Monday, June 26, 2006

losing the thread.

i don't have epiphanies very often. i just tend to go about life intently but somewhat absent-mindedly, trying to figure things out but always inadvertently losing the thread. for me, it usually take a moment of sheer randomness, of thinking about nothing at all, to produce an insight that is at once simple enough and momentous enough to truly earn the mantle of epiphany.

the other day, i had one of those moments. i was sitting at the gym, waiting for BoyCat to arrive. i sat on a small bench in the hallway, opposite a wall of mirrors and circuit machines. i still had my work clothes on, and my bags were piled haphazardly on my lap and the seat next to me. i was leaning against the wall, and i had my left ankle propped up on my right knee. i remember these details because i was looking at myself in the mirror at the moment the thought struck - at the moment where a single statement announced itself in my brain, appropo of nothing and coming from nowhere.

"i don't like myself."

and that was it. i actually continued to stare at myself in the mirror for a few moments while my brain ran damage control against the epiphany - a blurry rush of "oh stop it of course you like yourself that's ridiculous don't be stupid." but for some reason i could see all that for what it was - excuses, and half-hearted protest - and i realized that it was true. i don't like myself. it wasn't always this way, but it is now, and i have to figure out how i became a person that i don't like. i have to retrace a lot of my steps and figure out what got me here. i need to re-examine and re-imagine. i have to talk with people that i love and trust, get advice and opinions and ideas. i need to make some changes.

more to come.

11 comments:

Cinnamon said...

If it helps, I like you. A lot. We should watch women's basketball, eat nachos, and talk about how cool you are.

In all seriousness, I have also had the same epiphany. It was breathtakingly awful to realize that I hated who I had become and I needed to readjust myself. And it was hard but thanks to some good therapy, I did. And I'm happier each year. But I still occasionally stand in front of the mirror and force myself to think of what else needs to change.

Good luck. You're a smart woman, you'll figure it out.

FINY said...

It's amazing how you can suddenly find yourself in a position to think something like that. It's like you wake up one day and think "How the hell did I get here?" It's scary, and confusing, but I have faith that you'll get through it.

And I may only be an "internet friend" but I'll echo cinnamon - I like you a lot too.

Roni said...

I've been there and pretty much around the same age. I think this is what people call the 1/4-life crisis. It's not so much a crisis as much as a realization that you're not a kid anymore (like we needed to figure that out, right?) AND enough time has passed in our adult lives to take a good hard look back and really evaluate ourselves.

I really didn't like myself around 24-25. I was on a road to I had no idea where, I got out of college without one good friend, and that last fact was highlighted by the fact that I didn't have one girlfriend who I could ask to be my maid of honor.

I'm sure you'll get thru this. It hurts, but life is better on the other side. Perhaps this is why I actually was fairly happy to get to 30. My 20s sucked for the most part.

Kate said...

I like you. A lot. As someone who doesn't know you in real life I don't have to see all the daily shit and struggles you deal with and I get to just see all your human goodness. And there's an awful lot of it.

Do what you need to do to make the changes to make yourself happy and proud to be you. But don't ever forget that even right now, in this moment, you're great and worth liking.

jayniek said...

i could tell you i like you very much too, which i obviously do, or i would have punched you in the face by fifth grade; but instead i will say that my ears are pretty well-tuned to self-loathing...so if you ever need to vent/rant/analyze/not make sense, or just, um, talk.

kate.d. said...

you all are sweet, thanks for the nice thoughts. but i just wanna say that actually you don't need to worry about telling me you like me, because funnily enough, i'm more confident in that - other people liking me - than i am in liking myself!

ok, maybe it's not that clean of a differentiation, but i recognize the issue is less about external validation and more about figuring out why my internal thought process is stuck on Numb and Diffident.

a woman's work is never done, right? :)

e$ said...

i completely know what you mean. Fully.

Toast said...

That sucks. If your internet persona in any way mirrors your real-life self, then you are an intensely likeable person.

DancingFish said...

Your post really struck me, but I think not only as a similarly aged person but in that some parts of myself that I am always struggling with or working on, you exemplify in the best way...

Heather said...

As others have said, I know where you're coming from. I have lots of issues with that. I'm at the best looking I've ever been, but I still focus more on what I don't like than what I like. I tend to resist asking people to spend time with me because my first thought is usually "I don't want to bother them; they don't really like me that much." *shrug* It's a pretty sad statement of our culture that so many people are more inclined to think negatively than positively of themselves.

And I know you said you don't need to hear it, but I still think you're intelligent, fun and adorable, so there. :)

karen gsteiger said...

You know, it's weird...I've been having the exact same issues lately. I think if a lot of external things have been getting you down, it's easy to start taking it out on yourself. I've been pushed to the brink several times in the past few months, and I'm coming out of it with a pretty strong sense of self-loathing. What it is, is going back to bad habits and ways of thinking that I thought I had shed back in my teenage years. I definitely think you're a likeable person, and I think that when you really start analyzing your situation and your feelings, you'll agree.