I really feel like a stranger to myself, so I decided to do some research and maybe come up with at least an idea of who I thought I was. At the very least I could draw parallels in my personality from my somewhat more self-assured past life and now. Where else could I turn to get this information?
LiveJournal, of course.
I have an active record of who I am covering at least five of my most formidable years. So I jumped into the archive, going back to around the age of 16 moving forward. I'm almost to 18 at the moment.
Some things of interest I've noted:
- First of all, damn if I wasn't an insufferable little shit. There just wasn't enough attention to please me, particularly from girls.
- I was kind of a dick. Don't know if it is just par for the course with being a teenager, or if I was just a shitty human. I don't feel like the latter is the case.
- I lived in a world of complete extremes. I was either super up or super down and that was subject to change at a moment's notice.
- One of the key differences between then and now is that everything was out on the table and I had ZERO shame about it.
That last one has been the biggest takeaway. I lived out loud, in a way. I was who I was (whoever that guy may have been) and I had no qualms with it. I embraced it. I was proud to be who I was, and in a lot of ways, I had good reasons to be proud. I was living a life that other teenagers weren't, and I was basically doing what I wanted to. I was naive, but that comes with the territory. I can't judge myself 15 years ago based on that, because who isn't at that age?
I haven't felt like that in several years, and I think that's part of what I need to return to. Not the irresponsiblity of youth so much, because I'm over that. I enjoy having a mortgage and responsiblities and whatnot. What I lack, however, is the feeling of being comfortable with myself. I am ashamed of myself because I know I don't fit in, and as a result I've become quite a bit more reclusive. I am a social creature and I choke myself off from that because I think on some level that I'm not worthy of anyone else's time or love. It's a downward spiral of bullshit because ultimately, I've found, all I want, and all I have ever really wanted, is to be loved. No one is going to love someone that they don't see, and I'm in the shadows, hiding. Wishing.
I need to meet that healthy middle ground where I'm not ashamed or weird about who I am as a person but I do need to remain tactful and personable as not to turn people away.
In order to get to that place though, I have to acknowledge and accept myself, pain and all, for who I am, and try to start loving that person. Not in an over-the-top display of narcissism that I did as a teenager (because as much as I said I wasn't, I was TOTALLY into myself. Ugh.), but in a subtle, humble acceptance. I need to start treating myself like I feel like I treat other people. It's an inverted Golden Rule thing. Do unto myself how I do unto others.
The parallels and contrasts between then and now are very interesting to note, and it's been a fun experience (even the painful stuff) to put the pieces together from so long ago. I'm starting to get a more complete picture of who I am, and I can view myself objectively and pick and choose what I think were good traits and bad. This way I can form some sort of composite man that resembles on the outside the person I want to be on the inside.
I think I may be journaling more because I think that, despite the fact that I mostly posted about what amounted to nothing in the past, it was my way of getting through life. It was my way of putting myself out into the world and feeling as though I was being heard. Granted, there's basically nobody I know left on here, but it's still good to know that someone could read this if they really wanted to and can possibly relate.
Thanks for being here, LiveJournal. We should do this again sometime soon.