5 June 2013

thinking about thinking

Do I spend too much time pondering things? Is that even possible? I've been aware of being a thinker for a large part of my life. I like to take things in and assess them. I make snap decisions about big life changes and yet it'll take me 3 weeks to decide whether I really am going to buy those shoes I need... (Shush, I do need new shoes sometimes).
I think the thinking is actually one of my defence mechanisms. It's that thing where I cope by intellectualising something. I spend so long trying to mould it to a shape I understand that I lose what it was in the first place. And if I don't understand then I try shoving it into a box of things I do. I don't think I'm explaining what I mean very well here...
I have a habit of needing to know everything about something and I feel uncomfortable if I don't. I don't like being in the position of having a finite amount of knowledge and then being pushed into that area where I don't know. I like to be able to explain what I'm doing, to myself and to others.
Obviously, this is different when I am specifically learning a new skill. Because I accept I'm coming from a starting point of zero. But it's more why I could never speak French to a native French speaker because all I'd be aware of is that I might be wrong.
I have a friend who is a native German speaker and I have never managed to have a conversation with her in anything other than English. Even though she knows I have a basic understanding and can follow her if she is speaking to her children... And my French is way better than my German.
I am so self-critical about mistakes that although I taught madam to sing Frere Jaques perfectly so that she could sing it for one of my old French teachers, I would not be able to perform the same! I don't know when this overwhelming self criticism came in.
I was fairly (and am) fairly confident in my abilities. I am not stupid. In fact I would even say I was quite bright. I am funny and easy to talk to. I have developed into a person I hope is nice to be around.
So why do I then beat myself up to a point of inaction over little things? I am so afraid to be wrong sometimes that I don't do it at all. Once I know that I might be judged for my performance I can no longer perform. Stagefright then? Can you get stagefright about a job?
Here is the crux of what I'm writing all this for. My friend found me a great job opportunity, which was exactly the kind of thing I think I would enjoy. And I've bottled it. Too afraid to apply for fear of rejection. I am so disappointed in myself, I really think I could have been good at it. I feel like I let my friend down who went out of her way to draw it to my attention and offered help and everything.
But I'm terrified of not measuring up somehow. I have not been for a proper interview for a proper job in years. And I mean years and years. Nearly 8 in fact. And I haven't been constantly working in a job all that time. I have been floating and rootless. I have been allowing myself to build up all these fears and throwing away all the confidence I had in my own abilities.
There is nothing that ruins your confidence like parenthood. The constant second guessing yourself and wondering if what you are doing is right.
You know, I really didn't mean to write all this today. I was going to write about going to madam's new school last night for a look around and a chat.
About how weird it was to be back in my old school 24 years since I left. But somehow something else has hijacked me. And this is probably the thing that has been brewing for the last couple of days. Niggling away, telling me I'm not good enough.
Letting me know that I threw away an opportunity that I've worked hard to be given. Ugh. I really don't like myself this week. And that's partly due to those good old monthly hormones and partly just because I always do. But I *wanted* to try hard for this and I stopped myself. I didn't even notice I was doing it.
I thought I'd learned the signs, but apparently I haven't learnt all of them. 
Now I have to stop beating myself up, accept that it didn't happen. Move on. Learn that I will have another chance. Learn that I need to accept all the helping...
Learn that I'm not a bad person...   

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