discovering myself – final questions

I’ve decided I am ready to be done “discovering the very best in myself” so I’m going to breeze through the last three questions tonight. If you’re coming into this late, I decided to tackle the “10 Questions You Should Know the Answers To” from the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog. Here we go, questions 8-10. 

Question 8: How are you burdening yourself?

I think I’ve sort of answered this question already, but the major burden I feel is worrying about the future. Because my life has been so focused on school, it’s impossible for me not to worry about what I’m going to do with my life. I’ve always made decisions based on where they will lead me later on. I wish I could live more in the moment, and for normal day-to-day stuff I usually can, but whenever I have a major decision on the horizon I am very future focused. 

I also need to be in control of many aspects of my life. It’s really difficult for me to allow anyone else to take the lead. I like to have plans and don’t really enjoy spontaneity. It makes me nervous when I don’t know what’s coming next or where I’m going. I am working on sorting out the reasons why I am this way so hopefully that will change soon. 

Question 9: How have you celebrated your success lately?

The last time a success of mine was celebrated was my master’s graduation, a year ago, but that was also probably my last big success. 

Question 10: What do you love about your life?

I love all of the people in my life – I really do have the most amazing friends and family, and I am so grateful for them. I love spending time with my niece and watching her grow up. I also love seeing my nephew grow and change from week to week, even though he just mostly sleeps and eats at this point. I love aspects of my job, especially the time I get to spend in the school with some of my favorite students. I love all that I’ve been able to accomplish by the age I’m at – and I’m excited to see what the future will hold for me both personally and professionally. I love that I’m able to be independent and don’t have to rely on others. Finally, I love my dog, my treadmill, and my bed. 

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internal issues

Question 7: What issues do you need to resolve with yourself? 

The description under this question was all about being lonely and learning how to be alone without being sad. I don’t have any issues being alone; I’ve been alone and lived alone for most of my adult life, and I enjoy it. So, moving in a different direction, I need to work on being more aware of my feelings and dreams. I also need to become more assertive in asking for what I want, and rejecting what I don’t. I need to learn to trust more and be more open. I need to work on my deeper baggage I carry with me, but I’m in the process of doing that already. I guess another thing i should work on with myself is being more comfortable being with other people and not getting my “alone time.” I think I got so used to living alone that I really need time to myself to recharge, and when that’s not possible, I get really cranky. I’m not always going to be able to get time to myself, so I will need to figure something else out so I’m not a huge bitch all the time.

flaws and faults

Question 6: What are your flaws and faults?

I care too much what other people think. I try not to, and I have gotten better over the years, but it’s still an issue. I worry about hurting other people’s feelings, so I sometimes don’t do what’s right for me. I get anxious and nervous a lot, even when I know it’s silly. I’m not very good at asking for what I want or advocating for myself. I’m not good at discussing feelings or dealing with difficult personal situations. I’m also very impatient and hate waiting for things. I’m not very good at delegating tasks to others – I’d much rather just do things myself so I know they’re done right. Finally, I’m not very good at saying “no” to stuff I don’t want to do or don’t have time to do. 

I’m also not very good at working on spatial problems, building things, drawing, painting, singing, math (without a calculator), explaining how to do things to people who have no idea, painting my own fingernails, doing my hair, and relaxing. 

notes from a younger me

I was rummaging through some of my stuff the other day and came across one of my own journals. I spent some time sifting through it and found some sweet, forgotten memories, heartache, funny stories, horrifying (after the fact) decisions I made, and a terribly obvious pattern of choices. Even though some of it is not pleasing to me now, this is exactly why I keep journals and continue to write. I enjoy looking back on pieces of my life later on and re-experiencing those moments and learning from them. I did learn quite a few things that I think deserve to be noted.

First, I came across a quote from Jim Morrison that really strikes me, and apparently did in 2009 as well.

“That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be who he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretense. It’s true, we’re locked in an image – an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you’re trying to steal their most prized possession.”

This really speaks to me because the more I think about it, there are only a few people who know the real me. The real me. Not the me everyone thinks they know. I cannot adequately express how much love and appreciation I have for those few people, the ones I can truly be myself with. The people who know all my stories, good and bad, and have stuck around and continued to be in my corner. As I get older and more self reflective, I am really realizing how lost I would be without those people.

These writings have also shown me what a mess I was, basically from 2008-2011. I kept following the same patterns, especially in relationships. I continually got involved with people who weren’t really available, for whatever reason. I kept telling myself that it was fine, that I wouldn’t get my feelings invested, and when the person turned out to be a douche, I’d tell myself that I was done, and that was it. And then I’d try it again…only to end up in the same situation. Maybe not so surprisingly, the guys seemed to say and do many of the same things. Tell me how I’m the best, smartest, nicest person they know, that they love me and would do anything for me, BUT…..and then after that BUT, things would fall apart. Instead of walking away the first time like a smart person, I’d stick it out. Continue with the pattern of facing two different people, one who was drunk and charming, and one who was sober and noncommittal or emotionally unavailable. To see all these stories, all at the same time, it’s sort of funny but also depressing. You would have thought I would learn by the third or fourth person who this happened with, but apparently not.

Seeing all of this also just shows me how unhappy I was and how little respect I had for myself. I wouldn’t say that I generally felt (or feel) bad about who I am, but I’ve always had trouble actually asking for, or expecting, respect from people. I kind of just let people treat me however they wanted and then didn’t hold them accountable when they decided they didn’t need to treat me well. I don’t like confrontation, so that’s probably why. I wouldn’t say that I think I “deserved” to be treated poorly, but I didn’t do anything to stop it. I always told myself it was because I didn’t really care about trying to have a relationship with anyone anyway, but that probably wasn’t true. It was just a defense mechanism.

It also became amazingly clear to me that I need to continue working on myself, because 4-5 years ago I told myself I needed to deal with these feelings/issues and I still haven’t. About a month ago I pledged to actually get started, which I did — but seeing all of these things is just more motivation to stick with it this time, even if it’s difficult. It’s finally time to stop putting things off and to make my feelings and well-being a priority.

Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

I love writing lists. Partially it’s because I can never seem to remember anything if I don’t write it down. This is especially true if I need to go grocery/general stuff shopping. Even if I only need a few things, and think about them all week, by the time I get to the store I can’t seem to remember what it was that I needed. If I’m shopping at Target, I just end up with $100 worth of things I didn’t actually need, and then get home and remember the one I did. It’s frustrating. So I’ve learned I just need to make lists. 

I also use lists a lot for school and work, or else I can’t stay organized. I often add things to my list that I’ve already done, just so I can cross it off and feel accomplished. 

Things I’m Doing Today

  • Work Out
  • Make yummy breakfast
  • Put some pictures into my photo album
  • Watch Ruby Sparks
  • Make work out playlist
  • Waste time on Facebook/Pinterest/Wordpress
  • Being annoyed that it’s snowing AGAIN

Things I Should Be Doing Today Instead

  • Laundry (washing machine is broken)
  • Put away clothes
  • Clean
  • Start to organize stuff for my upcoming move
  • Get things organized to register for class
  • Sort through clothes and find more things to get rid of
  • Make list of things I need to buy tomorrow
  • Make food so there’s something to eat this week