May 28th, 2013

umbridge

The Other Side of the Mirror

     Many people don’t know the person I really am.  Despite never being the best actress, I’ve been able to put a mask on and hide behind the velvet curtain while in public.  I think most people see me as happy, which is unfortunately the opposite.  I haven’t been happy in quite some time and I think it may have started after my 26th birthday.  It was at that point when I noticed I wasn’t happy with the direction of my life.  I’m nowhere near how I envisioned my life to be at this age.  I planned on having a family, a career, and at least living out of my parent’s home.
     I realized recently that I don’t like people.  I don’t like many people in my life and I don’t grasp on to the ones who are genuinely there.  I have a habit of pushing people away.  I started doing this in High School, for good reason, but then continued on doing it to the people who should have remained in my life.
     I don’t connect to people often, which is why some days I feel like I’m Abed from Community.  The lovable yet, broken from reality Abed.  I’m probably even as familiar with pop culture as he is.  There are just moments where I want to fit in but know I’m too awkward to even blend in.  Throughout my early 20’s I didn’t identify with the bar crowd.  I still don’t.  My self-esteem issues that are fueled by some people in my life make me feel awkward when I notice I’m the only large one in the crowd.  I’m not even that large but it’s enough to know that I stand out.
     My self-esteem issues have stemmed since my teens.  I was never taught to be happy with who I was or told that I was perfect just the way I was.  Childhood cartoons and television shows have given me a more positive outlook than people in my life and that thought haunts me.  Do the people in my life care about my happiness or the way people perceive them from the outside by me being around?  It’s an awkward where I feel unwanted.  I’ve been told that friends on the outside lie about my appearance when they say that I look good despite being chubby.  Apparently I’m to believe that all my friends lie to me just to make me feel better.  That’s what I’ve been told so you can understand where my self-esteem lies.
     I’ve made plenty of bad decisions in my life.  I can only hope that failure amounts to something one day.  One quote that has always stood out to me is:

“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.” – Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

     I can only hope that I am interesting despite my failure.  I think my late teens to my early 20’s count as my glory days.  Back then I travelled and saw more of the world than I’ve seen in my entire life.  I was fearless and able to hop on a plane, by myself, and make friends instantly.  No matter where I was, I was never alone like I feel I am now.  I would give anything to have those days back but alas, I’m not a child anymore.
     This past year, I began volunteering with the Girl Scouts.  Some days I feel I connect more with those girls than I do with people my own age.  Their lives are so free and full of opportunity and potential; they don’t even care about it.  Do you know what it would mean to me to not have to care?  The happiest I have ever been recently was my night with them at BounceU.  It was the first time in a long time that I could just let go.  We were in a bounce house just being kids.  I, being the adult, was the target of having rubber balls pelted at my face but it was still fun.  It was like being 10 again and not caring who was watching.  It was a magical feeling that won’t be easy to bring back.
    Being an adult takes away a lot of the fun that we had in our youth.  You can’t play house or Barbies’ without feeling silly.  I think this was why I enjoyed drama class in High School.  It was kind of like playing house again.  Everyone could just be silly again without feeling like someone was judging them for it because it was all part of the show.  When I think back to high school this is the class I miss the most.
     In 2009, I was in a short story class where we were told to write a 7 word sentence that would describe you best.  Mine was:

“Reality is not really meant for me.” 

     How true that line is.  I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer.  Going back to the 1st grade, I knew I wasn’t meant for reality.  I would just daze off into my own world where I could be a hero.  I had many imaginary friends whom I could hold on to without anyone seeing.  I wanted so much more than what this life could give.  I remember dazing off in church and putting together ridiculous scenarios on how I had to save Sonic the Hedgehog from the evil Dr. Robotnik.  I remember having an invisible tele-communicator watch so I could contact my stuffed animals from school of the drama going on between them.  This is the part of my imagination that I miss the most.
     Today, that imagination is darker.  It’s harder to access the creative drive of my former self.  Some days, I just sit longing to hear the sound of the TARDIS appear outside my home or work.  Other days it’s the simple dream of winning the lottery.  Any reason or way to escape this life that I live now.  It’s just that last ounce of hope of something amazing happening to turn my sad life around.
     Perhaps financial success isn’t in my future.  I’ve never been a hard worker for school but have taken the time to educate myself on things that interest me.  The internet has opened a wide world of education that previously was unobtainable.  With the amount of time I surf the internet, I’m probably as mentally cultured as a college graduate.  I’ve taken to trying to teach myself new skills from youtube videos to other instructional resources on the internet.  It’s amazing what the internet can do.
     One of the problems I have found with the internet is also endless socializing on different mediums.  Facebook is one, which typically connects you with friends and acquaintances, past and present.  Livejournal/ONTD was my source for conversing about idly gossip in entertainment.  I’ve since distanced myself from that crowd but I come back every now and then.  Reddit has consumed my life which isn’t terrible.  I enjoy being able to socialize on a wider scale.  There’s never just one topic being discussed but thousands of different topics going on at once.  My only problem with all these different mediums is that I find myself more well-liked by my internet persona than my real life persona.  I don’t lie about who I am on the internet, I don’t have anything to really hide.  When I used twitter and tumblr, for a short time, people were messaging me saying how they felt honored that I was following them.  I was confused but it felt good.  I apparently meant something to them which was odd but I felt accepted.  Though, once again, I pulled away from those social mediums.  Despite the minor internet celebrity, I’m still alone.
     Yesterday was my 7 year anniversary with my boyfriend and this is something I should feel proud of.  I try to mask my disappointment through happiness but it’s not fooling everybody.  I love him more than anything, but like my life, it isn’t going anywhere.  Like me, he has no idea what he wants in life.  Unlike me, he actually has things going on in his life.  I fell in love with someone who needed direction and as the relationship grew, I now need that direction and instead I have no one showing me the way.  I just need support or even a beacon to know if holding on is the right option.  Despite all this, he’s the only person who understands me which is why I need him in my life more than anyone.
     I just want, for once, for my life to go as planned.  For me to be able to control my life and control things happening in my life would be great.  I feel like a broken record and a doormat.  I know lacking control is a major component in my depression.  No one hears me.  I can’t even have space in my own home.  And as dumb as it is, it would make me beyond happy to have that stupid treadmill out of my room so I can make room for my things.  I just want to have some control over something in my life.  I want my boyfriend to just do what I ask him without it getting to the point where I’m upset.  I want people to trust my opinions instead of talking down to me like a child.  I just want to be seen as a grown up for once instead of being seen as a child to everyone
     There are days where I feel like just ending it all.  I don’t think I could ever actually do it.  I’ve considered cutting to concentrate my pain on something else but I wouldn’t want to draw people’s attention to me that way.  I don’t like being the center of attention because when all eyes are on me, I can feel the judgment.  My whole life is being judged, if not by me, then by family, coworkers, and “friends”.  If any of my friends notice, I don’t talk about many of my problems because I don’t want to be a bother.  Eventually I hit a point when I open up which is typically around, or near, my breaking point.  I think this is my breaking point.

Thank you for listening/reading.