This picture has me baffled. Not wanting to throw away these baby pumpkins, which is basically murder, I painted them candy cane colors so Christmas would let them slide into the new year. But there was a dilemma.
I picked the filter for this Instagram, “Valencia” beat out my favorite “Rise” and perfect-for-all-occasions “Walden” filter. Oh God am I sounding boring? That was actually a part of a story I would actually tell…
But I all the sudden before I uploaded the post I got insecure because I couldn’t think of a caption, so I just did #fifthchristmasinstagraminarow and #insecurepost. I was gonna say #imsocreative to go for the obvious joke, knowing some people might huff and puff and think, “Oh, he ripped that off of pinterest,” which I didn’t, but I’m sure that idea has already been thought of. Then my friend Julia posted on the picture, “You are so creative,” which is so sweet but I was right! People (who aren’t as nice as her) are most definitely thinking, “he thinks he’s so creative.”
You want the root of this whole problem? Here it is. Back when I was little I used to do this thing (that I still do): I can barely wear sunglasses. It’s painful for me actually, emotionally that is. Sunglasses block the sun but can’t block the protruding thoughts of self satisfaction glaring from people’s faces who are undoubtedly thinking, “I’m so cool! I’m extremely cool in my sunglasses!”
The thought of blatantly saying, “I look cool” to a group in public is enough to make my eyes water from sheer uncomfortable-ness. So maybe you might be thinking, “Freak it’s just sunglasses” and/or “I have sensitive retinas” or “Damn right. I do look cool when I wear my sunglasses.” But at some point I stopped developing self esteem. That is what I’m trying to say. I realized that today when I thought, how do you develop self esteem. I imagined looking for a section about it in Barnes and Noble, but I would be too embarrassed to do that. Let me blame others for a moment before I blame myself:
I mean “others” as in the people who wear sunglasses inside. They embarrass the hell out of me, and I do judge them.
Side note: How many times have you seen a person in sunglasses and you imagine their eyes are beautiful and their cheek bones are sharp (basically you are ready for some shameful lusting), and when they take them off they look like a fish person? So maybe sunglasses are good for those people’s self-esteem.
So why do I struggle with self esteem. Thankfully, I like myself a lot. I make myself laugh every day and I am proud of myself, but I struggle with a different layer of self esteem that involves the “self” as seen through the perspective of the “other.”
If I had to guess I would say people initially think I’m either a con-artist, smooth talker, or really boring. (The boring part is an entirely different issue where sometimes when “being myself” doesn’t seem worth the time or effort, I impulsively give off “boring vibes.” It fascinates me when someone thinks I’m boring. So of course when I can tell someone obviously thinks I’m boring it then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy where it’s nice to be boring so I don’t have to talk to that person.
Anyways, so this Instagram picture of the painted pumpkins has 22 likes now! People are so kind! But what I’m getting at is, although I keep virtually no stock in the economy of “cool” as currency, because it only buys you distance from those who feel inferior, rivalry from those who feel they are better, or delusions thinking others give a crap, I still have become hesitant to be okay with the fact that it is good to think of myself as “cool” for lack of care to find a better word.
I was kind of hoping that I would have a writerly moment about now and realize the path to self esteem, but I haven’t yet. So if this was a movie I would put on my sun glasses and smile like the last scene in The Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep in the car, because I would have resolved this.
But sometimes your family is yelling at you to stop blogging so you can go to the mall and then go to dinner. So I’m gonna figure this mess out in the car. (Which I didn’t figure out in the car now that I went back and edited this post…but damn it Jackson, get over it and let yourself feel your own steam. I think a better title for this blog post would just be the word “Oops.”
Way to bash your family! But in retrospect…we could have done with out that mall trip.
Haha if only we could have figured out the elbow pad fiasco, but i might have figured my life out if we hadn’t gone…
It’s so interesting that you wrote this for, honest to God, I was just thinking about you and Jared this morning and this was my thoughts… You two are going to make great Dad’s! You ( which will mean both of you from here on out ) have such a sense of fun and adventure; you like learning and trying new things, make people laugh and smile with the ” out of the blue ” games you make up and your enthusiasm while playing board games is infectious! Your ability to be introspective and honest with yourself and others, yet , in the end, you bring yourself to a possitive or , at least a bareable place. You are willing to put in the time to get know others, firguring out what makes them tick and in the end forming a bond with them and allowing them to be who tbey are and feeling comfortable around you. Even though, many times your friends can be be insensative and selfish, you find that place in your heart to forgive and love them anyway as that strong sense of loyalty and commitment kicks in. You have a serious side that is willing to listen and to give the feeling to others that they have been heard and that you don’t take their feelings lightly. And yes, you do have a very strong creative side , as do all people who refuse to be stuffed in a box. I believe your children will feel safe in your love, hopeful because of your insight, overwhelmed by your support , inspired by your example and embrace laughter ,all the time knowing that you are their biggest fan! I could go on and on but I just wanted you and Jared( and Joey’s not so bad himself) to know how very proud I am of ya’ll Much, Much Love!.
I think was thinking about how amazing you are as writer and as a mom how incredibly encouraging you are, and that is the kind of parent you are and I realized how lucky I am that you do all of those things. I love you too.
You know, I think this post is best without a resolution, because I really think this is the kind of thing you forever struggle with. What I do not have to struggle with is how awesome you and your pumpkins are!
Gosh I’m grinning from ear to ear! Thanks very much.
I don’t know how it’s possible that I can relate to this on such a huge level. It seems like we’re experiencing the same emotions! Why do we care so much what people think about us? I wish I could magic the social anxiety part of me out of my life and not have to worry about it anymore, but I know that’s not going to happen. I’m just going to have to work through it myself. *Deep breath* We can do this.
And I really enjoyed the bit about Instagram (because hello Insta is everything…kidding). I get insecure about every single thing I post on there. I’m always wondering what picture is going to be the straw that breaks the came’s back and finally makes someone hit the unfollow button, and then the less followers I have obviously means my cool-ness is wearing off and people have realized I’m a fraud. Some people even go so far as to delete their old instas that in retrospect seem less cool (I am not going to own up to that one). Basically this whole rant of mine is to tell you that even though our Instas seem like integral parts of our inherent cool-ness, they’re not. (yours are always great though. Promise.) Also, you are most definitely NOT BORING.
Yeah I mean it’s crazy how much thought you put into protecting yourself from being yourself. It’s really just bad habit to do that. All these thoughts remind me of a book my mom is reading (Anna let her borrow it), it is called “Lean In” and basically it is too complicated to explain, but it’s about basically what we are talking about. You should totally look into reading it because I wanna read it after my Mom does.