Today I was meant to have lunch with The Suit, the first time we would see each other in almost 4 weeks. I confirmed with him this morning, and when the time came I made my way to the city.
I was on the bus with one stop to go when he called me to cancel. But I didn’t freak out. I didn’t get angry. I told him it was fine. And I didn’t push to make new arrangements. I went on with my day. Did some shopping, ate lunch alone, came home. I was completely ok. Even if I was a little disappointed.
“Wow,” I can hear you all gasp, “What progress!” Well, no, not exactly. I didn’t need to do any of that other stuff because of the reason he cancelled. His sister had been taken to the hospital, and he had to go see her. So, I didn’t feel invalidated or devalued, or blown off. Which has made me realise that it is these feelings, and not specifically broken plans or disappointments, that are what cause me to go into a tailspin sometimes. And these feelings would make anybody feel kinda shitty. I’m not denying that I take it too far when I feel this way and I still have some work to do on regulating my emotions, accepting them and not acting impulsively on them, but I have made progress. So maybe I’m not so unreasonable. Maybe I’m not so broken.
It also helps a lot that I’m feeling pretty good about myself again, and my life doesn’t seem so dark. I have a lot happening again. Seeing friends, meeting new people, a little freelance design work and a full time 3 month design internship starting next week. I feel like a proper human again, the internship especially buoying my spirits and feelings of self-worth. I feel like I’m finally back on track, and even though it’s unpaid, it’s a huge step in the direction I want to go in.
Now that I know specifically what it is that makes me act like a crazy person, I can start to directly address it. As a little kid who felt ignored and undervalued, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do beyond throwing a tantrum in order to get the attention and care that I needed. The tantrums probably worked sometimes, I can’t really remember. But as an adult, all they do is push people away, make them think “what a fuckwit.” As an adult, I have many more avenues open to me. I can cut people out of my life who make me feel devalued, or lessen my reliance on their opinion of me. I can stop comparing myself to others. It all comes down to self-esteem, and needing others to make me feel validated. As an adult, I’m really the only person who needs to believe in me.
So, fuck it. I’m awesome. And it really doesn’t matter if you think so. I save insects from the toilet and worms from the footpath. I give to charity every month, even though I can’t really afford it. I’m a good designer and I speak two languages. I’m pretty funny and kinda pretty. I own up to my downfalls and never stop working at trying to be a better person. Bill Murray once made me a cup of tea and said I have a nice ass. I’ve survived two suicide attempts.
So, I’ve done ok so far.