Looking in the Mirror.

Looking in a mirror can be uncomfortable.

I often feel like I lack value. I think it is because I am currently out of work, and at a loss about what to do to remedy it. I know that a lot of it has to do with the society I live in, where a man’s sole value is to be a part of the workforce, and little else. A part of the economic world, with little value as an individual. If I am not a part of the corporate or industrial machine I am of no value to my society. I understand that. Even so, I understand that there is a correlation between finding a source of income and fulfilling my actual dreams. To be honest, I am at a complete loss as to what to do. Every thought seems overwhelming, like I can not do anything about it, yet I simply can’t afford to ignore it either. That said, I often feel as though I am stuck in a vicious cycle of daily activities. I get up, I make dinner, I study a little, I go to sleep, I get up, I repeat. A day changes very little from the day before, and it drives me mad. I don’t like routine, and I hate not knowing how to disrupt it. I’m always at a loss as to what to pursue, and while mentally, I am much more at a place where I am willing to work just about anywhere than I was a few years ago, I am still at a loss about where to work. Every day that goes by, is another day closer to another year that goes by. To be honest, I really thought when I was younger I would be doing a lot more by now, but the days have gone by, one after the other, turning into years of the same day repeating itself again, and again, over and over. The daily routine is what overwhelms me, it feels crushing, like tomorrow is doomed to repeat yesterday. There is a frustration of nothing changing, and feeling powerless to create change.

Yet, I know it isn’t true. There are solutions, even though I’m not seeing them. Just like I know there is a proper use of a comma, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. I suppose over the past ten years some things have been accomplished. I have written enough of a story to compose a book series with a little bit of editing, I’ve learned not only how to cook, but how to cook well. I’ve taught myself a couple of languages, and have taught myself to write, and much more importantly, how to think. I have overcome blind-spots and prejudices, learning how to be tolerant of those whom I may disagree with, giving me the freedom to accept people, even if I don’t always accept their particular beliefs, activities, ideas, and so forth. This is an accomplishment. There are many who are much older and more educated than I am, and yet are glaringly unable to think outside their own viewpoint.

My question is, how do I adjust my viewpoint to be a little more able to accept the daily life, but at the same time, I want change, I really want change, I want things to be different. I want to pursue things, and be things, I don’t want to look back ten years from now and only have a list of internal personal changes as something to reflect on, but to see a tangible change, something that has improved things outside of myself.

I am also very discouraged by the realization that there seems that as time goes on I feel more and more alienated from my fellow human beings. I am feeling increasingly more socially isolated, and the more I’m feeling this way the more powerless I feel to do something, myself, to escape it. I’m forgetting too quickly the virtue of empathy, and am feeling too much as though I have only myself for company. I dislike it, I really hate it, actually. I know it hasn’t been intentional, but I do sometimes feel ignored by a lot of those who I did know once, and I feel at a loss of how to pursue new relationships with new people.

Life happens, I do it too.

However, the question is, since those who I knew are no longer a part of my life, how do I start fresh? I do not want to be like some who in similar situations have made new friends, true, but with the entirely wrong crowd, and have become very disagreeable as a result.

I know very much what I don’t want, but what is it that I do?

I hate the feeling of feeling trapped. Yet, I feel like I’ve made that trap my home. I do not speak of my literal house, of course, I speak of my mentality. I also do not speak of ideas imparted, but of ideas I’ve learned myself.

I know my biggest hindrance is my mind, how I think of things, my hindrance is entirely in my head, but even though I know that, I still am hindered by the same things. To know that there is a problem doesn’t always take care of it. I feel very frustrated as a result.

I hope this post doesn’t come off as complaining, or as self-pity. I mean for it to be an outpouring of my thoughts in the pursuit of a solution, which feels as distant as the moon. I can’t maintain a positive attitude about things when all things need to be laid out on the table. That would only be deceiving myself further. I’m sure we would all like a mirror that reveals only our perfections, magically erasing our every flaw, and that is often how we are encouraged in these days to look upon ourselves. I understand the reason, and that there is even value in approaching things positively, but if there is an aspect that needs closer examination, it does not do to ignore it either. It is good to be happy, true, but it also good to look in the mirror.

So how to meet new people, I asked this same question several months ago, and yet I do not seem to have learned anything from it. Despite the challenging and excellent comments I received about it, and my agreement with the notions presented, I still haven’t acted out the changes required. I feel discouraged.

Maybe I should look at life as the pursuit of dreams, the pursuit of the stepping stones, like an income of sorts, wouldn’t be quite so overwhelming perhaps, if I viewed them as what they are, stepping stones, rather than the end result.

I suppose there is a part of me that is afraid of whatever it is that I end up doing, turning into the thing that defines me, and worse yet, letting it.

  • gwen

    boy do i get a lot of what you are talking about. best advice i can give is keep trying and fake it until your make it. if something in the job seeking or the friendship seeking is overwhelming then break it into smaller bites. keep at it. you will build up the muscle and stamina for those things just like working out at the gym or learning to write well.

    • Shane Deal

      Thank you for your advice, and I like the idea of breaking it into smaller bites. Great ideas! -Shane