Wednesday, 17 February 2016

An Existence Based on Self Indulgence


I want to be special.  I am special.  I will tell myself anything to persuade myself that I'm special.  If I achieve something, I'm special.  If I don't, well there's a reason why because I'm still special.  I'm different.  I'm above.  I am forever thinking about ways in which I am special - superior.

The other day my dad told me that I was a thoughtful child, and I wondered whether that made me special.  And then he continued to say that I've grown up to become half thoughtful and half thinking about myself, and after a bout of denial, I couldn't help wondering if he was right.  Self indulgence isn't about being selfish, disregarding all other people, not caring.  It's actually about how much you care... about yourself.  It's about your appearance and your personality, your reputation, your abilities - it's basically self-absorbed over-thinking.

It's like there's a barrier between my mind and the world outside.  I feel trapped in this bubble of me.  If I'm thinking of someone else, it has to be about what they think of me, how they add to who I am - why can't I just think about them?  It's like hitting a wall because my entire life has just been self indulgence and I realise that I don't do anything because it's right anymore.

I don't know when I started being scared of having conversations.  It used to be an issue of starting them, but nowadays it's the opposite.  Almost as soon as a conversation with someone I'm not used to starts, I begin thinking of ways to escape it.  I just don't want to ruin their previous illusion of me.  I'm scared I will say the wrong thing, or be boring, or that we won't connect.  It's even worse if we somehow managed to connect the last time - because I don't want to ruin that.  If you hadn't figured out already, I'm always making these conversations about me.  They're about how I look, what they think of me, what I say...

On retreat last week we took a mini listening quiz, and for some reason the questions and answers of this insignificant questionnaire have stuck with me.  When someone is talking, I am most likely thinking of what I want to say next.  I tune out a lot if it's not interesting enough for me.  I'm always thinking about my side of the conversation, which is probably why I find it so difficult to connect with people in the first place (besides the fact that I attempt escaping) - I'm never really listening.

I read an article the other day about immersing yourself in someone else's world.  Let them choose what to do.  Let them speak.  Listen to them - and you're guaranteed to learn something, many things, about them.  Don't think about yourself and your presence in these situations.  Think about the complex being that they are, and connect the pieces of their puzzle one by one.  The world is made of 7 billion people who are human beings just as complex as you, so stop over-analysing your identity and start learning from theirs.  Let them shape you subconsciously.  Pick and choose.

Don't do things because they make you appear better to others.  So many people seem to be grabbing aimlessly for attention nowadays.  They act rude or selfish because they like having the reputation of a right winged spoilt brat.  They act super friendly to someone because they like the idea of being their friend.  They act like they eat junk all the time to seem more down to earth.  Even if they were being genuine, I wouldn't be able to tell - maybe I should just assume so?

I know I'm a culprit of these fake actions.  In fact, I feel as if these fake actions are my only actions.  Everything I do is about self indulgence, my identity, my appearance - and none of it has anything to do with simple self love, or not thinking at all.  It's like my entire existence has been about making myself into a more superior being, in other people's eyes as well as my own.  It's like I'm not doing anything I genuinely enjoy without considering what that makes me anymore.  When did everything come back to "who am I"?  Why can't it just be "what do I feel like doing now"?

I can't remember a day when I thought any differently, so I guess all this over-self-analysis has made me who I am today, and that's special in an unhealthy way.

Love,
M

10 comments:

  1. I get what you're saying. Sometimes even I've wondered about how I constantly try to make myself feel better about 'me' by trying to prove how special I am. I am always doing these 'acts' you mentioned- maybe I enjoy them, maybe I don't- but mostly it's still about what people might think about me. In a way, it's unhealthy, we should be doing things for our own selves. I like to think that I don't care about people as much as I used to, that I've become a carefree human being. But then I read your post and I feel like I can relate to a lot of it.
    Those 'fake acts' you mentioned though, the first thing that came to my mind was a line from Before Sunrise,
    "But isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?"
    All these 'acts' and all those things you think about while you're conversing with strangers, all of it is just to feel accepted, loved.

    Love xx
    Saee

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    1. But if our outcome is always to be loved and accepted, then what kind of existence are we leading? Are we just people-pleasers? What kind of purpose is that? I agree that as we get older progress is being made, but I'm not sure if we'll ever really be carefree. How do we shake this need for validation from other people?

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    2. I don't think it makes us people-pleasers. Wanting to be loved and accepted, makes us humans. We need people and we need their love and validation. We are social animals afterall.

      Love,
      Saee

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    3. To be honest, a lot of the time I wish we weren't.

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  2. I think I do that too. I'm way to fixated on what people think or how they react to me. I want to try to be less self centered.

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    1. Me too Skye :/ There's no point putting all our effort into this petty need when we're so trapped in our own brains that we'll never know what they're thinking, so why not focus on them to maybe get some insight and escape our own minds for a little while.

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  3. Oh my gosh this was like reading into my brain. This reminded me of me when I was sixteen, too! I especially liked: When did everything come back to "who am I"? Why can't it just be "what do I feel like doing now"? I'm glad you're introspectively sharing your thoughts on the internet, this was so good. Also, just like Saee above, I was reminded of that line by Julie Delpy in Before Sunrise, too!

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    1. Looks like I'm going to have to read this Before Sunrise thing! Thank you Jessica!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's really difficult trying to toss out all ideas of identity and simply absorb what's going on, do as I please. Maybe when I get older it'll go away...

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  4. I used to do that when i was 18 or 19 i guess.But then growing up,you realise it aint worth it in the end.It all comes back to being you.

    P.S-Lovely article btw.:)

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    1. Thank you!! I'm currently 16, and although I realise that overthinking all this stuff is probably stupid, old habits die hard. Hopefully it'll all go away before I'm 18 or 19 :/

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