The person who moved back to this city is so different from the one who had left 13 years ago. I guess it is a mix of meds and maturity? Maybe just meds, since I was 30. I barely talk to the people with whom I was closest, when I lived here previously. While from a professional perspective, I was still somewhat the same, dependable and always ready to step up when needed, I was more fun. I was more likely to engage with everyone, rather than try to avoid it. I went out quite frequently. While I was much more outgoing and ready for a good time, I don’t think that I spent any less time in my head, because I remember K. saying that I never took “the time to stop and smell the flowers.” I was always thinking about something or doing something. Still there is a problem. Even if I was still the same gregarious version of me, but controlled with meds, I still wouldn’t be happy with myself.
I’m terribly insecure. I am not sure anyone sees it, which is probably good. In fact, I know for a fact most people see the opposite. As I have been told by several people in the past, I’m one of those people who is seen as having their “shit together.” (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.) What is projected is an organized, educated, confident, always have things well-thought out, high performer/achiever. So what’s the problem? I’m chasing some impossible standard. Some of that anger mentioned in a previous post, it’s because I don’t think that anything will ever be good enough. This started with my parents who pushed and pushed, never telling me they were proud of me. In my late thirties, I had to tell my parents I needed them to treat me like a responsible adult, that the kind of day to day responsibility that I had at work had earned me the respect of some of the most sought after healthcare professionals in the world. I was tired of being treated like a child by them.
I compound the problem by being in relationships that seem to magnify the insecurity. K had the IQ of a genius. Like, for real. She and her twin sister had been tested as kids. Unlike the stereotype of supersmart people, they were charismatic. I think that had to do with her artistic side or something. (She taught drama, numerous languages, and cello.) But there were times where she made comments that were almost cutting. When she left me for B., part of it was because B “got” her. It was meant in a way regarding intellect.*
For the last 13 years, I’ve heard about H., the best friend from grad school. They’re still close. H is brilliant and perfect in every way. That awful thing is, I see it. She’s beautiful, so very smart, and a pretty wonderful person over all. And I have hated her on and off for years, when it isn’t her fault. It is our fault, because we can’t resolve our issue over her. And there is one; I know denial, even if the point of denial is something from the past. But when you don’t hear anything about what you have done or any positive acknowledgement about yourself whatsoever for years, but you hear about someone else, it begins to have an impact.
What is interesting is that I actually don’t like acknowledgment of my achievements, particularly at work. There are just certain people whose approval and acknowledgement does matter. Also, I know that this stuff really isn’t about the other people. I know it is all me. The insecurity is all mine, and I let these things affect me. These are some of the things that drive me to do more. (So there is that. A silver lining, eh?)
*I know I sound like a big old hypocrite given what I have said about needing someone who I can connect with intellectually, plus my rant about competency, facts, and logic, but I wouldn’t let myself get into the relationship in the first place with someone who I thought lacked those things.