Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to wander through life completely unaware of things. I over-analyze everything: strange glances, body language, use or lack of emoticons in text messages, time it takes for someone to reply to me. . . it’s pretty tiring spending all this time trying to decode the world around me, but that’s just the nature of my personality. It leads to some anxiety of course, but for the most part it’s been really beneficial. I’m a pretty self- aware person, and that has lead to me working hard on myself and (I think) improving myself.
There are people who seem to not have a clue who they are, or how they fit into a community tapestry. They complain about the very things they do. You know the people I mean — the online jerks always chastising people to bend to their beliefs, the ones who post relentlessly about anti-bullying stuff on community pages but are the worst offenders themselves, the people who complain about others’ driving but are menaces behind the wheel. . . blissfully unaware of who they are and what they do. Oh, and the shame shamers.
I fully believe that while ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power. Knowing myself gives me the strength to do something about myself. And I like that.
It’s never easy hearing negative things about myself, or admitting that I could be in the wrong. (Does anyone take it really well?) I usually think hard about the things I say and write, contemplating outcomes and deciding whether the words are ones I want to stand behind or not. Sometimes, though, emotions get the better of me and I’m left feeling less than proud of my behaviour. Saying I’m sorry is one of the hardest things I’ve learned to do, really. But I do it. And I try to improve and be a good person, a good role model for my kids. I would much rather leave a person with positive thoughts about me, how come not everyone feels that way?
All that self-reflection doesn’t stop my confusion or wonder when I see others acting out, though. Who’s there to call them on it? Would it do any good anyhow? Why do we excuse some people but not others? Why do we stand by enabling people like that?
I tend to obsess over how I fit in socially. I make enough mistakes to fill a Dummies Guide to Losing Friends manual, I’m sure of it. Am I too eager? Am I not eager enough? Did I say something stupid? Am I standoffish? Did I smile? Did I smile too much? Was I too self-assured? Not confident enough? Blah, blah, blah.
What I know is that I don’t know much at all.
But I sure don’t ever want to be the person others whisper about as a hypocrite, or point to as completely unaware of how dislikable I really am.
I want to be aware. I’ll take the red pill, please.