Yesterday I felt like a failure. Does that happen to everyone sometimes, or is it just me?
I hope it’s not just me, because that would make me feel like even more of a failure.
These are some of the things that happened yesterday that probably contributed to my feelings of failure:
1. I posted a few pictures from high school on Facebook and on this blog, which brought back some happy memories but mostly reminded me of how lonely and left out I felt in high school.
2. I chatted with a friend from high school to whom I haven’t talked in several years. He’s happily married and is still friends with lots of cool people from high school. In fact, it seems that most people from high school are still friends with people from high school and are married to people from high school or are about to marry people from high school, and they all still hang out together, which is weird, right, but I still feel left out.
3. I scheduled a date and time to sign my divorce papers.
4. An acquaintance posted on her blog about how she knows someone who’s getting a divorce and it’s sad but her marriage is so awesome.
5. I spent the night looking through more pictures from high school and feeling like more of a failure.
I guess Teenager Spring paid me a visit again. She likes to come ’round sometimes and remind me that I am a failure at relationships and really life in general and no one likes me.
(Teenager Spring is super emo and mostly paranoid.)
This is all my therapist’s fault. (I’m a failure because I begin paragraphs with “This is all my therapist’s fault.”) She diagnosed me a few years ago as having the emotional intelligence of a teenager.
She was totally right, by the way.
But I guess in truth, there are two Teenager Springs. Or were.
I never had any fun in high school and college and always tried to do the right thing (which usually meant studying and going to church instead of having any fun), and then right after college I decided to try and grow up really fast by getting married. This is Actual Teenager Spring. She felt left out and misunderstood all the time and was kind of a judgmental drag.
Then after I got married I was like, nope, don’t wanna, and I spent some time in heavy-duty rebellion, which was kind of fun but mostly pretty destructive and angsty. This is Late-Blooming Teenager Spring. She wreaked havoc on my life (mostly because my life needed to be wreaked havoc on), and she’s also pretty fun to hang out with, if you can stomach all her angst and stand free of her path of destruction.
Now that I’m on the other side of the rebellion and destruction and angst, my main focus is having fun of the less destructive sort and also learning from my mistakes and taking baby steps towards emotional health and maturity.
But it’s all very confusing for me. I keep saying to people, “We’re too young to get married! PAR-TAY.” And everyone’s like, “Um, we’re old.” And, Jesus God, they’re right. When did we get so old? I was just a teenager a few years ago!
I take this to mean that I’ve progressed by now to the emotional intelligence of an early twentysomething. Though most people my age have already done that because they age emotionally as they age physically and mentally like normal people do, which is something else at which I apparently fail.
I’ve come to realize that Actual Teenager Spring felt so left out in high school because she didn’t even know herself, so she couldn’t accept herself, because you have to first accept yourself in order to be accepted by anyone else.
Late-Blooming Teenager Spring was on a kamikaze mission to get to know herself. It worked pretty well, and now I do know and accept myself, but the main casualty was my marriage.
And as it turns out, divorce is really hard on the self-esteem.
Anytime I feel down, it adds another layer on top of everything, so that my thought process goes something like this: I feel so lonely and I don’t have many friends and no one likes me AND I’M GETTING DIVORCED AND IT’S PROBABLY A HUGE MISTAKE AND MY MOM IS RIGHT AND NO ONE WILL EVER WANT TO MARRY ME AGAIN BECAUSE THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE AND I’M GETTING SO OLD AND MY METABOLISM IS SLOWING AND I HAVE ONLY EIGHT MORE YEARS TO PRODUCE OFFSPRING OMG.
It sends my emotions into overdrive so that a simple Teenager Spring pity party turns into an all-out biological-clock-induced emotional breakdown of the creepiest, most stereotypical kind. I suppose you could say it’s where the two Teenager Springs collide.
But by this morning Early Twentysomething Spring had shown up and kicked them both out. She lay in bed with me and stroked my head for a while, reminding me that people do love me, and, more importantly, I love me; I’m absolutely not a failure but in fact am kicking life’s ass; and, c’mon, let’s stop worrying about this and go earn some money and then spend it on booze tonight.