My Recent Mullings on Life, the Self, and Love

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always felt out of place and unwelcome in the temporary home my parents created for us away from our actual home country. It felt like I never really belonged and experiences I went through justified that belief of mine. Hence, the self-esteem issues.

Even now that I’ve sort of found a place that seems good enough to belong in, I still feel like I don’t. Or maybe I’m just inclined to believe I don’t belong anywhere truly, so I don’t even try to belong in any group at all. Even if people seem welcoming, I’d rather still go solo. A lone wolf, if you will, although I’m not wolfish in temperament at all. Maybe a lone owl…

Anyhow, with my self-esteem issues, I’m never really confident in my abilities, constantly questioning whether I can actually do something or not. And when people believe in me, I fear it instead of welcome it. Sure, I’m filled with joy at the mere fact they do believe in me, but then that feeling only lasts temporarily, and then it’s replaced with self-doubt and fear of failure and disappointing them. I’ve honed my confidence though — or rather, what I project to people that seems like confidence.

So being on my own is my solution to this. I never have to deal with people’s expectations, because of the distance I’ve created; I prefer observing the goings-on around me as a spectator does.

But a spectator’s life can feel so empty and lonely at times. One sees everything and everyone for who they are, predicting their moves, but from afar, never actually drawing closer for fear of being hurt. One closes people out, never letting them see one’s vulnerability.

I’m usually not one to deny an invitation to go out and have a little chat over a cup of coffee or tea, nor do I avoid lunch and dinner invites. I like going to them, but my default seems to be staying on my own. I’ll give them my presence and my friendship, as well as my compassion and loyalty, but they usually never see into my core and I can never seem to bring myself to trust anyone else wholly with who I am as a person, struggles and all.

I’ve realised I have a façade that never really truly leaves. Everyone has one, I’m sure, for different occasions, but I feel like I’m always playing a role for other people so they never truly see me. This doesn’t mean I’m a pushover though, because I still do what I want to do regardless of what other people may say or believe — I’ll consult and listen to them, but I’ll still do as I wish.

It’s only human to want to be understood and be seen for the whole of us. It would truly be nice, but I’m just hesitant. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because of my self-esteem issues, my fear of failing the people I value’s expectations, or I simply am this way. But to love someone else wholly and for them to love me back in the same way is something that seems so unattainable, because of how I am. I can hope, yes. I can only hope.

And that’s why when anyone shows interest in me, I can only wonder what it truly is. Lust? Like? Love? Attraction truly mystifies me. And when I do like someone back, I question everything about it. But my analytic mindset always falls short when it comes to thinking up answers. So I put up walls around my heart, because of all the stories I’ve heard where people have been hurt again and again. I don’t fancy the pain which will involve buckets of ice-cream and wads of tissue (or a very thick towel).

Maybe I’m just not ready and maybe I never will be. Or maybe — just a huge maybe — I am. I just haven’t learned how to do so properly.

Through all my insecurities, faults, dreams, and abilities, I’m simply still human.

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