I’ve become far far less social this year than I once was. Which furthers my belief that I can adapt to pretty much any situation, more or less successfully. I can’t say that I’m more happy this way, but I’m thriving and I’m having my good moments so I guess that’s something.
One thing I’ve noticed that I am not particularly enthused about is my inability to get out of my solitary activities and connect with others on their terms. I used to be able to put down what I was doing and partake in whatever was happening around me without a second thought. Now I’m finding that I need more alone time than I used to, and when interrupted, it takes me a while to put aside the other things I was doing and focus on what other people are saying.
I believe that part of this is a strategy I’ve learned from being alone not necessarily by choice. I’ve learned to engage large chunks of time by myself in the many projects and activities I’ve started to take on. I’ve learned to socialize more with myself than with others. I’ve learned to synthesize what is going on around my internally instead of externally. In some ways I’ve become more selfish and insecure, but in other ways I’ve become more self-sufficient and assured. Self-centred is maybe the best word, but not necessarily just in the negative way, in a positive way too.
All the obvious negative connotations are there but I don’t really feel like getting into them today (I probably will another day) so I’ll just let those sit and focus on the other parts of being self-centred.
It means that I take the time to figure out what’s going on around me. I get to figure out what I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it because i have the time to think about it. I have started (and even finished) many projects, which means I can explore my creativity more fully and see where it takes me. I can be totally self motivated and I know when I’m supposed to be places and when, I can plan and follow through on those plans. I can take off for a weekend by myself and be totally fine with the solitude. I am more comfortable with me and who I am trying to be.
This does mean that I am locating parts of myself that I am less comfortable with though, parts that I covered with being around others all the time. I’ve really started to explore my feelings around body image and self-esteem and societal pressure of what I am and how I should look. This is partially influenced by my work but mostly it’s driven by the time that I spend soul-searching (for lack of a better word).
This is not news to anyone, especially not me, but the pressures to fit a certain mold are really fucked. It makes me see the bad parts of me and not the good. Off the top of my head I can name a huge list of physical attributes that I don’t like about myself and only a couple of things that I do. It also makes me self-conscious about really ridiculous things. My shoulders are to broad, my thighs to big, my teeth are too small, my hair line is weird, my hips are disproportional to my leg length, my hair is not quiet brown, not quiet blond. Even acknowledging these things about myself is embarrassing. I mean, who cares? Who else but me even notices? And these are just the unusual ones, I have the whole list of things I don’t like about myself that are standard, weight being the first for me and just about every other woman over the age of 6 out there.
Having the time to think about all of these things gives me more time to dwell on them, but it also gives me more time to deconstruct them. I recognize more often when I am feeling this way and am able to dismiss, re-narrate and heal these thoughts on a more continual basis, instead of internalizing them unconsciously and allowing it to affect my well-being in a more destructive way. I’m not saying that I feel great about myself more often but I am working on it and that feels good.
So, in conclusion. I’ve re-defined the word self-centred here kids. It means:
“the ability to focus solely on one’s own needs. To spend time working towards the ultimate goals and well-being of the individual. To be able to be alone without feeling uncomfortable. Enjoyment of solitude”.