyzm. Nie mówiąc już o tym, że mój angielski może i nie jest zły, ale daleko mu do doskonałości. Ograniczony zasób słownictwa to jedno; będzie on taki zawsze nawet w języku rodzimym.

Co gorsza nie mam tej samej głębokiej, organicznej więzi z angielskimi słowami. Kiedyś na zajęciach omawialiśmy autobiografię Evy Hoffman, która w wieku 13 lat wyjechała z Krakowa do Stanów. Pisała o frustracji wiążącej się z wyrażaniem siebie w języku obcym: nawet jak opanujesz go do perfekcji, trudno w nim o tę samą spontaniczność i autentyczność. Słowa nie wywołują tych samych skojarzeń, emocji, dosłownie biorą się z innych procesów w mózgu.

Dlaczego zatem ja sama narzuciłam sobie takie arbitralne ograniczenie? Mam trzy hipotezy. Mniej boli. Mogę poruszyć mniej tematów i przekazać mniej treści, co ułatwia wypieranie niepożądanych myśli (o tym później). I… chyba nie chcę być zrozumiana???

Jakiś czas temu któregoś dnia coś mi odbiło i zaczęłam mówić do swoich znajomych w pracy po angielsku. Oni rozumieli mnie piąte przez dziesiąte, a ja zawzięcie kontynuowałam swój monolog przez następne pół godziny. Nie, nie szukałam z ich strony potwierdzenia swoich umiejętności… z tego na szczęście wyrosłam. Nie wiedziałam dlaczego właściwie to robię, po prostu jakoś tak wyszło.

Mówiłam dalej, bo ich brak zrozumienia w zasadzie był optymalny. Zwróciłam na siebie uwagę w sposób może dziecinny, ale skuteczny. Mogłam mówić o sobie, w nieskończoność, praktycznie na każdy temat, a jednocześnie wiedziałam że i tak mnie nie zrozumieją. Nie ocenią. … nie odrzucą.

Nie wiedzieli o co mi chodzi ani nie mogli nijak się do tego odnieść, co wywołało niemałą niezręczność i konsternację. Z ich strony… tak dla odmiany. A ja byłam… inna. Mniej sztywna. Usprawiedliwiałam to tym że “to nie byłam ja”. Oczywiście byłam, ale… once removed.

(Swoją drogą ten mały “eksperyment” nieźle demonstruje jak ja sama zwykle czuję się w towarzystwie. To znaczy tak, jakby wszyscy poza mną płynnie i z łatwością posługiwali się językiem, w którym ja tylko dukam. Niewiele do mnie dociera, a sama też nie mogę się wysłowić.)

Jak mogłabym nie mieć problemów z komunikacją interpersonalną, skoro komunikacja intrapersonalna tak u mnie kuleje? Mogę chłodno opisać niektóre swoje odczucia, ale niestety na tym zawsze się kończy. Mam do nich taki dystans, jakby chodziło o kogoś innego a nie o mnie.

Zresztą myślenie po angielsku to tylko połowa “sukcesu”, a im dłużej to robię tym mniej jest skuteczne. Bardziej niezawodna jest najzwyklejsza w świecie autocenzura.

Jest trochę myślenia magicznego w moim postrzeganiu własnych procesów poznawczych. Mam wiele upierdliwych naleciałości z religii, i jedną z nich jest uparcie towarzyszące mi przeświadczenie, że można “zgrzeszyć myślą, mową, uczynkiem i zaniedbaniem”. Zgrzeszyć. Myślą. Jak gdyby myśli miały jakąś moc sprawczą i z automatu czyniły cię złą osobą. Ahhh… złą. Tyle założeń i generalizacji w jednym króciutkim akapicie.

Są rzeczy, o których po prostu nie myślę. Za bardzo boję się, że doprowadziłoby to do katastrofy. ??? Nie pytajcie co mam na myśli, przecież mówię że o tym nie myślę.

