Last week a facebook friend posted asking if anyone else was thinking about New Year's resolutions yet. I wasn't (but now I am), but unlike pretty much every other year ever, I actually remembered the one I made this year. And actually thought about it throughout the year. I'd originally intended to keep myself really accountable by posting about how I was doing every month or six weeks or so . . . which, obviously, didn't happen. But I still think I've done a pretty good job at being myself. Some days better than others, naturally.
I don't think I've changed much - I'm still a great big bag of my own neuroses, paranoia, quirks, and silliness. But I feel like I'm more comfortable with the fact that this is who I am (most days, anyway). I still crave acceptance and approval, but I'm growing more okay with not having the accolades constantly pouring in, you know? For some reason my default reaction has always been the worst possible scenario. No one likes my latest facebook status/picture/video? I'm being shunned - by everyone on facebook. No one comments on my blog? Everyone has stopped reading - even the random Iranian(s?) who've popped up a couple dozen times and I couldn't possibly know because I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone in/from Iran.
I've always been pathetically insecure, and for a while a few years ago it was getting steadily worse. In high school I had some friends who . . . well, I don't think they really considered me a friend. I could list dozens of tiny little things that by themselves mean nothing but put together seem to create an ominous pattern - but that would sound melodramatic and to be honest I only remember specifics for a few things and that I saw the pattern a few years after graduating. And the whole situation can really be summed up pretty easily with one story. Our senior year two friends decided to start writing a book together. It got passed around among all of us as they wrote, and it was really funny. It had a ginormous cast - the large group of drama and marching band nerds that hung out together - and we were all secret agents from various countries and all after the same thing. I don't remember at all what it was, but honestly it was pretty irrelevant. The story was mostly about our character versions interacting with each other and inside jokes and that sort of thing. And then came the day that someone asked where these two got the idea in the first place.
"We wanted to kill Lacey."
The very end of the story, which they never reached (to my knowledge), was going to be a fiery plane crash that took out my character, completely bumbling, inept, and never getting a single thing right, and another friend's, the competent spy whose sole assignment was following my character around and cleaning up after "me."
Okay, I will admit that I have my blonde moments - but who doesn't? And that I did sometimes play up the ditz in an unsuccessful attempt to get the attention of . . . well, to be honest, any guy. But on the other hand, I took honors chemistry and managed a decent grade. I took four years of French. I did concurrent enrollment for college level English classes and I aced them. While other people's characters were pretty true to their real life counterparts, mine . . . wasn't. Rather, it magnified all my negative qualities while essentially eliminating any redeeming ones.
The two girls writing the story and some - but not all, thank heaven! - of the other readers found both my characterization and the inspiration for the story hilarious. I told myself it was a joke and all meant in fun, and smiled and laughed when it came up in conversation. I think I may have even believed it sort of, because I spent most of my time in college as the quiet one in the corner, more welcome and more liked than I would realize until it was all over out of fear that I would do something that made my new friends want to kill me too, even if it was only literary. I slowly realized that the story was not really friend behavior, and was able to open up a bit my senior year of college and then a bit more in Florida.
I don't think it's melodramatic to say that I carry what happened in high school with me to this day. Just a little bit. I don't think about it often, but occasionally something will happen that leaves me certain that I'm secretly hated by the people I'm with, and that they're just wishing I would go away. I'm pretty sure I'm just imagining/misinterpreting things, but there's no escaping the way your past colors your present, so I just do my best to work through my personal crazy. And trying to focus on that this year . . . I may not be the best of judges, but I think I've made some progress. And progress is always good.
Best part? This is totally the kind of resolution that's never done, so you can reuse it every year. Woo hoo! :-) However, in the name of variety, I'm thinking I'll start this too. Should be fun . . . eventually!
P. ost S. cript
How crazy awesome is this?!