Peter Pan’s shadow

In regards to other people knowing about you or having opinions about that, my position is “What you think of me is none of my business”–Pat

It’s funny how I cycle through worries. The quote above was from an email Pat sent me on October 8th, 2016, and here I am, rereading bits and pieces because I find I am struggling with the same things as I was last year. How very progressive of me.

The bit above was her advice regarding how to deal with small school syndrome. I never understood the negative realities of living in small spaces with a small number of people. If you sneeze, everyone can hear it, and then will ask if you’re sick. As much as I’d like to say “I don’t care what others think of me” I would be a flat out liar.

But then I discuss my brooding thoughts with Marrit, and then they hit me with what’s actually going on. I’m not afraid of what other’s opinions of me are per se, I’m afraid of people’s misunderstandings of me. I realized that if someone thinks something of me, I don’t have a problem with it, if it’s true. The caveat is is it true. And if not, then I need to explain myself and then that person can decide what to base their opinion of me on. The confronting truth that Marrit faced me with was that that fear of being misunderstood is just something I need to learn to deal with. It’s gonna happen, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Perception is all subjective, and even if I spend unnecessary amounts of time trying to explain myself to someone, they might just not get it. In all honesty, not everyone is going to want to spend time understanding me, and would much rather think what they want to think. Additionally, what Pat said from the very beginning is also quite pertinent. It’s none of my business. If I remind myself that someone’s thoughts of me, true or not, don’t actually have anything to do with me unless they act on them, then these worries of being misunderstood instantly become irrelevant. Not to mention the ping pong thoughts I have about the power of these lurking thoughts and opinions. On one hand, I honestly believe that I’m being egotistical and afraid of something that doesn’t exist, because in reality, everyone is so focused on themselves, no one actually has time to ponder my life, which is great! But then I think about how everyone gossips about everyone else, and I don’t want to be naive and believe that I’m some exception. If I’ve learned anything, I’m no one’s exception. And then I think about what Tobias told me: what’s the worst that could happen? If everyone knew something about me, they wouldn’t dwell on it. There’s other people to talk about.

But where is this heightened fear coming from? I know I struggle with this, but lately I feel like it’s been bigger than normal. Then I began my grocery list:

  • Emma’s observations about how I seem so confident outwardly, and then remind her how I go through my periods of feeling utterly worthless
  • My mom warning me about what I choose to write about here for career’s sake
  • My difficulties with work being mainly that I feel misunderstood
  • Maguiña thinking I was interested in this guy when I’m not
  • A side comment I overheard this week about my love life

The silly thing is that these are all relatively true, and none of them are implying some form of criticism, I’m applying the presumed implications and allowing them to rule me. Of course there’s always the argument that in general I just don’t like it when random people know random facts about me. Unless you want to spend time getting to know me, you don’t deserve to know things about me.

I guess what I need to remind myself is that I have no control over others, other’s thoughts are not my concern, honesty with myself and my s and p orbital friends is what really matters, and I don’t need to justify myself all the time. Which all goes back to one exercise of this blog. To teach myself to relinquish control over who knows what about me. Because I didn’t have that control in the first place.

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