Saturday, January 5, 2013

And It Must Follow

Two years into my biggest attempt at a resolution I'm feeling like the world's biggest failure.  And frankly, writing this isn't helping.  Perhaps I'm too much of a stats junkie, but it's just depressing to watch the number of views and comments your blog gets slowly plummet, and to have the numbers right before you to verify it's not just in your head.  And considering the fact that my blog has been more popular in Russia and Sweden than in the US lately, I can only assume that very few people I actually know will ever read this . . . but perhaps strangers can offer me better advice.  Because heaven knows, when it appears that even one's grandparents have stopped reading one's blog, one must be doing something horribly wrong.

And I can only assume that the whole "be myself" thing was horribly wrong in my case.  Apparently when I do that what people see is not actually me (at least, what I would recognize as me) but an emo teenager.  Which doesn't make a lot of sense, since I wasn't exactly emo even when I was a teenager.  I don't understand it, and I can't find an explanation.  All I know is that for the better part of last year I was trying to balance being myself with being someone who doesn't accidentally alienate people without even knowing how I'd been alienating them in the first place.  It probably won't surprise anyone, but I couldn't do it.  It was bewildering . . . torturous.  Months of second-guessing everything I did, said, or thought, and in the end I was more lost than I had been to start with.

I thought this sort of confusion was supposed to . . . just . . . I don't know, evaporate as a person got older.  You know who you are, you get to know other people - so you relate to them.  You can interact and be friends.  Successfully.  Except not me, apparently.  When does the part where you start feeling like an adult start?  Because right now I feel like the ten-year-old trying to blend in at the grown-up table.  I know I'm doing it wrong, and I can see that it's so easy for everyone else at the table - but something is just not connecting.  And there's always that sense in the back of my mind that everyone else has the freedom to say and do whatever comes to mind, but I need to ask permission first.

I'm not sure where to go next.  I suppose I should start trying to find myself again - as cliche and "overdone bildungsroman memoir" as that sounds.  And I think it starts with accepting a few things.  I will never fit in . . . I just won't.  I'm not that kind of person.  I'm always going to be lonely, even in a group.  The good news is that's something I've had since high school to get used to.  It doesn't get easier, but at least it's familiar territory.  And when it gets to the point that I feel unwelcome at social outings . . . well, the library will always let me in.

Of course, it's rather depressing to have no reason to go anywhere else.

I don't know where I'll be in another two years.  But hopefully whatever track I've decided to take between now and then is more successful than the apparently disastrous effort I've dedicated the last two to.  I wish I knew how I went so wrong.  Is there some European thing that could fix me?


P. ost  S. cript
Pretty sure this is what I'll look like going back to work Monday . . .


10 comments:

  1. You may feel like you are alone in this, but I assure you I have felt like this many many times. I feel like I don't fit in, like everyone is looking at me funny and maybe just wishes I would leave or not show up in the first place. And I have talked to so many women who feel the same way. We all have those insecurities to one degree or another. But the thing is, in almost all cases, it is just in my head. It is my inner dialog telling me I don't fit in or am unwanted.

    I have been in my ward for almost three years now and I still feel like I don't have friends, that I don't know anyone and sometimes that no one cares. But I really do have friends and people who take the time to come all the way down to the library to say hi on occasion to me. :) I feel sometimes at bookclub that I am there because I am a relation and not really because people want me or like me. I go home sometimes wondering if I said too much, the wrong thing, or if I was too loud or overshared. (That last one most of all lol) But in the end, I continue to go because I enjoy it. I love listening to the other women and sharing in common lives and feeling like even if I may regret a thing or two said in the morning, for a few hours I got to go be me, just Amanda, not Mom, not wife, not whatever calling I have at church, just me. And even though sometimes I may wonder about it, no one has kicked me out yet, so I am assuming they like me just a little. :) Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. We missed you this week and I really liked the book so I was looking forward to talking about it with you. I hope to see you there next month.

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    1. If it were just inner demons that would be one thing. Unfortunately, in this case the information came from an actual person speaking on behalf of multiple others. Long story short I've found myself in a whole new ball game . . . and I suck at sports, making the metaphor most apt.

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    2. Well, one person is not great, but maybe the multiple others don't feel the way the one does. He/she might be representing their opinions as a groups' feelings, but is really on their own. Anyway, I like you. Hopefully that counts for something. :)

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    3. And, you know, there is always the possibility that you took what the one said completely wrong and made a mountain where there wasn't one to begin with....

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  2. Sunny is right, you're not alone. I've never fit in. We can all be alone together....

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    1. We just need to get our old English department back together. A whole bunch of misfits fitting in with each other. :-)

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks. I wish we lived closer together so we could see each other more often! (side note: you're in the same ward as my cousin?! How small world random is that?!)

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  4. Unwarranted criticism is...unnecessary. Nobody likes to hear it, NOBODY. I think you're great just the way you are.

    And... Can you please come teach my class Heads Up, Seven Up? ;)

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    1. Next time there's inside recess for lunch we'll have to team up and teach them. :-)

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