Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Some Stuff I'm Thinking About

Three cups of coffee in less than ten hours does not lend itself to a great night of sleep, nor to productivity. Upon finishing my reading for today from Between Past and Future by Hannah Arendt, I was left with my thoughts. I can't escape them no matter how hard I try. I can't pretend that I'm not at times tortured by guilt and regret over things I have done, though saying it like that may be melodramatic. Melodrama underscores the source of many of my problems. I seem to lack the foresight or the reflective powers in the moment of despair to grasp the temporal nature of my issues. While a power outage may be very inconvenient, I have the tendency to make it out as though my very existence was about to be blotted out with the loss of electricity. I'll never forget that during the Snowpocaplyse a couple years ago, they shut down the power in my residence building, but instead of just sucking it up and going to class- I began to research the legality of doing so. In the end, the power was restored before the real snow and wind hit, but 18 people died that night while I sat cozy in my computer chair acting like I was suffering.

My short-sightedness is not purely self-centered, although I think it's definitely the stronghold where all vestiges of my selfishness reside in a smoldering pit of yuck. It's also not as though I haven't turned my sense of being wronged-in-the-moment to something good. I held IIT accountable for a major foul-up that, left unchecked, could have led to a lot of people being affected; that instance does not make-up for or justify my short-sighted tendency to turn problems of the moment into a crisis. I walk around Shimer and certain people I see daily are a constant reminder of the damage that I can do with my short-sighted self-centered attitude. I've burned bridges that could have been wonderful friendships and I have no guarantee that I can ever rebuild those. I have lost countless friends in Minnesota due to my inability to ignore my feelings of being wronged and my relentless efforts to be vindicated. Pride. It's a sort of vain love of myself masked by the shifting of blame onto other people. The problem would be simple if there was a clear distinction of who is right and who is wrong, because I don't usually place blame on innocent people, but rather inundate them with guilt for small wrongs they've done to me and make myself out to be Jesus at the Cross heaping the guilt on the Roman executioners. Thing is, I profess to imitate Christ, but He was pleading for G-d to forgive His executioners- not lambasting them with guilt.

This goes beyond a simple insecurity, although I believe it feeds into insecurities about people loving me. It explains how I can be so selective about what I take offense to and why there's such extremes in my reaction. Something that people would think offends me, but doesn't wrong me personally can go on without even a mention from me. Something that speaks critically of me as a person or is perceived to be a wrong to me directly becomes an issue that won't be dismissed until I thoroughly assassinated the character of the person who wronged me.

And I say all this somewhat frustrated by the fact that I'm not sure recognizing this is a problem that exists will bring me any closer to becoming a better person who doesn't do this to people. Can I stop this indirectly self-destructive externalization of my personal demons before I lose all my friends and those I care about?


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