A Small Note

This week I have been tearing myself apart. I’ve been whittling myself down and picking at the soft parts until they bleed. I’ve been beating myself up for the parts of me I feel are weaknesses. The parts of me I feel I can’t totally control. I’ve been telling myself that my feelings are wrong and bad and annoying and that no one wants to hear them or see them and they should be locked away forever and ever. I have been scolding myself, and telling myself to go away.

I have not been able to do thoughtful things because of this. I cannot read on the train. I have bad dreams. It’s been hard for me to sit still without my brain wandering off without me, going down roads and paths I don’t want to visit. I have been a little tormented.

And then on Thursday the universe had had enough of my internal writhing (apparently… I mean, we didn’t actually talk, but I inferred.) and sent me some comfort. At work of all places. Someone recognized my ram tattoo. And not in the, “hey, what’s that?” but he suddenly says, “You have a birthday coming up!” And I said, “Yes…” And then he started talking to me about astrology.

In a very enthusiastic way, and without any prompting at all, he validated who I am. All the things I had been beating myself up over, all of the things that I had been trying to bend and squish into some other kind of mold, a more convenient mold, are just who I am. I am really big into self-improvement. I want to be a kind person, I want to be understanding and a good listener, I want to have an open mind and to find the joy in life, even the tiny things, even the hard parts.

But he reminded me that there are deep down parts of me that just… are. I’m very protective, I’m fierce in my desire to help those in need, I will always put myself between the threat and the threatened. It just happens. I am also very self aware, painfully self aware at times. And because of that I sometimes need validation and to be affirmed by others. To be told I’m ok, that I’m appreciated, that I am wanted. I’m not always lovable, sometimes I’m annoying. I’m terrified of being seen as needy. I’m naturally competitive and reactionary. Sometimes in an awesome way, sometimes in an aggressive and out-of-line way. I make mistakes and then I feel really bad and worry I’ve pushed people too far and they won’t want to be around me anymore. I’m capable of completely cutting people off. I am incapable of keeping my own secrets. Totally incapable. I have no secrets. I tell the world everything. I am an over-sharer, but I never think it’s TMI, I’m just being honest (and most of the time very excitedly so). I very very often love people more than they love me.

I am overwhelmed with emotion (from others, from myself, from large groups of people) a lot of the time. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s really difficult.

But Thursday I was reminded that these are parts of me. Of the deep down me. Not the me who likes yellow (god knows that could change), not the me who hates the way Kamel chews (because in 20 years will I notice? … maybe.), not the me who is obsessed with short coats. I’m talking about the me who cries at google commercials, and tells scary men that, “It’s time for you to go now. Right now,” when they are bothering a mom and daughter who can’t stand up for themselves outside of safeway, the me who is loud and cries on the phone to her best friend when she feels wronged and hurt, because I’m the one who has a hard time shrugging things off. And I find that incredibly inconvenient. And I sometimes wish I was capable of more indifference, but Thursday I was reminded that I will never be that guy. I will always love and care and feel too much. And it will always be both awesome and annoying, but it’s ok.

23 thoughts on “A Small Note”

  1. I think it is even better that you know yourself so well. That is something not everyone figures out or chooses not to figure out. Being honest with yourself and with others makes you a better person – hands down!

  2. Oh but can I relate to the not being able to shrug things off easily. I beat myself up for that, too. But at the same time, for me I’m that way because I care so damn much. And that’s a really good thing.

    All those deep down things about you? Even when they might feel like weaknesses they’re all really good things. It’s just what you make of it.

  3. Just stay true to yourself, and know that everything has a good side and a downside. And keep on being kind and nice to people… donΒ΄t change that.
    And I know what you mean about being angsty, and worrying, and caring… I don’t really know how to “solve” it but I have noticed as weird as it sounds that making myself busy, for example cooking, helps with getting some peace of mind.

  4. Its funny how the qualities that we sometimes beat ourselves up for, are the qualities that the people we are close to, admire and love about us. All of those qualities that you listed are the reason why you are so awesome, and probably why we are friends and why me and everyone else admire you! And why you are close to the people you are close to. If you didnt have all those qualities, you would probably have different, less awesome people in your life πŸ˜‰

    1. I just reread my comment, which i shouldve done before i hit submit, and its totally redundant, lol. You get the point!

      1. I am not doubting your awesomeness. Or you thinking that I’m super fab (hello!), but! there are at least a handful of people and probably more (who aren’t around my world anymore) who would tell you that I can be super annoying with my inability to just go with the flow. If something is pissing me off or if someone hurts my feelings it would be SO MUCH EASIER for everyone if I could just shut my mouth and wait not to care.

