With the help of a few too many endorphins (see: Saints, Superbowl Champions) and alot of time spent with good friends and my wonderful partner, I finally had a much-needed "breakthrough" this month and it's feeling pretty damn good.
After one specific heart-to-heart with an especially sympathetic and wise soul (me in my Lady Gaga inspired eye make-up and medieval night costume, she with her lovely smile. Yeah, it was a little awkward, but I needed it) I realized that I've been struggling with a whole hell of alot of self-doubt for over a year, and I didn't even know it. Not to get too far into the essentially boring depths of my personal life, but to say that I have a different outlook on life than the people I have been closest to since I started law school is a fairly healthy understatement (right up there with "Something's a little off with that Eric Massa guy"). When things are going wrong, I discuss, dissect, and seek real closure. It's just what I do, and in general I'm proud of the fact that people know that I'll stand up for them should the need arise. The rest of the group? It's avoid "conflict" AT ALL COSTS. I've been ostracized more than once merely for standing up for myself or for people I care about, because, like I said, AT ALL COSTS and I guess I'm expendable. After awhile, all of that conflict avoidance starts stacking up between you and your friends, and all of the sudden, the people you were closest to are miles away. And you start to feel like something's seriously wrong with you.
Scene II: SELF-DOUBT enters stealthily, stage right. Without making its presence explicitly known, it simply settles into the scene like a sinister arm chair, always bringing with it a sense that "something's not quite right."
Let's be honest...I really like myself. I think that most bloggers have pretty high self-confidence--we talk about ourselves all the times, and people without a pretty strong sense of self-worth aren't really up for that. But here I am, wrestling with this "Am I really a monster?" crap. ("Ouch, who put this sinister arm chair here?") It took someone forcefully telling me that I'm pretty normal and non-monstrous, Gaga eye-make up and all, for me to start appreciating "me" again-confrontational, assertive-however you want to put it-me. And that helped alot. I guess the goal now is to get to the point where I don't have to ask other people "am I still a good person?" every time I get a conflicting message. I have to believe in myself, and trust my decision-making even if the people closest to me would make different decisions. And if I have to check myself every now and then, which I do, I need to rely on the people who accept me for who I am and listen to what they have to say (when it's "Monster, absolutely" but more importantly, when it's "Monster? Are you crazy?") over the people who don't.
Because seriously, this self-doubt crap? It stops now.