A Little Bit of Self-Evaluation

22 Sep

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
― Aristotle

Every now and then an event happens in my life that makes me feel something unexpected. My own reactions to simple things sometimes take me by surprise, and it’s in those moments that I’m forced to be introspective and really evaluate who I am as a person. As a human being. The result isn’t always pretty, but it is always educational, if for no other reason than it gives me something to work on. I’m not, after all, perfect.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what kind of friend I am. I know I’ve blogged before about my own insecurities (case in point), but blogging about it doesn’t make it any easier to wrestle with. I still feel like I care too much, like I share and give and get very little reciprocated. It also doesn’t help that several of my best friends are the “private” type. They don’t tell me the inner workings of their thoughts, fears, dreams, goals, etc. until things are certain. They tell me when there’s something to tell. That seems logical enough, but I’m not that type. I’m the type that will tell you about the very faintest inkling of a thought and then walk you through every detail of every feeling I’m having about the thought. Then, we’ll discuss every single possible outcome of the thought (complete with a pros/cons list for each option), followed by a step-by-step plan on what I’m going to do with said thought. I’m a sharer by nature; I can’t help it, that’s just who I am.

It’s very difficult for me to accept that not everyone is like this. When my private friends tell me, “I don’t want to talk about it,” or, “I’m not ready to tell you,” my first reaction is one of hurt. Logically, I know that their responses have nothing to do with me. They’re just people who like to sometimes keep the personal aspects of their life personal. But deep inside I go into panic mode. Is it me? Is it because they don’t trust me? Is it because they think I’ll judge them? Is it because we’re not as close of friends as I thought we were? The list goes on. Outwardly I smile and say, “Ok, I understand.” Inside, I’m a mess. This is something that I wrestle with. Constantly. I think it’s because I’ve been burnt before by “friends” that said they’d tell me when there was something to tell and then…didn’t. I think that with time, as my true friends continue to keep me updated about their lives, but in their own time, I’ll realize that “not now” doesn’t mean “not ever.” It just involves something that is hard for me: trust.

I was also forced to look inward this week when a dear friend of mine posted some amazing news on Facebook. She’s a wonderful friend and a wonderful person who deserves nothing but wonderful things in her life. And instead of being immediately happy for her, my first pang was one of jealousy. Followed, of course, by crazy happiness and excitement, but the jealousy was still there all the same. It lingered and left a bad taste in my mouth, and my soul.

It’s always easy to want the best for your friends, and for all their hopes and dreams to come true. Unless those hopes and dreams match your own. I have to admit that as irrational as it is, I think deep down I sometimes think, “Yes! I really want insert friend’s name here to accomplish x, y, and z. I just want him/her to accomplish them after I do.” I’m not proud of these thoughts. Especially since having my friends accomplish everything they want to in life in no way lessens my own chances of accomplishing those same things. If anything it could help me. My friends succeeding in what I hope to achieve can only come with advice, contacts, support and understanding.

To further complicate my inner musings, friends of ours recently faced a personal loss. The same kind of loss my husband and I experienced recently. It goes without saying that I instantly grieved for my friends. Having gone through it myself, I would never wish such a loss on anyone. But, at the same time, a small part of me also felt relieved. I was disgusted by that feeling. Does misery really love company so much, that it would welcome the tragedy of friends? I have a hard time believing that.

Why, then, does jealousy sometimes enter my thoughts when friends receive good news? Why does relief sometimes encroach upon my emotions when friends are suffering? I’m not sure I know the answer. Perhaps it comes down to fear. Fear of watching others enjoy what I might never have. Fear of others obtaining what seems so unobtainable for me. Fear of my own shortcomings and doubts.

Like I said, self-evaluation is not always pretty, but it is necessary for growth. Hopefully these reflections will help me learn to trust. To let go of fear and insecurities and enjoy with abandon the blessings of others, and fully support those in their time of need. To know, in my soul, that my time too will come.

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