        But… I have a really hard time with this.

        And I can see how it would be really annoying for people to be told they need to be nicer and that I need a little more love than they are giving or showing. Does this make sense? I feel like I’m not being clear. Sometimes the people in my life are plodding along, doing there thing. And then a wild Lauren appears and is like “Hi, you aren’t loving me enough.” And then they are like, wtf? And sometimes they say, “oops, sorry, I will show you more.” But MOSTLY they go “Deal with it, stop being so needy.” Which i think is unfair most of the time.

        I accept this about me. I’m not mad at myself about it. But it can be really effing annoying for those who would rather not deal with it.

        1. But if they really cared about you, wouldnt they recognize that and know what hurts your feelings and what kind of a person you are and treat you how youve expressed you want to be treated? I mean, if I know that i have a friend who will get upset if they dont get a phone call if im going to do something specific, then I call them, because theyre my friend and I care. I think its awesome that you can voice youre feelings when you feel like theyre not being treated right. Not a lot of people are strong enough to do that. Im learning to, and I need to more often. And thats why im glad that i have friends like you to show me that i can and push me. Sometimes I decide its not worth it, but that reflects on what kind of friendship that is. But, I hear ya, we can all be a little annoying sometimes. Kudos to you for owning it.

        2. And PS…im glad those people arent in your world anymore! πŸ˜‰ And I totally get that your emotions can be overwhelming for you. Thank God for wine. Xoxo.

  5. “I am overwhelmed with emotion (from others, from myself, from large groups of people) a lot of the time. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s really difficult.”

    this. and sometimes it’s hard also because being this intense can wear on other people–and then you worry if you may be too much to handle (or maybe it’s just me). big hugs to you, awesome, intense, loving, you.

  6. I cry at those Google commercials, too! The music…the people pressing “enroll” on the college page and dating web sites…Oh, and the (I’m assuming) email being sent to an old friend or sister with the adorable photo of 2 little girls and the line “I miss us.” The new beginnings, the hope, the plunge. The tears!!

  7. I relate so much to this. I think I’m difficult because everything makes me feel feelings. EVERYTHING. Some people in my life treasure this, and some people kind of hate me for it. I’m intense, I’m controlling, I’m somewhat unstable, and when I let people know me I’m a LOT to handle. It’s made it so that I have few friends and loved ones, but those friends are fucking in it to win it. I’m in a new relationship and this guy is just learning that my hyper emotional state isn’t JUST beautiful (like it seems at first.) For me, it is everything in the world, good and bad, magnified by like a thousand.

    1. Before I started writing it, in my mind, it was going to be like… a paragraph. Like, “oh hi, yes, don’t mind me, carry on.” But you know when I get going….. πŸ˜‰

  8. I just want to let you know that I love these kinds of posts from you- I have a feeling we have very different personalities (I care, but I am so so not a confrontational person. I think passive aggressive may be the word, but I’m fighting it) but the fact that someone else is out there, struggling against herself and the deep down traits that we all wish we could hide or get rid of. Just this line “telling myself to go away.” resonated so much with me, after all the introspection that goes with a wedding and months and months of unemployment, where all of the dark self takes the opportunity to rise up and assert itself.

    Thank you for writing about this.

    1. Aside from my internal torment and using this as a way to get it out out out, you are totally the reason I allow myself to open up, all the way, in public, with my fanny showing to the world.

      We are all different. None of us are exactly the same. We all have our own weirdo desires and quirks, baggage and heft, dislikes and ambivalences (not a work, just made that up. ba-bam), but the point is… I want to be kinder to myself and I want us to be kinder to each other. If you have passive aggressive issues and I have stomp-my-foot-on-the-ground-and-cry issues, we should be able to say to each other, “sometimes I suck and I’m too much for you to handle.” and “sometimes I suck and I confuse you and hurt your feelings without meaning to.” I want it to be ok to do that. Without the finger pointing and the yuck that so often comes with that kind of honesty.

      1. ALSO! (and in addition to) Honesty doesn’t always have to be “Aggressive” or “Threatening” … I feel like the western culture wants us to be buttoned up and hush hush and don’t rock the boat! And so whenever anyone is like “hi, I’m not pleased” the world is like AH!!!! AGGRESSOR! I don’t like this. It’s not fair.

        So thanks for rockin’ the honesty. πŸ™‚

  9. Holy crap. Reading this was like seeing a particularly eloquent description of myself. Well, except the part about liking yellow or hating the way Kamel chews πŸ™‚

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