Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Welcome to the Jessi Show
It's really hard to be part of a family. The "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" has always been a difficult concept for me. I've grown up being a "self-aware" person as I'd like to call it; I wouldn't say selfish. I would call myself my biggest fan. I've been having "self-aware" meltdowns since about the age of two; I've seen the home videos where I'm screaming in a high-pitched tone to get the camera to point back at me instead of the dog.
A few years ago I stood on a kitchen chair above my chaotic family in a desperate grasp for attention. I screamed and shouted until everyone turned their attention to me so I could throw out my piece. And as much as I'm always pushing myself, as much as I'm always promoting myself so-to-speak, I've got some hefty self-esteem issues. I'm always on "serious mode," (as everyone around me calls it) and sometimes I just break down. As great as the release feels, the earth-shattering shifts can't be good for me. I'm always grasping for attention and especially praise, especially when I do something that I consider to be great. When I am criticized, on the other hand, it hits me like a ton of bricks. I have no idea how to react when I'm being put down, constructively or not. As much as it hurts, I know I'll push it aside over time and eventually plow on. But I'll never truly let it go; I'll never forget.
I fully appreciate and applaud people who can fulfill "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger," but in my case I've never found this to be true. Sure, when the going gets rough I always learn from it and take something away from it. I'll probably even write about it in a way to make amends to myself. But I always find it to be a vicious process to pick up the pieces, if I can even move to pick them up at all. Love and support from my family and friends always gets me back on track, even if that cushioning isn't always considered to be "healthy" for me.
I don't understand where my need-to-be-loved emotion and way of life comes from. In life, I just want to be successful, and as sad as it sounds, I want to do well and I just desire to be appreciated. This entails getting stepped on along the way, and I realize that I will. However, I've never considered inserting "being happy" into the equation. I just assume if I'm doing well "personally" I can be happy because I never want to have to depend on anyone. So as much as I want to be independent, I need that pat on the back. But at times I'm so wrapped up in defining myself as a young adult, I lose sight of the others on the path. In an attempt to shield myself from pain and criticism, I've blinded myself to anyone I may meet along the way.
It's never anything personal when I do this to someone else. I still have yet to come to terms with why I'd save my neck before I'd consider defending yours. I feel like I've got a lot to prove for myself, and it comes off as selfish. I feel like I've got this entire world and...then there's me. Maybe I'll never amount to anything other than being ordinary; this petrifies me. I fear being a face lost in the crowd.
Don't believe me? You don't know me. Yet I'm still striving to know myself. I have no idea why I've operated like this my entire life, but it's really not anything new. Maybe being selfish is who I am, and maybe I'll never find another soul that appreciates how I look out for myself. I'm working on changing my perspectives, but until then I'll still be this emotional, sloppy mess. But someday, I can only hope to be great. In a different way. Someday I can only hope to be remembered for what I did for others, not for what I tried to make myself out to be, as long as that may take me.