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However we choose to label it—whether it’s people-pleasing or going to the opposite end of the spectrum and being a hard-ass to show how “tough” we are—there is always a why behind it.
I’ve been asking myself:
Why do I care if they think X about me?
Why do I feel like my skin is on fire when I make mistakes?
Why do I feel so strong in some ways and so utterly frail in others?
Why do I try to keep relationships with people who are unhealthy even when I’m acutely aware of how unhealthy it is? Why do I need their love? Do I want to be accepted? What’s missing?
I’ve gone back and forth on the cliché response that it’s “daddy issues.” But, frankly, I’ve always dismissed it. Maybe I’m too stubborn to admit that it’s something as simple as that?
I know everyone has some kind of generational trauma, but maybe it’s just that life is f*cking hard? I mean, even if mom or dad were both “around,” there are so many other rabbit holes to fall down.
I know that so much of our psychological wiring happens during childhood, and that dictates a lot. It’s many of the why answers for these needs and desires for acceptance or love. But right now, I guess I’m more curious about what my role is—understanding the motivations and coping mechanisms.
Maybe we smile and act bubbly because the only other option is complete and utter soul annihilation.
Maybe we reach for that so-close-yet-so-far thing called perfection because we are still struggling to find some of the broken pieces of our identity. Maybe we think if we keep doing more and more and more, we can make our achievements fit into the emptiness.
Or maybe we want to be perfect because we don’t really understand what that even means, but we think maybe it feels better than this.
Maybe we choose apathy in a situation because we’re too scared to give a damn. Or maybe we are so scared that we think we must give every single damn we have—even when we shouldn’t.
I’m not sure if there is a right or wrong answer here, but I think it’s important to talk about. We all have our sh*t. That’s not a dig; it’s just a fact.
I know that my struggle is not over, and neither is yours. I’m still learning about myself and my whys. But I hope that these words let you know that you’re not alone if you’re struggling with yours.
I am a genuinely happy person, but I, like us all, carry pains, a wounded, greedy ego, and don’t know what the hell I am doing.
Even if I’m smiling.
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