on self-perception

A couple of days ago my friend Wendy wrote a lovely post about the difference between the way she perceives herself vs. the way other people see her and if you haven’t read it yet, y’all should go and read it. I’ll wait here.

Okay, now that you read it, this post is (hopefully) not a complete rip-off of her original idea and instead only slightly inspired by it. To put things lightly, I am very self-aware of everything that I do, or at least I think I am. *cough* being a lesbian *cough* Sometimes I am also blissfully unaware of things that happen around me and if you ever check me out, I would probably not even realise it, but this is just a sidestep from what I want to say. *scratches head* Now what did I want to say again?

I see myself in a certain way and I do consider myself a good person, not the best but I am only human. I have a lot of quirks that I find endearing but I actually don’t know if they are. Sometimes I start humming a few notes to myself when I have to concentrate on something and I never realised this is weird until I shared an office and my coworker starts laughing every time I do this. It’s not a conscious thing, just something I do and I truly believe it helps my focus (just like pretending I am an airplane makes walking more fun).

And because I consider myself a writer (at least in some capacity, I mean, I’ve got the 50,000 words from last NaNoWriMo to prove it, only I haven’t actually edited them yet, ahem) my head writes these little scenarios. I imagine what it’s like meeting her and her parents and many more episodes in between and it doesn’t matter if this her is a real person or just one from the what-if category. I think about something and my head makes up a small scene or story out of it. And so I look at myself and try to describe me because that’s what you do when you write a story and from time to time, it hits me. I want to be seen a certain way, I wish that one day, “she” will say these things that I want her to say about me.

Only, isn’t that really dumb? And really narcissistic?

I understand that being a blogger comes with a certain flair of narcissism; after all, I’ve spent over 2 years talking about myself and my problems on here and also in the comments sections of various other blogs and ¬†all those social media sites. OH MY GOD! What the hell am I doing with my life?!

And that frightens me because I am also in the constant struggle of being a good person. I’m always afraid that I am letting someone down or am not living up to my potential and those expectations of others but also my own. Most of all, I worry that I’m letting my mother down; that I am not good enough even though she never gave me the idea that I was not good enough. In fact, she always told me what a great daughter I was but I never felt like that. And just typing that sentence makes me afraid to sound narcissistic so probably trying not to sound like that downs an extra dose of narcissism on me. Most of tho struggle lies in my head and is only half real because typing this and reading it sounds so idiotic but it is still going on in my head and will probably never stop. I can’t even tell if this makes sense at all.

And yet I am still sitting here, hoping that one day “she” will say some of the things I imagine her to say about me because I want my ego stroked in that way but also because I imagine it means she understands me which is what I really want, underneath everything else. But then again, I am also fairly certain I will spend the rest of my life alone because I am so good at being alone and because I don’t deserve to be that happy. I have a good life and should be thankful for it, instead of constantly wanting more. I should be humble instead of vomiting all the above on the internet. It sounds like I’m fishing for compliments and/or throwing myself a pity party. The last bit might be slightly true but the first one is definitely a half truth which again, makes me feel like an idiot. Because, COULD I SOUND MORE LIKE A DOUCHE IF I TRIED?

I wish I didn’t crave external validation but I do, I can’t help it. So I try to validate this with just being human, which, of course, is not enough. I’m running in circles, like I do with everything in my life. Like a fucking washing machine.

So the bottom line of these 800+ words is: I’m a washing machine. Congratulations.

I don’t even know if this still has anything to do with the original premise of this post or if it just went somewhere, seemingly unaware by me while I typed away. I guess, I hope people see me the way I want to be seen but the way I want to be seen is also not the way I see myself. There is no easy solution to marry these two perspectives so I’ll just sit here, confused by my own thoughts hoping that you still like me after this glimpse into my odd brain.

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  • Democracy Diva

    We definitely still like you after this glimpse into your odd brain! :) Great post. <3

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Well I’m glad about that! If not thinking for a while would be an option, that would be great :)

  • Jessica

    Everyone feels this way at least some of the time. I would say on the surface my life seems fairly “selfless”. I spend almost every waking hour taking care of other people. But inside my head, it’s all about ME!!! I’m always wanting more or wanting someone to validate and reassure me.
    The fact that you are good at being alone is something that will make you a great partner- because you won’t be demanding they meet your every need. Life is long and full of surprises!
    And if it helps, I like you very much and I’m impressed you are brave enough to post the way you feel- I’m very guarded with my internet presence.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I do assume that everyone thinks like this, at least to some extend but it still makes me feel bad because I should be above this. Just like I consider myself a very uncomplicated, what you get is what you see person but then I do something and it makes things more complicated.

      I wouldn’t call this gibberish being brave and it also helps writing under an assumed name. It gives you a sense of (false) anonymity.

  • I don’t think this makes you narcissistic. Deciding how you want other people to view you is part of deciding the kind of person you want to be. And if that pushes you to be a better person, and impacts your behavior in a positive way, then it’s a good thing. I completely understand the feeling of inadequacy- it’s probably one of my biggest issues.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Thanks for the comment. Inadequacy is one of my biggest issues as well. It’s something that’s always lurking in the background of whatever I do.

  • Tim

    I had a nice, lengthy comment that was a couple of paragraphs long, but then my iPad didn’t like when I tried to sign into Disqus, so I lost it. The short version of was that I still like you after the look into your brain. Additionally, I think all bloggers by nature are narcissistic,and we wouldn’t write otherwise. That said, it doesn’t make us bad people.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Awww, I’m sad I don’t get to read your long comment but the short version is fine too. I agree with this but sometimes, you just need a little bit of validation, at least I do.

  • wlreed

    I’m so glad I inspired you! And we definitely still like you after the glimpse into your brain. Plus, I’m very glad to know I’m not the only one who has mini-plays and different scenarios running through my head at all times.

    I think everyone requires validation of some type. We all worry about being good enough for someone. I want to be a better person for my son. I never want him to have to guard what he says around me or feel uncomfortable being the person he is like I do with my parents. I love my parents, but I don’t always (or even often) like the things they stand for, and I can’t be entirely me. I don’t ever want him to go through that, so I work on being accepting and open minded. That said, I also want to be seen a certain way which is not the way I view myself. We’re a mess, aren’t we? Lovely post.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      At least we can be lovely messes together, right?! From what I can gather, you are a great mom and your son is one lucky guy.

      Sometimes, the most important thing is knowing you’re not alone. Yes, my head always writes little scenes or stories because it can’t help it and I’m glad to know I’m not alone. It’s like fanfiction of my own life.

  • Okay, so I feel like you need to see this short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao

    Because of reasons.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      OMG this was amazing and it made me smile like an idiot, which is something I really needed just now. Thank you!!!

  • ComaDiary

    Baaa, yes I needed to read this, all this. THANK YOU

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I’m glad I could be of service :-) And thanks for reading and commenting!

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