is that I have this tendency (which I’ve seen in friends, too) to assume the good things I do are in some way a product of mild mental unwellness.
I am a motivated person who does lots of things!…probably because I am compensating for unconscious feelings of scarcity and fear of dying young.
I don’t mind spending time alone!…probably because I was a lonely child and sometimes have panic attacks if I think people don’t like me.
I love doing really difficult exercise programs!…probably because I was unhealthily overweight for most of my life and have unconscious body image issues.
I can’t deny there’s an element (a tiny, subatomic element) of truth in those ideas.
But I’ll tell ya what, y’all: I friggin’ call b.s.
This sort of self-deprecation (if that’s what it is) is such a thief of joy, I think. I refuse to believe that we should value our insecurities more than our ambitions.
We are more than the sum of our neuroses and contradictions.
Goodness is not always (or even often) a compensation for something ugly and low. It’s so strange how often we think (we includes me) that the most negative criticism is the most honest one.
At some point, cynicism and ironic despair became fashionable. Those qualities seem more “adult” sometimes, frankly. And God knows I am as attracted to them as anyone.
But as I get older, I’m just so much more interested in being a celebrator than a critic — of myself and anyone else.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Adulthood isn’t something that happens to you; it’s something you make. That’s the wonder and terror of it. That’s the power of it.
Let’s celebrate it, okay? Let’s focus less on the shadow and more on the light that cast it.
< /rant >