I’ve realized a few things about myself when I’m faced with a personal dilemma or hardship, a situation that unexpectedly demands full attention toward my own health and imposes the possibility that things won’t go on as planned.
I have to appear so strong. In my mind, it’s romantic to think that I don’t have to appear strong–of course I do. But then, ‘strength’ is all relative, as is everything in the world. That is key; put it into perspective. Not quite like, “Well, I could be in Tanzania living in the bush, starving with no health care to speak of…” But close to that type of perspective. When you put the idea of inner strength into perspective, you take it from it’s glorified position and bring it into focus. What entails me being “strong”? Me sitting in a doctors office, scared? No. That’s being human. Then is it the way I deal with it thereafter, as I squint into the bright sunlight 2 1/2 hours later blinking back tears and beginning to wander? Because in my idea, that’s where inner strength comes into play. And if that be the case, then at that moment I feel damn near like a dog that goes to die under the porch alone. I want to appear strong, but if I can’t humbly sit with loved ones and express my fears, how strong am I really? And how far have I come? Am I STILL waging my inner strength on my ability to cope with it alone? What did I learn in Japan, after all?…. that life is meant to be shared. Hence my blog, I suppose. But I’m talking deeper than that. Life is meant to be shared, face to face, vulnerable tears to the shoulder of friends, questions without knowing the answers, but not rhetorical either. Life is meant to be shared when we are uncertain of how we should feel about a particular event, while we’re wondering if our emotions are valid, our fears founded, and while we’re shoved into the harsh daylight fighting a torturous battle against self-pity. I refuse to express self-pity, I hate to feel it, but sometimes we can’t help it. Why should we feel less virtuous because we are concerned for ourselves? (Granted, self-pity is okay to a very direct point; only those who aren’t aware of this self-pity clause are the ones who surpass that point.)
In this type of a circumstance, I shut down for a little while. I don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone, I don’t want to use my computer, I don’t want to hang out with anyone that’s difficult to be around, I don’t want to talk very much at all… It’s like when I feel in a bad mood, I just want to be alone, I don’t want anyone to try to cheer me up, I just gotta chill and do it on my own (usually doesn’t take very long at all.) But after that, after I cheer myself back up, get past the fear or the anger or whatever it is, I look at the whole thing as an exhilarating life-challenge to overcome. The only other thing that might hinder me is procrastination, which is usually slight in serious circumstances.
My dad knows I do this, he just kind of allowed me to get off the phone quickly, and when we finally talked again today he very calmly approached me about it. When I told him I feel like I just want to shut down and be alone in emotional times he said that it was the Swedish in me. He said that Swedish are loners, and it’s pretty true. He also imparted words of wisdom when I said that I had to learn to overcome this trait of mine the next time it happened while I was in a relationship, since the last time I felt this way it ruined any remaining relationship with the guy I was dating at the time. He said I just needed to communicate that I am this way, I don’t necessarily have to try to change it. So here I am, communicating on an obtuse level.
It does make me feel better to know that I have improved since then. And speaking of perspective…watch your ears the first part, this guy is really vulgar and sad.