I’m hearing independence and self-sufficiency in the theme of this Block. I feel like my extreme anxiety about outside validation is not only preventing me from progressing in my career goals, but as a person as well.
I can be better than I am if I can only be okay with my own personal judgments about the things I do and the way I behave.
But does that mean other people’s views are no longer relevant?
Well that doesn’t sound right either.
This must be one of those gray area things. A good balance between the two ends of a spectrum, whatever the hell that means.
Nothing has confused me more than the concept of a gray area among things.
What is a good balance of opposites?
In other words… yes or no. And how much yes and how much no. That’s all gray area is to me, a balance of chaotic confusion of things that don’t match.
What’s the balance between an apple and a carrot? Sometimes it is just that confusing to me and it drives me nuts trying to figure out that perfect balance.
Maybe I’m trying to understand it wrong. Or from the wrong angle.
Life is best understood backward, but must be lived forward.
What if I change my approach to the question of what a good balance is in a spectrum of opposites?
These are difficult questions to be asking. Especially when you don’t give yourself enough time to find an answer. It has been tearing away at me from the inside for as long as I can remember.
Whenever these moments of thought run through my mind, I get that insecurity about whether or not I should ask others these questions, or whether or not I’m strange for thinking to ask them in the first place.
Of course it’s strange. Most people do not entertain these thoughts as much as I do, but that is only an assumption I have about the people I’m around. Not on a larger scale.
What if I’m not so strange, just strange right here?
This is why I am having trouble adjusting to things. I don’t know what to adjust to. And because the internet removes the imaginary geographic barriers to what defines traditional normalcy, this is only getting increasingly confusing; for millennials across the board, as well.
Throughout my life thus far, I’ve made myself aware of some other ways people can live their lives. I’ve met people from many walks of life, in different countries, and in a wide range of settings, and I can’t seem to figure out where I fit into all of it.
Retreating back to the very beginning…
If everyone were to disappear, who would I be?
That’s an extreme question. As mentioned, it’s probably a balance of things and that’s why that question seems so difficult.
Perhaps, I’m asking it wrong.
Let’s try separating the question into 2 opposite perspectives…
If everyone were gone, except those most important to me, who would I be?
I’m not sure. The same confused person maybe?? I guess I would at least find comfort in not going through everyone dying off by myself; I have my closest family and friends with me.
What if only those most important people to me died, leaving everyone else in the world, who would I be then?
The second question feels like everyone else might have well died also. If everyone important to me died right now, I wouldn’t have much reason to go on with life- at least that’s how I think I would feel.
My thinking just doesn’t make logical sense because there are other people, billions of others.
Ok, I think I’m gaining some clarity.
It’s the memories you have of the life you’ve lived so far- that’s what makes people and things important to you. And you’ve shared the most memories with “important people”.
That is also where you base and learn your judgments from. Even the memory of someone telling you something is a memory that you can use as a personal identifier.
It is new memories, accumulated, that make new important people and things in your life- and provides you with your own sense of identity.
I would like to add that epiphanies and personal reflection can allow you to interpret your memories in different ways, leading you to a redefined identity; simply by changing your perspective.
Regardless, without memories, you lose your identity. Without memories, sentimental value doesn’t exist. Nothing will be important. In the absence of memories, you have no definable identity.
This is probably why people feel the need to shed their identities when they feel they need to “start over” (usually after a bad break up or a death). They throw away a lot of stuff, they kick people out of their lives, get makeovers and change their profile pictures on Facebook, or just pick up and move somewhere else leaving everything behind.
After all, by throwing things away, or by the loss of someone, there is nothing left to hold their memories accountable. Their memories now become whatever they say they are.
But until they remove their own memories, they cannot actually “start over”. That is why this phrase is so popular, “you can’t run away from your problems, they follow you.”.
It is you who is following yourself. What the phrase refers to as “problems”, is nothing more than the words you’ve chosen to judge your own identity.
Who am I?
I am a collection of my own memories of the past and how I choose to interpret them for use in the future.
…there. That wasn’t so hard.