I remember doing this practice NAPLAN-style comprehension test, where I read this passage about a man who got invited to a house. The caricature they provided for this man wasn't very likeable. He seemed very proud of his intellectual ability though, and being the thinker that he was, he acknowledged all the mannerisms and anxieties that made him unlikeable. They were referred to as his shortcomings, and he accepted them for what they were.
Now, I wonder if that's the healthy way to do things. All these weaknesses about yourself; should they be fought, or should they be accepted. Should you accept all the things that make you lesser to take you further down the road of self love and actualisation, or do you need to fight against these shortcomings. Is it even possible to fight against your shortcomings?
In some ways I wondered if I was that man. He didn't seem very happy in the passage, or maybe some of his shortcomings felt a little too close to home. Either way, I wanted to get rid of them.
Recently I've realised that my whole life, I've done things wrong. My how-things-look habit has gone so far that it's been within myself as well. It's not unusual for me to imagine myself as someone else and think about how they see me, because yes, I seem to be that self obsessed. It's like that thing on Facebook where you can choose to view your profile from someone else's point of view. Yes, I've used that too.
It's gotten to the point where I don't want to make a real effort anymore. I don't want to love something. I can't enjoy it that much. If I seem too enthusiastic about something, only to not excel at it, well how does that look to myself? How embarrassing. It's like I'm in this constant state of denial where unless I'm amazing, what's the point? That's why I'm flaky. That's why I make myself look uncommitted, to the point where I actually become uncommitted. If I tell myself I don't care, then there's the reason why I'm not amazing at what I'm doing. I'm not making the effort, that's why. I'm saving face towards myself, and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
This is why I deny being close with someone, or thinking about certain things. If we're not actually that close, then there's a lot of disappointment coming my way. If what I'm thinking is something I would judge someone else for thinking, then why the hell am I thinking it? I know no one else can hear my thoughts, but what if they could? It's like I'm always assuming they can.
People won't like you better if you're laughing with other people in front of them, or if you're being great at something in front of them. They might admire you more, but you certainly haven't developed any sort of relationship with them. For someone to like you, you need to actually talk to them, not just look good in front of them. This is something it took me a while to discover, no matter how obvious it may seem.
On our joint Twitter account, my friend posted a tweet that said, "Some days I feel as if my friends at school will be mine forever and other days I'm convinced that they're all temporary." Reading this made me feel as if I'd lost sight of how to do friendship right. Friendships are about being there for each other, about understanding, about fun. They're so much deeper than what they look like. They're supposed to be there for the long haul.
So those conversations where I'm trying to seem like the supportive, open minded one, where I hold back when I disagree - they're not real. It's about more than going through the motions of being best friends or whatever. It's about more than tagging someone on Instagram and calling them your best or your favourite in the caption. It's about telling someone your petty personal issue the moment it enters your mind. It's about going to them for a good conversation and reassurance to cheer you up. None of this happens for other people to see, and when you don't want other people to see but you say or think it anyway, that's when you know it's for you.
And you know what else? When I speak, the words that come out of my mouth sound utterly dumb. I'm trying to avoid conflict. I'm trying to say what I think they want me to say. And if I'm not stating my real, pure, true opinions, does that even make me a person?
I don't think it's healthier to just accept your shortcomings for what they are, because if I just accept mine, then what kind of life am I living?