20 Something: How I See Myself

I randomly started writing this list last night in the middle of an existential crisis. Reading over it again, I guess the way I see myself can be summed up as a bundle of contradictions and constantly varying emotions and habits. I don’t know if this is how I come across on the outside, but this is kind of what it’s like inside my head. 

  • I like to think that I’m an optimist. But I know I can be really pessimistic sometimes, and I love to complain. I’m trying to quell this habit because I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer that nobody wants to hang out with. It’s hard, though. My instinct is to start griping about my day instead of looking at the good things in it. It’s what I’m used to, and it’s so much easier.
  • I’m an independent person, but I can become codependent really easily with some people. I became that way with B. And T before him. I pride myself on not needing anyone, particularly a guy, but when it comes down to it, I do take after my mother in this area. I am trying desperately to combat this tendency. It’s part of the reason why I want to remain single for a good long while. 
  • I’m bad with money. I try to budget and plan, but my emotions tend to dictate my spending. I can’t seem to save anything, which is why I am stuck in Oklahoma. At the same time, I know that I have really skewed views on money from growing up without much of it and from spending most of my post-high school years without much of it. Of course, I could also just be feeling down because I haven’t bounced back from the deposits on my apartment, yet.
  • I am impatient. I want results now. I want what I want now. I know that I have to work at things and bide my time, but I want to reach all of my goals immediately. In the end, I feel like I just give up on things or put them on the back burner because they aren’t happening fast enough. Instead, I should be trying to make things happen faster or accepting that some things just take time.
  • I am inconsistent with my goals. Again my moods get in the way of my success. If I’m having a down day or something happens to throw me off, I tend to use that as an excuse to not do anything at all. I call it pampering myself and say that it’s just for today. My willpower is not what I would like it to be.
  • I blame a lot of my short-comings on my memory issues. I’m not accustomed to using my PTSD as a reason why I should be babied, but for some reason, I let the trouble I have with remembering things be a huge hindrance. With other areas of my disorder, I have learned to accommodate. I know how to avoid triggers or at least keep them from growing into an unmanageable problem—for the most part anyway. Yet, I haven’t directed any energy to improving my memory.
  • I think I am a very strong person. At least, everyone tells me I am. I know they mean I’m strong because I had a rough life to this point without letting it really knock me down, but for some reason, I have trouble seeing my life as rough. I know I’ve been through things that most people will never encounter, but I can’t think of it in those terms. I can’t let my past be a big deal or it will become a big deal. I tend to downplay my obstacles.
  • At the same time, I do feel far too much pride when I accomplish something that to me isn’t a big deal but other people seem to think it is. Like graduating summa cum laude while working full-time and taking up to 20 credits a semester. To me, it wasn’t really hard or a big accomplishment, but I feel my head swelling when people look impressed by it. Must quell the pride bubble.
  • I am smarter than average, but I am not a genius. This bothers me. I have always been just enough above the median to feel special, but also just enough to realize that there are so many more intelligent people than me, and that no matter how hard I try, I will always be a step behind. I can see what I don’t have, and I can understand that I want it.
  • Of course, that also means that I continue to work hard at improving myself. I am currently reading the third edition of An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should have Learned but Probably Didn’t by Judy Jones and William Wilson. It’s nearly ten years old now, but much of the information is still relevant, and I intend to use it more as a jumping off point for further study when I’ve read through it. I’m also still studying French despite having nowhere to use this skill.
  • I value my solitude. Yet at the same time, sometimes I think I am alone too much.
  • I bounce between the extremes of needing to never be alone and needing to completely avoid people. This is actually a symptom of my tendency to bounce between extremes in general. I value moderation and believe the Buddha’s teachings on the Middle Way, yet I struggle to put this into practice.

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