What Am I Doing
It’s a cliché for me to say that I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing. You, the reader, could be thinking of all things you are learning about yourself. I’m a twenty-something woman who doesn’t understand how others my age have their lives together. Don’t get me wrong — I’m completely independent. I look like I have my shit together: maintain a full-time job, pay my bills on time, responsible voter, articulate feminist, single occupant of a one-bedroom apartment. To be honest, though, I think the list stops there. There are so many aspects of myself and life that I am learning, adjusting to, and pretending to understand.
You see, I have a theory that humans do not really understand anything as much as we try to be experts in any given thing. This theory extends to even how we perceive ourselves. With this gift, this consciousness nature graced (or cursed, depending on your pessimism level), we are left constantly at a loss. Think about it. Think how many times you go through your day asking yourself questions. Benign inquiries though they may be, they represent what it is like to be human. We don’t have things figured out. We may never figure them out. As much as a human like me may seem like I have my shit together, I’m still at a lost for most things in life. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t know who I’ll vote for in this unfortunate election. I don’t know if I’ll wake up tomorrow because I don’t know if I suffer some silent killer waiting to stop my heart in the middle of the night. Dramatic, yes. In all seriousness, though, how many things are you certain about?
We are all moving through this world, interacting with others, loving those close to us, and trying to make it through the craziness. As we do this, I believe we change. Every day of our lives a little part of us mutates, and we evolve slowly. Sometimes, the change is new. I recently picked up tarot reading as a way to spark self-reflection. I am a new tarot reader, but a tarot reader nonetheless. Psychologists would tend to believe this too since we adapt to our environments and who we are around. When your friend gets angry about you being different around your new partner, they are likely true as much as you would like to argue otherwise.
I do believe one thing that doesn’t change is our inner drive. Ignore your initial thoughts about success or money, family and friends, or altruistic motives. I am talking the one fear that ignites all your impulses and thoughts, the one fear that is the root of why you do what you do. This fear is unmistakably a part of the human experience, and why I think we evolve in the ways that we do. There is no escape from it, though. Need an example?
Take me. I suffer from anxiety, avoid conflict, and am generally overly-considerate to the point that it ruins my perspectives on those closest to me because I hold them to the same unreasonably high standards I hold myself. With the help of therapy, I have found that it is rooted in my fear of abandonment. This is my deepest fear that drives me in my day-to-day life. It was present in my perfectionism at school (to please my parents who were relatively disinterested, preoccupied with work or travelling) and in my friendships (convincing myself not to tell friends of my battle with depression because I’d be “the needy friend”). That fear is the Jiminy Cricket I didn’t realize I had and wish I could ignore.
As a close friend of mine believes (check her out: Kristina Campagna), we also have an innate personality, that no matter how much we try to suppress to fit within societal norms, we all deal with. She developed this theory working with toddlers, the strange little creatures they are. She’ll likely explain it better, but in her experience, and what I am now convinced of, we are born with characteristics that we are either told to expand, like compassion, or control, like stubbornness. We cope with these aspects of ourselves for the rest of our lives. Like the deep fear we have, our personalities are so vastly important since they are often the source of how we perceive the world around us.
Despite these constants, we are not stagnant; we are not immutable. We are humans with thoughts and feelings, and that is enough to change us. Our fears and personalities are the clay, but our everyday lives and the people in them are the molds. This blog of mine, as cliché as it might seem, is how I’d like to track my evolution. It will be an investigation in how this world molds me. There will be no buzz words to throw around — business how-to’s or design inspiration which you can find all over. I only hope to use my evolutionary gifts to help augment this conversation on humanity.
Want more from me and my lovely friend, Kristina?
We’ll be making a publication of musings and discussions and sweet finds on the interwebs, a curation of human thoughts on humans and life. Come back and check out what we find interesting to reflect on.