Living each day much muchier


Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you’re worthy of the trip.
Glenn Beck


Do you look at yourself fairly?  I mean, do you view yourself with as much kindness as you do criticism and as much admiration as consternation?

We’re trained early to focus on what we lack and to throw money at the problem. Feeling fat? Buy this diet/workout/self-help book.  Feeling stressed? Buy this holiday package/spa treatment.

Sometimes it helps to limit your exposure to advertising. After turning off the tv, I started wearing my own style and doing what actually makes me happy.

Then again, all it took was a well-meaning conversation to bring the insecurity rushing back.

A friend asked if I had anyone on the love life radar. Had anyone shown any interest?
“Really, no-one?”
“Well, one phone number request when I was interstate. Otherwise nothing for, uh five months.”

After that conversation, I started wondering why. I mean, I’m not a hellmonster. I don’t turn men to stone and everything is pretty much where it’s supposed to be as far as looks are concerned.

I realised that I was the problem and no product could fix it.

The heart’s a tricky thing.  Here I am surrounding myself with things I love and feeling good about myself yet I am still being completely mean when I imagine what others think.

“I’m too old (because, you know, 32 is near death). I’m too strange. I’m intimidating. I try to be one of the guys because I’m afraid I don’t compare as one of the girls.

In other words, I don’t consider myself worthy of pursuit. I take myself out of the running before anyone has the chance to consider it.

So, if I’m thinking ‘no, you don’t want me’, what signals am I giving out? If I’m busy with my phone or my drink or looking anywhere but someone’s eyes, I’m basically saying ‘don’t talk to me.’

I aim to be worthy, which has nothing to do with being the perfect woman.

It has everything to do with believing that who I am is worthy of attention and worthy of interest.

Worthy of pursuit, even.

4 comments on “Pursuit

  1. M
    July 18, 2013

    What a good article – and clearly written with lots of introspective thought attached to it.

    Do I look at myself fairly? Do I consider myself worthy? Am I worthy of pursuit?
    All excellent thoughts of someone who carefully considers their place in the world and what their actions might have on others, rather than the usual, “I’ll do what I want and if you don’t like it, you can….” (complete with usual self-aggrandizing statement).

    I think if you buy a self-help book or join a gym based on some excuse other than phsyical fitness or engage in quick-fix diets, then you may be more at the mercy of a slightly pessimistic side of your persona that rates you as not quite being where you want to be. Of course, with life being the journey it always is, anyone with any introspective thought (IMO) will find something with themselves that isn’t quite right and needs fixing – it just depends on the motivation that goes with heading down that path.

    More than one person has given me that strange look I often get when they say, “How are you?” and my standard reply is now, “… gettin’ there…”
    You can see their face and the batteries running on low voltage trying to compute WTF “gettin’ there” is.
    To me, life is a journey… In the vessel in which I have managed to be born – and somewhat stuffed up along the way… I see myself on a trip where the destination is completely unknown; the reason for it is hopefully somewhere in my future; and I have no idea when it is slated to end. So, my only option is to follow a quote I read often in one of my old Phantom comics… “If you live right and brush your teeth twice a day, it should all turn out OK.” (paraphrasing).

    Now, since this post is about you and not me – I shall get back to the relevant topic 🙂

    With regards your love life radar and nothing happening – well… I can’t help you with that (and many women that know me would probably breathe a “Thank Christ for that” on your behalf 🙂
    What I am about to say now is my take on you. It is not meant to be insulting – nor is it intended as a put down. I deal in observations and facts. Sometimes these can be mutually exclusive, sometimes not. Since you know me to be married, you will also know that I am not about to bullshit you or put on a snow job.

    You are … unique.
    You are the kind of woman that will not gain the attentions of a large proportion of the male population.

    “WTF??? Get off my blog, you arsehole!!!”

    Simply put, you have the qualities of a woman that someone like myself would look for (as I have a high opinion of the standards I set for myself). Mentally strong – opinionated – sure of yourself – accepting of others.
    You don’t need a keeper or someone to think for you.
    You know how to carry yourself in a social environment.
    You can string an argument together without the need to add “fu*…”

    What this means is that the majority of the soft-between-the-ears majority of males who seek a brainless twinkie or someone to dominate will look elsewhere. Those that consider you to be more than a trophy or possession will make the effort – and those are the ones that are few and far between.

