Do you ever feel like you have to prove to the world that you have a right to be here? I feel that way a lot. Being out of school and unemployed, I feel pretty useless, which is really hard. I feel like I don't have a right to date anyone (if I actually had the opportunity to date someone...) because I don't have a job or a completed college degree. Anyone's mother would hear that and say "Red Flag!"
Having so much free time, I've noticed that I constantly have to have a project to work on, or I feel uncomfortable. I always have to be doing something with my hands. I can't sit and watch TV...I have to cut out a sewing pattern or work on a scrapbook or try my hand at watercolors or whatever while I "watch". So basically TV has turned into a giant radio for me.
While it's nice to be somewhat industrious and always have a drive to create, it also can suck the fun out of life. And at the root of this constant push to do, do, DO is a feeling that I need to prove that I am contributing something to the world. That I am earning my keep on this earth.
This feeling leaks into other parts of my life too, like relationships. I tend to feel like I have to prove to men that I am good enough for them to date. I believe that I am someone who would make a good girlfriend, but apparently men don't. Whenever I've had a crush on people, I've been desperate to catch a glimpse of me doing this or hear me saying that, always trying to help them see that I am trait x, y, or z. Obviously, these attempts came to naught because none of these guys ever decided to date me. I can't imagine someone falling for me without my trying to get their attention or pursue them. It is pretty painful and humiliating to pursue someone and have them reject you; it really points you to the conclusion that you just aren't good enough to tempt that person.
I watched Bridgit Jones' Diary for the first time the other week and was really struck by the one scene where Bridgit tells her friends that Mark Darcy told her he loves her just the way she is. Her friends all stare, baffled, envious, and almost a little starstruck by the idea of a long-lost fairy tale hope of theirs actually coming true to one of their friends. He loves her. As she is. Not if lost a few pounds or got a better job....Just as the dorky, USDA-certified mess of a resolutions-failing (in the eyes of the world) loser that she was.
In that moment, I choked up thinking that that was the real point of the movie: People want to be loved for who they are, not for being a perfect arm candy image that would turn heads on the red carpet. We all think we will be so happy if we achieve some kind of personal Angelina Jolie status of perfect wife or boyfriend material. The power of love is in its incomprehensible simplicity: Unconditional Admiration for something. Nothing can make you leave your dedication and attachment to that thing.
The hard thing is that love does not permeate much of society. Love doesnt have to be limited to romantic relationships, it can be the unconditional acceptance of any people or interest or animal. But that is so rare to find, and I think that's part of why we're so obsessed with romantic love. We want that acceptance but get caught up on the feelings of power and grandeur that come from pseudo-love; "I have a boyfriend so I am loved and thus worthy of love and cooler than my single friends" kind of mindset.
Our society is full of auditions for this pseudo-love, so it makes us feel like what I opened this post with: We have to do things to prove our worth. You have to earn friends, jobs, fame, dates, significant others, recognition, social media likes, etc. This world sends a message of "You have to prove that you're worth my time, esteem, and attention", which can be crushing, especially if you're depressed.
Maybe this post makes no sense. I'm not thinking as clearly as usual. I'm feeling pretty crushed because twice in the last couple weeks I got my hopes up about a far-fetched fairy tale chance with first one guy, then another and, after an initial acknowledgement of my existence from the guy, I tried a small pursuit of a further relationship, only to be let down and, in one case, to find out he actually has a hot albeit intellectually unimpressive girlfriend.
Boys. Who needs them, amirite?
Boys and Buses have a lot in common