Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On The Voice in my Head I Can't Turn Off

She's not me.

Not the real me anyway.

Or maybe she is the rawest version of me.  The one that I never reveal because she has to potential to embarrass me.

I don't know any of that for sure.  All I know is that I can't get her to SHUT UP.

She's the one in constant battle with the rational adult side of me.

It's like a tennis match in my brain.  Except the obnoxious me apparently had well endowed parents who paid top dollar for tennis lessons.  So the game is usually one sided and therefore kind of tiresome.  It's not fun to watch the adult me lose over and over again.

You wanna know the worst part?

Obnoxious me is horribly reminiscent of a teenage girl.  Those teenage girls whose first person narrative grates on every one of my nerves (like Katniss Everdeen or (dare I say it) Bella Swan).



Obnoxious me is not nearly as self-sacrificing as she could be.  Nor is she overly emotionally skewed.  But she does tend to cycle through the same things over and over and over again.  She over thinks things.

She feels she's entitled to more in her life which makes her come off as selfish. 

She wants to make my life more complicated.

To her, it's all about "me".  What I want.  What I feel I deserve.  How unfair it is that I have to work for it.  How unfair it is that others have what I want.

She's whiny.

She's horrible.

And I can't get her to shut up.

Some tell me she's normal.

Yeah.  Sure.  Okay.

That doesn't make it any better.

This obnoxious version of me...she is full of wishful thinking and desperation.

Her mantra is: "If I set myself up to expect the worst of the situation, I will receive a delightful surprise when something better comes along rather than disappointment when nothing at all happens."

It's a bleak point of view.  One that I'm not particularly fond of.

But it's a defense mechanism. Like humor in the face of tragedy and terror.

And like those similar defense mechanisms, it usually manifests itself in childish and cringe worthy manners.

The only good thing?

I've managed to tamper nearly all the outward expression of this obnoxious self.

(Those of you who have heard her, I apologize.  PROFUSELY).

She is manifest mostly in the lines of pages and pages of notebooks.  I scrawl endlessly, hoping to expel every ounce of her onto the unsuspecting paper (what did it ever do to deserve such torture?).

But she always manages to bubble up again.

I shall never be rid of her.

Sometimes a naive voice in my head tries to convince me that once she has been satiated by obtaining all she desires, she will be quieted.

This, I highly doubt.  Because she's been around for years and every time she gets something she wants, she replaces that gap with something new.  Something MORE.

She always wants more.

So what's the trick, you ask?

Well, I'm convinced it has to do with getting adult me some crazy good tennis lessons.  Or at least more practice time.

Luckily, experience comes with age and adult me has managed to score a few wins.

Usually they come when obnoxious me least expects it.  The element of surprise is very valuable.

She will be unguarded.  Winning the game mightily.  It's match point.  She's setting up for a winning serve.  When all of a sudden, out of the blue, a rational and mature thought emerges that can't be ignored.

And just like that adult me is back in the game.

I KNOW that the people around me are just that.  People.  Human beings.  I can't be unfairly expecting things of them.  I can't wait around for other people to take steps that I could be making myself.  When immature Sarah says "why haven't THEY stepped up yet?", mature Sarah arc's the ball across the court, scoring a point with the countering thought "what have YOU been doing to make the situation better?"


Often, other mature thoughts follow this one, like the following:

"Hey, guess what?  You're over thinking things and that's only going to make you stressed and unhappy.  Just relax."

"You've come far.  You're not perfect.  No one is.  But you have progressed.  That's something to be proud of."

"Friendship is an important part of social development and you're lucky to have the friends that you do.  Do you really need more than that at this point?"

"There are many things in your life you can focus on.  Get those things in order and when you are ready (thinking you are and actually BEING ready are very different things), you'll obtain that which you seek as long as it is sought righteously."

But Adult Sarah is not out of the woods yet.

Because obnoxious Sarah usually has a fresh round of frantic when's, why', why not's, and how's.  They are hit with desperate force, fly wildly, and yet still manage to score points in the game.

Sometimes I think I've matured.  Maybe I have a little.  But not as much as I might think.

Because lurking underneath each life discovery and personal revelation lies little miss selfish.  Little miss NOW. Little miss over-thinker.

To everything there is a season, right?  Everything in the proper order.

Right now might not be the season I think it is or believe it is supposed to be.

I've been blessed in so many ways.  In friends, in spiritual growth, in my calling, in family, in my new job.  And yet I still feel the need to ask for more?

Maybe I should stop being so greedy, huh?

I can appear rational.  Mature.  Collected.  Progressive.

But just know that underneath is this voice.

One that wont shut up.

And I'm convinced that if you knew her, you'd run away terrified.

Be glad for the therapeutic nature of writing.

1 comment:

Twig said...

My friend, you are much more mature than I. Sometimes, just suppressing the teenager in ourselves is what makes us mature, not actually getting rid of it. I cannot point to anything you have done and say, "Oh, yup. There goes Sarah, being all immature."

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