Feeling: CONFIDENT (or so it seems)
Firstly a disclaimer: I just want to assert here that any posts talking about Ed or self esteem or downness are not cries for aid or seeking regard or recognition – rather, they are detached detailings that I sometimes reread in an effort to understand myself. I only post them up in an bid to make others perhaps gain some insight or for those in a similar sailboat to realise that a lot of the fucked up thinking is not solitary.
This trip isn’t about being a happy holiday for me (well, the Europe arm with The Pedaller is). This trip is about confronting some pretty deep shit and not sprinting off or shoving it away anymore.
I can’t talk about Ed in person. Strike that (“can’t” is being eradicated from my vocab); I struggle immensely with it. Start a convo with me and I shut it down asap. Ask me questions and I clam up. I talked about it today with Beavs for the first time since I got here (a four-minute spiel). The Pedaller and I have had a single exchange on the subject (11 min 30 in total) – all other dialogue in such regard has taken place via CMC (computer mediated communication). And that’s only been in the last week.
My medium is my writing. Sometimes my fingers take off and my brain is awhir with words and whimsical insights that I didn’t even know I had. I can pour it all out on paper (well, IPhone 7 Plus notes copied over to WordPress really) but when it comes to saying it in an out-loud sentence, words just…. fail me.
Because for the most part, I don’t understand myself.
But the subject of the following is something closely related and affected to and by Ed, though not Ed himself.
Whenever I get described, two major contenders are “independent” and “self confident”. It makes me chuckle quite heartily. To some degree I most definitely am; independence is something I am proud to put across. I worked my way up to it – whilst back at Baradene, I wouldn’t even go for a wee by myself. To think I carted myself off to Nepal alone later on blows my brain.
But self confidence just rings so false.
In my exam feedback, Arvind (yoga school owner dude) said how my self confidence had him quite in awe. That the way I commanded attention and made others just believe what I said was impressive. The truth? Inside I was shitting myself. They hate my class. I did that wrong. I fucked up. I’m so shit. I’ll never be a yoga teacher. I’m crap. What the fuck am I doing? Why am I even here? And so on, so forth.
And that extends to every aspect. Even at the restaurant working, when someone asked about a meal or wine or other item, I’d robotically reply while inside I’d be thinking, I’m totally making this shit up; I can’t even be a waitress.
When I was awarded dux I felt like such a fraud. I’ve never told anyone this (in writing or otherwise). When I received my award and had to say a speech I wanted to tell them all I was a fake; I didn’t deserve this piece of paper (come on, they could’ve sprung for construction card). When it happened twice more I began to believe maybe I was somewhat smart. But one of the reasons I don’t actually do journalism?
I don’t think I’m good enough for it.
It’s 11.55pm and my alarm is set for 5.30am. I cannot sleep. My brain is a’buzzing with torturous thoughts about my shortcomings.
The main one tonight?
How I never live up to my word.
One major malady this evening is false promises. We have some family friends in Wellington, of whom I was flower girl for the oldest daughter when she got married when I was seven. (Follow that? Sorry, confusing). Saskia (that’s her) was a huge part of my life growing up and now she is married (as I said, I twas flower girl) with three kids of her own.
Every time I am away I send the family postcards saying when I get home I will go down and see them. Every time I come home, I never do.
So that’s tonight’s berating.
It eats into my self worth. All these seemingly little shortcomings snowball into one massive avalanche and it hits me just as I recline to slumber. Then it pairs up with other strands; you never cleaned out the cupboard with Mummy Deb like you promised. You didn’t do yoga with her like you promised. You never went ice skating with the Brother James like you said you would so many times.
You ate too much potato tonight and went over your allocated allowance. (Self imposed, I’ll clarify). (Ok, Ed imposed).
I live by rules and regulations. I have secret sheets of paper with them rote written out over and over and over. Drink three litres of h20 a day. Don’t bite your nails. Get eight hours sleep a night (HAH; that one will be agonised over tomorrow). Don’t have mean thoughts (ditto). When I don’t tick 20/20 every night, the self confidence shatters.
And it hurts myself.
I’m lucky. I can recognise this shit. But there are so, so many people who are so clouded over in their minds and can’t see the sheer stupidity of it. (Not calling them stupid, I’ll clarify; I’m saying the self stabbing itself is as a whole).
Why is loving ourselves so hard?
And my self confidence is massively wrapped up with feeling skinny. It’s like a see saw; sensing myself on the svelte side, and I’m up in the air – feeling heftier, it’s on the ground. And it can’t kick off until I’ve had a good old starve and set of sit ups.
When I feel skinny I feel connected to those I love. I feel like I am a good person. I feel happy. Feel “fat” and I become a dismal disaster in all areas.
Because for all those inspirational souls that declare “fat is not a feeling”, I say go shove a spade up your ass. It most definitely is a feeling. And when I feel it, it comes complete with desperation, distress and despondency.
Here in India, a big idea is destiny. That your life is decided before you are born. That all aspects are chosen for you to move forth in your 8.4million lives so you can ascend.
Was it my destiny to despair whenever I dine? I find that hard to believe. But for some untenable reason, that thought brings me some peace.
The other night Danish Marie, Vanessa from Vienna (ok ok, Germany) and I were at a cafe. I sort of accidentally let slip I was writing a book, and Vanessa enquired as to what about. In light of my new honesty policy (along with my inability to quick wit) I said about how I have had “some eating issues” and it was centred on such.
“Oh I had no idea,” she said. “You can usually tell when someone has an eating disorder and I couldn’t with you.”
I wanted to get her thick German plait and swing it across her face in a strangle (not very yogi like, no). How dare she, I fumed. Insult of the highest order.
But later I revisited the idea and grudgingly granted it wasn’t an offence at all. (Sorry V). I mean, even in my mind I don’t necessarily want to look anorexic anymore. Lean, lissom, lithe and lengthened yes, but not sickeningly skinny.
Ed mate, you are one fucked son of the ultimate bitch.
I wish oh so fervently you’d leave me alone.
So I keep up my facade. I cavort about crowds, set out small talk, smile smile smile smile. Fake it until I make it. Sham until I succeed. Fraud until I feel it.
Like a muscle, flex and rep self confidence and maybe – just maybe, maybe – it’ll grow. (And it does now and then; it’s not all a mask and made up. Sometimes it is there).
Because, I mean, what’s the other option?
Love yourself. (Or at least pretend to).