Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chicken or the Egg

After having burned Sonnjea with a picture of another cat whom she thought was mine, I figured I should make amends. To the right is a picture of CootyCat, strutting his stuff on our bed. Isn't he sexy?

This week was crazy hectic. I had to help get a proposal out the door at work which kept me there till 8:30 on Tuesday and 9:30 on Wednesday. I had a rehearsal on Wednesday which I was sorely in need of and looking forward to, and I missed it. Not to mention school in all this. Thursday and Friday are a blur.

For the last few weeks - maybe even the last couple of months - I've been feeling insignificant in my own life. It's a scourge that swells and remits in my heart from time to time and in the last 10 days or so, it's been particularly hard to ignore. Several times this week I've been on the verge of tears for no reason and have had to swallow them. That's not common for me. Yesterday morning, after a good work-out walk with my fitness group, I visited my therapist. I hadn't seen her for several months - I only go if there are issues I'm having problems resolving - and I thought, "it's not good to feel insignificant in one's own life; let's go get some help." She agreed. As this really is something that has been plaguing me on some level for the last several years particularly, we're going to keep meeting regularly until I iron out.

In the meantime, I've been trying to figure out exactly why I feel so insignificant and replaceable in my own life. My parents did an excellent job in making me feel worthy, valued, safe and loved. Certainly there were episodes with peers which made me feel devalued - that's the evil of adolescence - but my safety net at home was strong enough to carry me through to adulthood unscathed and able to live past those moments. I have never felt anything other than love and admiration from Honey. So this feeling is not from my most significant and intimate relationships.

Aside from the highly probable prospect that this is just some inherent malady that I'm going to have to treat on occasion for the rest of my life (like emotional plantars fasciaitis or something) is that this feeling of insignificance is social and/or professional in nature. And that I'm 30. Apparently, women are most likely to enter therapy for the first time around age 30 because that's the age when society has the most pressure on them (marry? kids? career? etc). Shortly after getting married, trauma touched our household which left me feeling completely incapable of affecting the world around me, among other things. A few years later, I was laid off from a job that I didn't like but didn't want to be laid off from. On top of that, we live in a metro area almost entirely populated by high achievers. And everyone is very convinced of their own opinions.

It's beginning to get me down that I have peers who are much further ahead in their respective careers than I am. I know I'm not alone in just schlepping through, but still leaves me wondering what I have to offer that at age 30, after 7 years in the workforce, I'm still at entry level admin positions.

As far as the opinonatedness: I too have always been an opinionated person, but since my youth, I've made concerted efforts to be more open to other peoples' opinions or at least the experiences that have shaped them. I don't claim to be 100% open to 100% of all viewpoints - it's certainly a struggle for anyone, and probably not necessary - but since youth, I think my sympathy for others' points of view has grown. However in the last few years, I feel that when I offer a differing POV or an argument or explanation for another POV (which even I may disagree with) in discussion with others, people just knock it. And it's rare that others actually argue against the POV, it's just an instant dismissal. Seriously? There's nothing you can learn from an experience that is not yours or that does not agree with your viewpoint? So, I've learned to be more quiet in discussions where I may want to offer an alternate POV; my viewpoint is insignificant and if it does not agree with the prevailing view of the discussion, then any "devil's advocacy" I may want to introduce is insignificant as well. ... of course, my worst fear is that I behave this way to others. I'm sure I do: as much as I try to refrain from the knee-jerk dismissal, which we are all prey to that I complain about, I'm convinced I fail more often than not at restraining it. I'm so un-self-concious.

Whew. Maybe I've had a "breakthrough." Then the question remains: how do I assert my own significance to myself? I'll have to save that for later.

As for now, I vowed I'd trek to campus and cloister myself in the library until I'd written some good stuff this afternoon.

Live long and prosper!


hubeiqjsg said...
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Sonnjea B said...

CootyCat is even cuter than your pretend cat!

I hope that you are able to work through your feelings of insignificance. It's so hard not to compare yourself to others, especially when you live (as we both do) in a yuppie-filled area of over-achievers, BUT the only one you need to compete with is yourself. Just work on being the best, most sincere version of Molly Malone you can be. That doesn't mean you have to have the highest-paying job, or the fanciest title, or ANY job, per se. It just means you work every day on being YOU, and claiming your own worth and value as a human being. You aren't significant because of something you've DONE; you're significant simply because you ARE.

Molly Malone said...

luckily i'm lucid enough to know that intellectually; i just have to find a way to get that from my brain to my heart. i know i can and will.

thanks, Sonnjea, so much for your kind words ... especially for the part about not necessarily even having a job! i have to remember that, too! ;)

Virginia Gal said...

I'm sending you a hug. I don't know about everyone else, but you're not insignificant to me - I'm glad God put you in my life and I think He did that for a reason. You have made me a better person. I look to you and how kind and warm and open you are to everyone and try to emulate. Honestly there are times when I think "what would Molly do?" You have such a good soul. I wish more were like you.

As for discounting your opinion, goodness I hope I've never done that, even if I don't agree its nice to hear another perspective (and especially nice since you don't yell when you disagree, hee hee).

Aha! About the 30 thing explains my up and down mood swings, I was suppose to be at point Y and inste4ad I'm at point L - and I'm stressed. And screw the overachievers of DC - whatever, who wants that life anyway?!

Love ya babe.

Petronella said...

Thanks for writing this.