These things usually get named after I do them. But yes, here are the fingers that ask me to say something- and for once, it’s not about obligation. Doing this, keeping this blog, has scared the life out of me, as it’s forced me to realize exactly how much my perception of self inadequacy has affected how I look at things and what I do or won’t do. When I started this, I wanted to pretend that it was just a random issue and that I could eliminate it by forcing myself to act in spite of it. But it didn’t help, and now I’m thinking the reason why is because I refused to allow myself to see the full scope of the issue, and how it affects me in even little ways. “Well, it’s weird of me to say that, so I’ll change the subject.” “Well, who thinks like that? Maybe it’s best left unsaid.” And on. But looking at my sense of inadequacy squarely forced me to ask, “Why am I diluting myself?” If I were a bucket of intense blue paint, would I turn myself into a pale sky? If I were full fat milk, would I make myself 2%? Why am I turning my dark chocolate self into milk chocolate, watering down my full powered detergent?
That line of thinking made me realize how much I was diluting myself even on the inside. You know, those little thoughts and feelings you don’t like to admit to because they might mean you’re not as kind or smart or put together as you want to believe. Realizing how much of myself I wasn’t admitting to made me sad. “Do I dislike myself that much?” It didn’t feel like that was the case, because there was a lot about myself I really do like. But I became curious. If I wanted to see what my inadequacy looked like, maybe I had to know what I’d been avoiding. So I learned to do something I’d never liked doing before: writing honestly to myself.
At first, it was a little easier than I thought. Some topics, anyway. I’m the type where when a “small” infraction happens between me and someone else, I won’t say anything but it’ll nag at me inside until I remind myself how pointless it is and how stupid I am for mulling over it. So getting to write about it felt pretty good, at first. Then I had to come face to face with the fact that yes, I do have anger- pretty strong anger, no matter how much I wanted to pretend otherwise. And pettiness. And jealousy. Selfishness. Caring. Thoughtfulness. Hope. Happiness. Love. I went into this, keeping a barely hidden fear that doing this would make me realize what a horrible person I am for having so many negative things inside. But it had a different effect. I stood back and stared. I’m huge, complex. We are huge, and complex. How can I feel like I’m inadequate, when at the time I take a real look, there is more to me than I can even measure? This giant creature we make up when we come together is made up of small pieces, sure, but none of them are missing anything. Me included.
That’s not to say I don’t have my battles with owning up to everything I am inside. There are times when I literally ask my diary: “Do I really have to talk about this?” I get embarrassed or ashamed, even when I know no one is reading. But once I get through and finish handling what’s going on at the moment, I get to have that feeling of observing myself, and there’s no shame there. There’s no embarrassment there. There’s just me, undiluted and complete.