Perception vs. Reality

Wow… I just read my last post.  

An update is needed.  I am NOT pregnant, nor do I want to be.  I am still dating E though, and it’s going very well.  I finally quit my job that I hated, and am currently working at a temp agency working only a few hours a month by choice.  E recently landed his dream job, and his life is taking off.  He’s agreed to help me out financially so that I can get to the place I want to be, namely graduate school.  I’ve finally begun to organize my life starting with my apartment.  With all this extra time I’ve been able to clean up and get rid of a lot of the clutter that has been weighing me down.  Overall things are going pretty well for me.  I still haven’t finalized the divorce yet, and the ex is being an ass about filing taxes this year. I have a feeling I’ll be filing on April 14th even though I ask him for his paperwork constantly.  We have to file together since we were married in 2015.  Anyway that is not what I wanted to write about.  

I need to write about my need for recognition.  I am a little emotional because I’m operating on very little sleep.  Yesterday I competed in this local beauty pageant event.  I didn’t want to enter, but I was convinced by my friends.  I’ve always tried really hard to be as good at everything as I possibly can, and I love being publicly recognized, but I think I tend to avoid competitions because I get very upset when I don’t win.  It tears at my confidence more than it should.  I’ve been thinking about it, and I feel like there is a long history of causes for this.  

I used to be an actor.  In elementary school, all I wanted to do was participate in high school drama club.  I gave it my all, and I entered into the community theater and local acting camps.  When I finally got old enough I joined One-Act Play.  In 7th grade I was cast in the leading role.  I got Honorable Mention at the competition.  The next year the director changed, and suddenly I wasn’t the best any more.  The director’s children somehow managed to win every lead role from that point until I gave up participating my senior year.  I turned back to community theater until I realized that the same few people were casted in every performance.  When I moved on and went to college, I was too scared to audition for any of the productions.  

When I was in high school I was very driven to be the best academically.  I’m not gifted athletically, but I have always been considered very intelligent.  I scored the highest SAT grade out of anyone in my class (it wasn’t super high), and I was the only one to receive the President’s Award, but I graduated 3rd.  I found out that the thing that pushed my GPA behind was college credit.  I took college classes for fall and spring semester my junior and senior year of high school, but I didn’t take summer classes because I didn’t have a car to drive myself to the college.  Those summer classes pushed 2 students who did have a car ahead of me.  

I feel like all my life I’ve thought more of myself than other people do.  Other people don’t think that I’m as interesting or important as I think that I am.  I look back at my yearbook, and it looks to me like I’m one of the better looking students, but I was always treated as the ugly girl in school.  Whether my perceptions of these situations were incorrect, or these injustices really happened, they have very real consequences for me.  I’m not willing to believe that my attitude is the worst one to have. The way I see it I have two options.   I can believe that I am absolutely fabulous, and the world just doesn’t see it, or I can believe that I’m average at best, and that I don’t deserve to win beauty pageants.  

These events have changed me.  There is no question about it.  I have a social anxiety now that my 7th grade self wouldn’t imagine.  I used to sing on stage for audiences, and now if I try to perform karaoke in a drunken bar, my throat closes up.  I’ve been working hard to conquer these fears.  I don’t want to become some bitter person, and I don’t want to accept that I am just average.  I want to be special, and I want other people to see me as special.  I didn’t win the competition last night.  Not even close.  I didn’t expect to, but I walked onto that stage anyway.  

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