Monday, May 27, 2013

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

I just finished watching the movie The Perks Of Being A Wallflower again. There is a line that sticks with me every time I watch it: "We accept the love we think we deserve."

If this statement is true, and it is so telling of the person who goes back to an abusive partner, then what does it say about those of us who have no one to go to in the first place?

I've gone through life always putting others ahead of myself, never wanting to inconvenience anyone or be a burden. But I take this to the extreme. I've had mild anxiety attacks at parties where I get so worked up that I imagine people only talk to me because they feel obligated to do so. This has become so engrained in my being that sometimes I wonder why anyone pays attention to me at all. And if anyone does pay me any attention, I immediately go on the defensive and start wondering why. Why is he looking at me? Is it because I have food on my face? Why is he walking over here? He must be nice enough to tell me that I have food on my face. Why is he talking to me? He probably just realized that it wasn't food, but a zit on my face. Don't worry. Just give it a minute. He probably regretted coming over to me in the first place.

And when I try to speak up, stand up for myself, or simply try to insert myself into a conversation, I feel selfish--like an attention whore.

Some people view me as being selfless when all I'm really achieving is being less than myself. But that's just the thing: I don't know myself. I've never selfishly gone after something that I wanted--I can't even remember wanting something bad enough to forget my anxiety and go after it.

I don't think I'm really good at any one thing. I'm relatively decent at some things, but not really good at one thing. And isn't that what we are taught in school? You don't have to be the best at anything as long as you try your best at everything. Well let me tell you something: this lesson causes trouble when you hit 26 years of age and you don't know what you're good at. This is detrimental not only to your career but also to your personal life.

Don't get me wrong, I've found an industry about which I am very passionate; so passionate, in fact, that I have made it my career. But being passionate about an industry doesn't make you great at what you do within that industry.

The main character, Charlie, in The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a troubled kid who is just going through the motions of life. He goes through the traditional experiences of a teenager, but always as an outsider. He's more of an observer than a participant. And that really hit home with me.

I've gone through life gaining experience for the sake of what is to come. Get good grades and participate in the school drill team so I could get into college. Check. Got good grades in college, participate in organizations and get an internship so I could get a good job when I graduated. Check. Get a job, buy a car, get an apartment, and support yourself. Check...but to what end? I've come to this point in my life where I feel like there is nothing left to strive for. And that is quite concerning.

I guess the next logical step in life is to find a partner. Someone to love and share life with. But that seems to be a bit out of my control. And where would I meet this person? Let's not forget those mini anxiety attacks I sometimes get at social gatherings.

Anyway, this isn't some rant on how life has no meaning or how my life is at a dead end. I honestly shouldn't be complaining because I actually have a job, a smattering of friends, and a family who loves me. I just can't help feeling that there is something that I'm missing. Something that I don't have any power over and that's a little scary. Maybe I shouldn't watch that movie any more...

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