    I see this country as a haven for the immature & irresponsible. Where a bloke can live his life with the mental age of 15: Getting drunk with his mates; rooting anything that walks; walking away from responsibility; and essentially not paying his dues until either the law makes him do it or some I-wanna-look-important feigned sense of doing the right thing (eg. kids).
    A perfect example is the kind of turd who gets killed in a car crash and his family are on TV crying and saying what a decent and honourable person he was – but the crash scene shows a wreck with burnout tyres on the back. That person was clearly “honourable” to a minority and everyone else was an annoying piece of sh*t that could just tolerate him (or he would “bash them” or burn down their house). He would have his stereo on at top note at 2am and “having a drink with friends” was getting blasted and winning the fight outside the pub.

    Stop smirking, all the women reading this – your lot have been working overtime for the last 2 decades to come down to this level rather than keep up good standards.

    To me, you have made the choice to be a decent, good, genuinely-honourable human being that is a credit to society rather than a debt – and the fact that you are single means that you have standards as well. I say it is much better to be an old maid than a sell-out of ones (good) principles.

    It is hard and it sucks to be on your own (I know all about it) and there will be times of weakness but you know in yourself that what you do and who you are is the best that you can be. From my perspective, I take great pride in saying that I have never had a one-night stand in my life. From the perspective of others, those that have seen me often say, “That’s because you didn’t have a choice” 🙂

    If anything, that makes you distinctly in the minority and most definitely a catch when the bloke with half-a-brain turns up looking for someone to take that journey with rather than someone to carry the luggage.
    The smile makes it just that much better 🙂

    All this boils down to is: “To thine own self, be true” and sometimes it *is* the fault of others and not necessarily you.

    • quoteofwhenever
      July 18, 2013

      Wow, what a long and lovely reply. Thanks for posting it here instead of in Facebook. It’s nice to get comments on the blog.

      It’s a good thing to challenge yourself to be better, but I’m starting to realise that change should come from a place of nervous excitement, not self-flagellation for not being good enough. That’s a lesson I’m trying to learn.

      No points given for stating the obvious. I’m not the attention grabbing, head turning sort. It’s a curious dichotomy, feeling you’re supposed to be stunning and in demand but also feeling that’s complete bull and knowing there’s waaay more to life.

      I like the phrase “take the journey with rather than someone to carry the luggage”.

      I sure hope so.

  2. thebrightimpossible
    August 24, 2015

    When introspection becomes auto-critique which then becomes projection, other people can stop becoming anything other than tools we use to validate our self-loathing. Finding a way back from that can be difficult, but a good place to start is to remind ourselves that others don’t define us. They can shape us, sure. They can influence us, definitely. But to define speaks to identity that sits at our very core; an identity that exists in spite of our circumstance, not because of it.

    So many of us accept our definition unthinkingly. We take our cues from our (often completely inaccurate) perception of others as they interact with our lives. Often, we’re really using people as an excuse to judge ourselves, and with a tendency towards the negative. After all, whatever we’re looking for, we’ll find it…

    I used to be quite taken with the idea that we’d do better to stop looking for the right somebody for us, and instead work on ensuring we’re the right us for somebody. But I’ve grown to dislike that. It still betrays a sense of direct correlation between self-identity and our worth in the eyes of other people. And worthiness is an admirable aim, but more so for its own sake.

    I’d like to be the right me… for me. I desire to wake up and remember who I am with a smile and an appropriate amount of self-assurance because my core is aligned with what will best bring a deeper sense of happiness, which is the peace that comes from sacrificial giving, an embrace of our talents and an alignment with nature. Well, that’s my framework anyway.

    I think when we position ourselves in such a place, we can come close to starting the journey of self-discovery in a much more fundamental way. Others will cross our path no matter the direction we travel. Our choice is about which path we take, and that decision is best made by positioning ourselves so that we can learn about who we are, and create ourselves too. When that’s the path we choose to take, there will come a point where one of those who joins us on our journey offers to open an understanding of our heart, and ours of theirs. It’s something I secretly enjoy imagining was destined to fall into place, but don’t tell anyone I said that because I’m supposed to be much more logical 😉

    • livingwithmuchness
      August 25, 2015

      There’s a balance in there, somewhere. In growing beyond the need for validation from others, we don’t have to go all the way to an insulated self validation at the other end. Of course we care what people think, and we should. We’re social animals and other people are more than mirrors and teachers and guideposts, we belong to them and they us. We need to belong. Pretending like we don’t is a brittle, surface kind of strength. Real inner strength, as I understand it at the moment, is establishing that balance between acknowledging and nourishing what’s good about a belonging identity while tempering unhealthy responses to it, which can be neediness (reliance) or isolation (rejection). I find it pretty hard, personally, as I tend toward isolation (re: latest blog post In love with the pain) but I feel like I’m getting better at it.

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This entry was posted on July 16, 2013 by in Self worth and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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Department of Words

Department of Words

Thinker. Writer. Photographer. Dancer. Not necessarily in that order.

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