Friday, August 31, 2012

struggle bus

Of course it couldn't be perfect forever. Such is life.

No, the house is still great. It's me that's imperfect. And we're all imperfect, yada yada, but this feels like me ruining something that could be and has been so special.

I have struggled for as long as I can remember with some pretty weighty insecurities. In everything. In work, in friendships, in relationships (few and far far between), in random things that should be fun like salsa dancing or playing Ultimate Frisbee ... everything.

I don't know where it comes from. I have never been unloved; I have doting parents who always encourage me, friends who do the same, even my bosses are extremely vocal in their positive affirmation.

And yet I doubt.

With work, I thought I had conquered it, almost out of spite last year. When I was in Olympia, my boss/coworker was such a d-bag that I found myself thinking, "No, you know what? I AM good at this, so SUCK IT." But now I'm back to doubting.

I don't understand it! Before this job, when I would complain to my parents about not being a good journalist, and they would try to comfort me, I would largely dismiss them, saying "Well, you're not journalists; you don't know what makes one good."

But now, my bosses say wonderful things to me, praise me so often for my work, and I'm still discounting it. I say, "Well, they just like me, so they're nice to me." I'm convinced that sooner or later, they'll figure me out, understand that I'm not the "golden girl" they've set me up to be, and they'll finally be disappointed.

I almost can't help feeling apprehensive when the praise seems too good to be true. I talked to my editor recently about how I just don't feel like I'm living up to my potential, and I haven't earned the credit they give me, and I want to do something extraordinary, and she said, "We don't want you to feel like that; after all, you're a bright shining star here." I wish I could just graciously accept that and be happy! But instead it fills me with dread: "Someday, you'll know I'm a fraud."

And with the house ... I'm just not happy. I'm so stressed out about relying too much on my roommates, turning into like a needy girlfriend when I'm not dating any of them ... but that's what it feels like. I depend on them for all my friendship needs -- we cook together, play music together, read together, go climbing, go on walks, watch movies, have long personal conversations, make fun of each other ... but I care too much. I don't want to care. I don't want to need them so much, because they don't need me.

Something is broken there. Or in me. I feel it and I don't know what to do. But just in recent days, something in that closeness got twisted; maybe they know how much I care and are pulling away instinctively. Which is what I need to do.

Why can I not believe that I'm good enough? I can sit down and write out a list of the ways God has blessed me, and there are lots of things I'm prideful of. How can I be prideful and achingly insecure at the same time? It's like ... I have things I like about myself, but not in comparison to other people. My gifts are not worth as much as the gifts of my friends here, or else they're not the kind of gifts that I think my friends here value. Which is probably projecting and not fair to them.

I just ... it's exhausting. I want to be free of that. I want to stop caring and stop hurting myself and stop overanalyzing any kind word someone says to me. I don't enjoy being around those people, and I don't want to be like that myself.

But I don't know where it comes from, and I don't know how to stop it.

Love always,

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