Lately I’ve been wondering about what drew me to being here and why it’s hard to be in the moment. In a way, the past is a parasite that infects me towards cognitive dissonance to where it can make for an unpleasant person to be around - but am I defined by my actions, by my words spoken aloud, or by my internal architecture? And what the fuck is up with retaining a self-critical conscience that conflicts with an ability to be “fun.” Perhaps the devil on my shoulder becomes the predominant voice that keeps returning at the most improper moments and I’m trying to be an outspoken mediator that needs to be heard even if it interferes with personal contact and friendships. At least, that’s my interpretation that could be completely off-base.
Recently, a suggestion was made by someone who shall remain nameless, that often I externalize too much about what’s going on in my head. Overanalytical to the point of seeming self-obsessed. This took me aback but had validity. In fact, it lead to some clarity. I began parsing my own behavior in a whole new light, based on an opinion from someone I truly respect. Honesty can be a shock to the system, but usually the system readjusts to the point of acceptance even if later, there is not necessarily an overarching summation to who a person really is. For the fact remains - the person that made this observation is interpreting stimuli that I present, which I don’t always feel is harmful. It might be harmful to those around me… the question remains of whether or not if it’s inconsiderate to expose certain people to my coping mechanisms, which often involve talking things through until I can make sense out of the puzzle that is my incredibly imperfect brain.
Both individuality and identity can be reclaimed through acts against the system that wants to impose its will on the individual’s will. We all engage in conversational struggles at times because we have different perspectives that don’t always mesh with our own. Is it an imposition to disrupt a flow of contentment, by hearing that the other person is not always content due to my behavior. I’ve often thought that because I’ve been exposed to so much music and film, that my identity stems from absorbing media and leads to countless trials of introspection. Who am I? Why did I do this thing? Observing or listening is a form of integrating the self into an experience. There are those who have traveled, made countless friends in high places… there are those who went to medical school and sacrificed so much for a profession… there are those who struggle with mental afflictions that conflict with their ability to actually be “in the moment.” My coping mechanism was to watch a film or record a song, in hopes of putting myself in the story through empathy and excitement to learn about human nature or simply witness a good story told through differnet mediums. If I had thrown caution to the wind, I might’ve been more experimental, impulsive or at the very least, well-traveled. But I played it safe, for better or worse, to where now, my identity stems from countless stretches of being alone. Maybe it was easier, to simply immerse myself into that state, and now there are both upsides and downsides to how I chose to be my own therapist. It helps, and it most certainly can be exhausting. There is a time and place for it, but I can’t always decipher that which is a result of having a very limited social life. The idea of self-absorption truly scares me, to where I have very little to contribute other than my own experiences or interpretations that aren’t amusing or complementary to the conversation at hand. Fear strikes during party situations, since I can’t be quick-witted or consistently sociable which can be attributed to introversion and a need to process things slowly. Folks who process things quickly are, by far, subjected to envy on my part. Sometimes envy gets ugly and I take it out on myself for being envious and for not having a vital component to socializing.
It leads to a film called UPSTREAM COLOR that resonated with me at the right time. It was about identity, inter-connectivity, and to some minor extent, the idea of co-dependence… whether it be to a person, to the environment, to the sound, to ourselves. We can’t help but be ourselves, and it is not always complementary to the world we live in or the people we meet. It’s tough to maintain closeness, because I fear failure through past history. But the past is a parasite that feels like it’s infected to me, to where I can’t look past it. I see failure to where I push people away, so that the failure never comes into fruition through them. It’s the whole “I will leave them before they leave me” syndrome to where it is manifested through being distant or different than what the situation calls for. It most certainly can lead to acting out in anger, coiling up in isolation, or just being lost in one’s mind to where all that comes out, are worries and dramas that are extremely unattractive and counterproductive to anyone outside of a therapist. There is usually a hyperawareness of feeling threatened, rather than complementary to the world. And that needs to change. I can certainly uncover strengths, including an ability to analyze for the better, rather than overanalyze for the worse.
So is my career stemming from my main personality characteristic? And what happens when that seeps into my relationships? Where do the boundaries set in, and how comes it’s difficult to find them when they seem mandatory for people I’m close to? These are questions that again, feel inviting, and ultimately without an answer because they will more than likely find me in time. And yet what if I said we become timeless through our interactions. Who knows how we will be remembered. I just don’t want to be remembered as a lost soul who couldn’t find connection by letting go of neurosis when it was necessary. To be temporarily considered as someone who lacks true definition and gets oversensitive to where it builds a wall between potential connections, is a concern for the future. But awareness keeps me from worrying that it will be permanent. My social skills will always be incredibly flawed since I never gravitated towards large gatherings to where it was demanded of me, to engage and converse in more of an entertaining fashion. But I am capable of change, or at the very least, capable to adapt to what people prefer when it comes to their environment. At least I’d like to hope so. Sometimes anxiety infects me, and sometimes it complements me… along with this loose, often tired concept of “why.” Why me? Why not. But there’s a price that comes with only relaying information only about “me” within a given period of time. I could possibly be only stuck with me, since it’s very easy for me to talk about and that kind of inevitable loneliness scares the living night lights out of me. I was told by a professor once, that because I have a strong sense of self, therefore it will be easy for me to empathize with those who share a similar disposition. It is beneficial for my career, hopefully. But one must be attuned to those who have different dispositions and preferences too. It’s not all about me, but it’s not all about you. It’s about finding a common ground to where there is less dissonance when it comes to connecting with others in this big, bright beautiful world.