Wiem natomiast (oczywiście dopiero teraz), że takie unikanie trudnych tematów nie rozwiązuje problemów, tylko je pogłębia. Zrozumiałam to na przykładzie — czego? jak nie swoich studiów. Normalny etap edukacji, i życia w ogóle, urósł w mojej głowie do rozmiarów tak niewyobrażalnie przytłaczających, że obecnie zdaje się niewykonalny.

Chuj z tym. Mam dosyć. Koniec unikania.

“ja” w czasie

Tak trudno mi wziąć się w garść chyba dlatego, że dotąd żyłam w błogiej (?) nieświadomości. Nie widziałam siebie jako samostanowiącej, samowystarczalnej jednostki, tylko jako wyraz przyrody — prymitywnej, niepojętej i nieokiełznanej.

Nie wykształciłam własnej tożsamości bo nigdy nie patrzyłam na siebie w kategoriach podmiotu; nie próbowałam wywierać realnego wpływu na swoje życie bo nie czułam żebym miała nad nim jakąkolwiek kontrolę; zawsze byłam tylko przedmiotem oddziaływania różnorakich czynników zewnętrznych.

Życie pełne jest ludzi i zdarzeń które cię zmieniają. Ale jak pozwolisz otoczeniu w pełni regulować twoje zachowanie, to rodzi się pewien problem kiedy w końcu stracisz kontakt z ludźmi których mogłabyś naśladować albo odejdziesz z grupy która dotąd nadawała kierunek twojemu życiu, takiej jak szkoła.

Jestem konformistką nie tylko z bezmyślności, ale też ze strachu i niezdecydowania. Zawsze szłam po linii najmniejszego oporu, obierając ścieżki najbardziej oczywiste, wymagające ode mnie najmniej inwencji twórczej czy samozaparcia. To podejście nawet się sprawdza… do czasu. Dopóki nie zorientujesz się, że sama sobie jesteś winna że musisz napisać licencjat na temat, którego nie znosisz, na studiach do których nie jesteś w stu procentach przekonana.

A moja impulsywność i brak samokontroli? Na pierwszy rzut oka świadczą o tym, że nie potrafię planować, przewidzieć konsekwencji swoich działań, uczyć się na błędach, ani odraczać gratyfikacji. No… wszystko to prawda. Ale nie cała.

Wiem przecież że przyszłość nadejdzie. Wiem nawet że mam na nią (jakiś) wpływ. Ale… właśnie to mnie przeraża. Mój zalękniony mózg przyjmuje do wiadomości tylko najgorsze możliwe scenariusze, więc wolę w ogóle nie dopuszczać do siebie myśli o czekających mnie zmianach, decyzjach czy bolesnych przeżyciach.

Tylko że wypychając ze świadomości przyszłość, tracę jednocześnie resztki motywacji do działania na własną korzyść w teraźniejszości.

Jak tak o tym myślę, to to utrudnia nawet rzeczy mające w teorii sprawiać przyjemność, choćby nie wiem jak trywialne. O ile nigdy nie miałam problemu z czytaniem lektur w terminie, bo był to cel (a raczej obowiązek) narzucony mi “odgórnie”, to zliczyć bym nie mogła wszystkich książek, filmów, seriali, które zaczęłam i przerwałam w połowie bo — ??? — bynajmniej nie dlatego że mi się nie podobały, ani też z braku czasu.

Nie cierpię swojego lenistwa i braku inicjatywy. Są one tym bardziej frustrujące, że w istocie mam parę pomysłów na to co mogłabym zrobić ze swoim czasem. Tylko że nie potrafię zwizualizować sobie pozytywnych konsekwencji działań które mogłabym podjąć nawet teraz, zaraz.

Wracając do tego o czym pisałam na początku — trudno mi się “pozbierać”, bo… nie bardzo jest co. Niewiele w moim życiu jest stałe. Powtarzalne, owszem, i to aż do bólu; jak już znajdę sobie jakąś etykietkę to (przez jakiś czas) wałkuję ją do znudzenia. Ale same etykietki przybieram bardzo powierzchownie, i rzadko z jakimś głębszym przekonaniem o ich słuszności czy nawet trafności.

