Bouts of self-doubt

For all my grand proclamations about the act of writing (which in itself is still true and pure), I am beginning to wonder if I am writing this blog to avoid my life (and use it as an excuse to avoid my life) or if I am only really trying to understand myself and mature as a human being?

*shrugs* I have my bouts of self-doubt … You may have noticed.

René Descartes said “Conquer yourself rather than the world”. Is that what I am doing here or am I only fooling myself?

Once again with the introspection and stubborn independence. When no one tells it to your face that (if) you are on the wrong course (except the odd reaction every now and then, but, honestly, I’m used to those), how are you supposed to know any different that what you tell yourself?

That sounds like the recipe for a madman, I know, but isn’t everyone saying that you should learn to listen to yourself? (That is, not if you hear voices). I have listened to the advice of others, but I mostly went with my gut feeling. I usually tell things as they are and have begun to share more honest feelings about myself to others. I feel liberated as well as empty, because even though I lay myself out there on the slaughter board; sort of ‘pre-ridicule’ and accept myself, my flaws and my antics, at the same contradictory time, I am usually left with so little response of any kind that I’m beginning to wonder what it is all worth. Even though it still gives me pride to have come to this on the road to self-discovery, I cannot help feeling left bereft by the persistent lack of response or interest from those around me. Nothing has changed, only on the inside, it seems.

But maybe it shouldn’t? Maybe I shouldn’t be so peeved about the lack of response from the outside world, because that’s not what’s really important?

Yet, as I observed about my parents, when those around you don’t even pick up on your – for once – very vocalized, honest ‘self-observations’, then how are you to go from there? Maybe I’m once again misunderstood; people shrugging and dismissing it for being my usual eccentricity and where all my ‘witty’ self-deprecation backfires?

No, I know the world doesn’t revolve around me (easily mistaken assumption when reading a one-woman’s confessional blog), but you do measure yourself in others as well as yourself, and if you are only left with yourself – no matter how self-assure you are otherwise – you easily begin to doubt.

Each step I take on this road is a personal accomplishment, I feel, leaving me with new if not more awareness and doubts about each of these and any future steps.

That’s human existence for you. An eternal existential crisis, whether big or small. And crisis and doubts are not necessarily bad if you ask the old philosophers and the existentialists. It’s just paradoxical as hell (or more like purgatory) and you’ll just have to live with it and laugh at/with it. Story of my life. I’m always suspicious of people who are too happy anyway. I’ve come across people my age who are insanely intelligent and sharp yet have these troubling observations about life while keeping on a ‘happy face’ mask. Like they don’t want to outwardly show how they truly feel on the inside. It silently freaks me out. Ironically, I sometimes fear I come across like that myself.

But stating having only self-doubt to battle with sounds awfully pathetic. I don’t even have that hard a life; I’m frightfully privileged in an upper-middle class, white, Western, average sort of way; the ways of modernity filled with stress and ambition and the quest for perfection never really getting to me. I have either managed to avoid it all, more or less, or I am just that cool. Hm. I’ve concluded that my life mostly have consisted of mere luck and coincidence besides this. The choices I have made have never been something to write home about, despite what I’ve achieved personally for my own sense of self. All this may happen or ‘collapse’ when I’m finished with uni and gets into the real world. *shudders*

Having spend a quarter of my life in the educational system, being fed, taught and supported by it like it was a surrogate mother, I feel more than a little lost by the thought of leaving its nest. Ambivalent at best. Yet, I feel it is a natural state of progress and I do not fear it as such. The “It will be all right, you’ll see”-attitude is highly integrated in my country’s culture (practically untranslatable to other languages/cultures) and I have a severe case of it. Nothing can really get to you if you have this natural attitude. And though it can leave you with a disturbingly relaxed disposition to many major life decisions, it also leaves you almost lost of feeling regarding what will happen to your own life. The line between “Oh, it’ll be all right” to “Well, it doesn’t really matter anyway, does it?” is very fine. Soon you’re only left with modernity’s frightful inertia and depressive helplessness. (Okay, that became unintentionally dark.) And it’s not like you don’t care. You have it all too well with your creature comforts and would be sad to see them go, but you also tend to not be able to cope with saving the world and deal with the injustice despite how much you care about the downtrodden, so you just stay under the covers and make another cup of noodles. *scoffs* I’m such a coward.

I know I’m prone to depressive tendencies whenever I become too aware of myself and the world … result of spending too much time alone perhaps. But being out in the public doesn’t necessarily help either. Momentarily perhaps, if I’m in good company, but almost as soon as I get home to be alone and in peace, the quiet content’s shadow side is also ennui. I’ve been alone all my life so loneliness doesn’t scare me as such, but I still feel unfulfilled in life. However, I cannot believe that happiness or all your solutions necessarily are found in the company of another. I believe you’ll still have your basic human loneliness (after all, you haven’t erased or escaped yourself just by being in a relationship with another person, have you?) and that you still have to deal with being in a relationship with yourself 24/7. I may be running away from my ‘problem’ now, but running into a relationship for a solution doesn’t seem fruitful either.

I believe life to be like ying and yang; that happiness always will have a naturally balanced side of melancholy and that you will have to accept them both. Most people struggle with this or either sides, but what happens when you have accepted both? Have you finally found peace or, at least, the road to it? It may just be my tendency to look at things from a slightly negative, critical perspective, but I think you’re also left with a lack of struggle in life, so to speak. Not that I wish for trouble and chaos to rain down on me in order to feel something, but when you only have yourself to struggle with it, the fuse quickly runs short. And it is here it becomes pathetic because it isn’t really a problem, is it? Yes, you can always doubt yourself and your decisions. That existential struggle I have accepted on a daily basis while also trying to forget or avoid or handle it or whatever I do by, well, writing this blog, reading books, listening to music, watching movies and TV shows, wallowing in self-pity etc.; everything to make the time go by while not trying to think about what I could have done differently or should be doing right now. It’s not like I’m even looking for solutions, because I’m not sure what my problem is besides existing like everyone else and being pathetic doing it. It’s not very mature, is it? Though we may all be doing this more or less frequently in our lives, most people pull themselves together out of necessity and duty and face their daily responsibilities, even though they are not always overjoyed to do so. I try to do so as well – basically in order to function in modern society – but I still seem to go right back to this catatonic state of powerlessness and ponderings like any ancient Greek philosopher probably once found himself in.


Maybe all this is simply the paradox of existence and I have talked myself into a circle. Wouldn’t be the first time.


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