Welcome to my Personal Hell

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In response to the promise I made to myself to do more enriching things in my life, I signed up for a workshop in something I was mildly interested in. It was located at a cool agency in the city and was designed to give a high-level overview of the topic at hand, and an opportunity to network with like-minded folk. I signed up with the goal to meet new people, learn something new and just be in a new environment.

After work, which wrapped up at around 5:30, I was speaking to a coworker/good friend and decided to grab a coffee and a chat. By the end of the day I’m usually so wired, tired, emotionally and physically zapped that I’m a delight to be around. Not. But this friend loves me, so we grabbed a coffee and chatted, whilst I kept an eye on the clock so as not to be late.

But even though I was making a good effort not to be late, I found myself running down towards King Street, then grabbing a streetcar.  Triumph!

Until I saw the streetcar battling the rush hour traffic. Then, something happened, something extremely toxic, yet extremely common. Something in my brain and body was revolting against me…

I became severely anxious. Sweating, with my heart beat racing, I thought:

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Being a Jerk

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About a year ago, I was working in a job that was a horrible fit for me. I was intensely nauseatingly anxious all the time, felt horrendous about myself and my abilities and judged myself constantly. I was a very insecure and unconfident person and a pain to be around a lot of the time.

Then, I found another job. This job was tremendously validating. I loved what I was doing, the people were sweet, friendly and highly appreciative and it was a pretty darn relaxing environment. I made some amazing friends, I was well-received and liked, and felt really confident. I felt like I contributed to the team highly effectively.

Guess what? I liked myself a lot better in that second environment and I was a lot happier. I felt like a good person. That good energy kept me going in cycles of being sweet, kind, helpful and responsible. But recently I’ve come to realize just how much control external factors have over me. I’m so wishy washy, and I’m not strong in my identity.

A lot of people in my life know me one way. I’m bubbly, sometimes too nice, way too apologetic and thankful, pretty damn awkward. However, lately, I’ve kind of shifted in my personality. Since gaining some confidence, I’ve not lost my anxiety. I still have it! The so-called confidence has made me entitled and the anxiety has made me a jerk.

I started an intense grad program recently that I honestly love. I love so much the projects, assignments that we are doing because honestly – I feel like it is up my alley. It’s what I want to study. However, it’s a stressful, overwhelming, rigorous program with just a tiny bit of drama, and due to this, I’ve said appalling things, reacted poorly and in embarrassing ways and have become thoroughly tired of myself. I reacted to the pit of toxic acidic anxious energy in my stomach by becoming a judgemental a-hole.

The thing is, I believe truly that I have a good, caring soul. I often pride myself on my kind instincts and ability to empathize with others. My closest friends feel the same about me as well. I’m just imperfect, and I just have a lot to learn.

The point of this stuff is that we all have a choice to be who we are, consistently in this world. We cannot change who we are and fall from our values and the kind of person we want to be just because it’s easier to at the time.

I just want to be accountable and honest to myself and others. I want to solidify my identity as a kind person who sticks to her principles and values, not a wishy washy jerk who is not in control of her emotions and reactions.

If you feel the same way, or can identify with me, let’s take a pledge to try harder. Let’s stick to our guns and not let anxiety and weakness define us. We are better than this.