Only two weeks into this crazy schedule, I'm experiencing an emotional rollercoaster ride. Initially, it was exciting to push myself beyond my comfort zone academically while also taking on new professional responsibilities and some leadership roles. It felt great, actually. Empowering. Like I'm finally figuring out a pragmatic and creative way to match my needs and abilities to the opportunities available. In that regard, I have no doubts that this is the right track.
|This was last year's meal of choice. |
It has only gone downhill.
To a certain extent, this was expected. We don't actually solve problems; we just turn old problems into new ones. I'm turning my old problems--being bored and restless--into new ones. I'm not bored anymore, but that came at the cost of becoming rather unpleasant to others.
However, there's some benefit to a change of pace. Old habits that went unnamed in easier times became so visible that I had to pay attention to them. The crazy thing that I'm feeling this week is that, no matter how proud I am of myself or my actions, I end up feeling ashamed soon after. In some previous posts about fear and The Blahs, I've alluded to a feeling of doubt that creeps into my mind soon after I get excited about something. It's a lot like shame. Maybe they're the same.
|The cycle in |
Vegas c. 2005
Sure, it's natural to feel shame after acting arrogantly, but my shame is never in proportion to the rudeness of my behavior; it's in proportion to the intensity of the pride that I felt. That's why I suspect it is a shadow feeling rather than a genuine emotional reaction.
The problem with being really busy and suffering from shadow feelings is that I don't take enough time to recognize that these feelings are not real. Instead, I keep charging forward, acting on illusions, getting defensive for no reason, twisting relationships up into a big jumble of knots, spewing emotional chaos everywhere I go.
Where is the control point? In moments of pride. It has to be that. I've been haunted by shame my whole life, but I've also been arrogant my whole life. The arrogance comes first. It is the cause. This is a wake-up call for me to do something about it.