A że nigdy nie przyswoiłam sobie żadnych nadrzędnych wartości innych niż religia — którą przecież dawno porzuciłam — ani nie nauczyłam się myśleć, decydować, działać samodzielnie — to po zredukowaniu szkodliwych przekonań i przyzwyczajeń nie zostaną mi żadne korzystne nawyki czy pasje, które niezmiennie podnosiłyby mnie na duchu, do których mogłabym wrócić jak już będę gotowa. Innymi słowy — naprawdę nie wiem kim jestem.

Trzeba przyznać że mam spore problemy z myśleniem abstrakcyjnym i jestem twardo osadzona w konkretach teraźniejszości. To wcale nie wyklucza tkwienia w przeszłości… wręcz przeciwnie: przeszłość jako taka po prostu nie istnieje, bo ona dla mnie wciąż trwa i wywiera na mnie znaczący wpływ. Jestem do niej tak przywiązana, że nie pozwalam jej minąć… ale jako że jest ona niezaprzeczalnie abstrakcyjna, to już nie mogę jej przepracować.

Co się zaś tyczy przyszłości — boję się jej wcale nie dlatego że jakieś realne przesłanki każą mi wnioskować że będzie ona fatalna — ani też na podstawie doświadczenia, bo jak do tej pory moje życie właściwie zawsze okazywało się dużo mniej straszne niż je sobie wyobrażałam — a wyłącznie dlatego, że z natury jestem straszną pesymistką i panikarą. “Prawdziwa” przyszłość jest nieprzewidywalna, więc konkretyzuję i oswajam ją sobie przygotowując się na najgorszą ewentualność.

Nic więc dziwnego że nie mam prawdziwej tożsamości, skoro zawsze opierała się ona na akceptowaniu tego co mi się przytrafiało. Nie mogę jej odbudować, bo nigdy jej nie zbudowałam

Limbo

i’ve lost touch with the person i used to be. my past seems distant, abstract, and fragmented. all my behaviors seem vaguely justifiable yet completely unrelated, like there’s no continuity between individual events. I can only superficially connect back to the various ways I have felt in the past.

the closest i could come to figuring out why… was that all my life, hardly anything i ever did was genuine. that might be why it’s so easy to disconnect from my past: i was never actively living it the moment it was happening. that’s facile, of course, saying that it hasn’t been me all this time. obviously it has. only a very … smothered … version of myself.

I can intentionally do things for intellectual reasons. but I do most things for emotional reasons, and these are always unintentional. the reason being, if I get rejected or criticized, at least it’s not an authentic expression of my true self that’s getting criticized. in the same vein, it’s sort of comforting to know that i could be trying harder, putting in more effort… i simply choose not to, but there’s options. room for improvement.

because what if i did my best and still failed miserably?

i don’t think it’s as simple as a basic fear of failure though. there must be an element of confused identity. i always did whatever was expected of me, no more, no less; i followed instructions, i stubbornly stuck to the scenario that i had imagined for myself long ago based on what people told me. but a part of me must have remained non-committal about the whole thing, almost like i was only this compliant out of debilitating fear and self-doubt.

maybe it had to come to this: maybe i had to feel like the biggest disappointment on the face of the earth only to realize that I … don’t … actually … care. maybe that’s what it took for me to come into my own and develop some independence at last.

and maybe my memory is so resistant because it won’t accept anything less than ME. i remember happy times. i remember my friends, the trips i took, parts of high school and uni. I remember Canterbury. what i don’t remember is all the rest; life “happening to me”.

i’m not saying my life needs to be driven by some overarching goal or theme; quite the opposite, i want to be more spontaneous. but that’s the thing, whatever i do i want it to be my decision, dictated more by my needs than by external factors.

you don’t necessarily need a road map in order to develop a coherent narrative of your life. you just need to stop trying to go in all directions at once, and go instead where you really want to go.

i just need to figure out where that is…