Musings On My Own Steam. (Self esteem that is)

Peppermint pumpkins. Thank God pumpkins grow in even sections for the color pattern.

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.”