At the beginning of 2015 I wrote a post (Celebrate Birthdays and Holidays (If You Can)) sharing how hard it sometimes is for me to embrace and enjoy holidays. I described myself at a low point on my birthday a few years back but ended at a moment of triumph after several weeks of travel and positive experiences, after two years in a row of spending New Year’s Eve with important, wonderful people.
I left the parenthetical on that post for an occasion such as this, where I have swerved into the same damn rut I was in before. I’m alone on NYE and feel awful.
It’s more than FOMO. It’s a disappointment in myself that I’m back to square one, that I’m still fighting (and losing) these battles. It’s so frustrating I let a year full of changes and accomplishments go out with a whimper, and not a bang.
I’m mad at myself. Again. It’s to the point that I just feel fatigue at the idea of any action. Everything feels played: even the moves to counteract this lonely state feel trite. Yes, I know I can rebound from this moment, reclaim my self-worth, by inviting people to a birthday party in January. What hope do I have that it helps me change, though, when I’ve shown I so easily return to rock bottom?
I know the truth is that it’s always a challenge, or that the struggle never ends. I just feel tired of working through the same issues while seemingly making no fundamental progress. It seems like the happiest moments were orchestrated by others, anyway, making my earlier post feel like a farce. Now, when I don’t have those people with me, I’m left adrift again.
I think the reason this hits me so hard is because I view these struggles as analogous to other efforts in my life to self-improve. If I can’t manage to have a decent time on some of the major holidays of the year, whether because I can’t think of the right people to spend time with or simply can’t imagine having a positive experience, how can I possibly think I’ll be successful in other ventures?
I am terrified of being average. I have ideas that I jot down for videos, songs, jokes, games, but they collect digital dust. I haven’t the imagination, dedication, or the skill to complete them. I haven’t accomplished what I wanted to with my partner on our small business this month. After finishing this post, I will probably enter hour eighty-five of Fallout 4 instead of doing anything different.
I frequently scrutinize my behavior and ask if it’s a sign that I’m destined for greatness or mediocrity. Do people who do amazing, fulfilling things write blog posts about feeling like failures?
I constantly compare people’s ages and their accomplishments, usually searching for some excusable exceptionalism to placate my mind. (See Newton in previous post, or think Taylor Swift.)
I suppose I have improved in allowing myself to use aids to help me be productive, like going to a different space to work, or working with others. Self-discipline may need to be what I need to focus on, but how? Being a little less insecure would be nice, too.
Like so many of these posts that I write in the midst of intense emotion, I don’t have a good summary. In fact, a lot of this post’s purpose was the process of creating it and sorting through thoughts.
I feel like I know the answers to a lot of the questions I posed to myself. There aren’t strong patterns dictating what makes people successful (a subjective definition, of course), but they all probably involve bootstraps at some point. It’s just so very hard to maintain a work ethic, and even harder to stand back up after failure.
I’ll see you on the other side.