Temporary

There’s a piece of wisdom I read in The Queen’s Code by Alison Armstrong that said from most women’s perspectives, good things/situations are temporary and bad things/situations are permanent.

Unfortunately, I subscribe to this mentality. Now that I’m aware of it, I’ve attempted to catch myself in these feelings and stop them, but it’s an ongoing process.

Why is my mind set up this way? When something good is going on in my life, I can’t help but question when it will end, or what negative thing will happen next to offset my blessing(s). When something “bad” is happening, I find it extremely difficult to imagine an end to it. The light at the end of the tunnel is not an image I keep handy in my mental back pocket.

I don’t want to be this way, though; it’s exhausting. Barley tells me that whenever I get caught in negative thought loops, I should try to pair each negative nugget with a positive one. I’ll hand it to her, though it doesn’t tip my mood scale to “happy”, it does at least neutralize me. I appreciate neutrality! I also practice “zooming out”, seeing the big picture, and reminding myself that regardless of my feelings or short-sightedness, pretty much everything in life is temporary.

Of course, my initial reaction to that is, “Exactly! And that includes the good things!” But, the positive pair to that is, “Everything will balance out, and all will work out the way it is supposed to in the end.” Whether what’s supposed to happen lines up with my expectations is a whole other story… (try not to have expectations, they lead to dissatisfaction!)

Anyway, all I really want to say with all this is that it’s okay to just enjoy the good times for what they are, however long they last. And remember: the bad times will not last forever. You’ve made it this far, you’ll make it through the next thing, too.

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Who Am I?

Sometimes I feel like I don’t do enough. I work, I hang out with my boyfriend, I spend time with my mom, and that’s pretty much it. I think I tell myself that there’s little time for anything else, but that’s just not true. I could do things after work, I don’t have to spend my Saturday days with my mom, but that’s what happens.

The guilt of not spending enough time with her shapes my weekly schedule. Know who else I don’t see? The rest of my family. I can’t remember the last time I saw Mom, Grandma has all but given up the idea of seeing me ever. And I do feel bad, but apparently not bad enough to change anything.

It seriously makes me question myself as a person. Like, I’m not being a good granddaughter, but at a larger scale, I’m neglecting people who care about me, so overall I’m not a good person.

That struggle to figure out who we are? Does that ever stop? I’d like to think that at some point I’ll know, but it just doesn’t seem possible. How can anyone truly know who they are? Especially because we are constantly evolving beings. Or maybe we’re not actually.

There are two schools of thought, right? People are who they are at their core (and can’t change), or people can change. I don’t really know which one I believe. I can’t think of any instances where a person really, truly, changed who they were, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I think believing one way or the other goes hand in hand with what one thinks about humanity, and whether we’re born with inherent traits. Like the question “Are people inherently good or bad?” Who the fuck knows?! And more importantly, who the fuck cares?!

There is probably not one single person alive who remains untouched, unshaped by the world. Whether we were born good or bad, that’s covered now, by the things we learn as we live our lives. We’re influenced by what we learn in school, by TV, even by our day to day interactions with other humans. It’s so hard to find who we are and to stay true to that person because in just living our lives we are bombarded with things that are “other.” These things just aren’t a part of us, and so become other, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t strong enough to cloud what we think of ourselves and how we act.

I don’t know who I am. I know what things I like to do, what I believe in, how I prefer to interact with people, but that’s not who I am, that’s how I am. Maybe I’ll never know.

 


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