Gloria Gaynor Revisited
“Iiiih ammmmm what IiiiH ammmmm
Iiiih am my oooooown
I’ve been thinking.
Thinking happens a lot when one drives from a farm to most places where there are more people than animals and more shops than trees.
Yes, I know reading about someone else’s thoughts is right up there in the “shoot-me-now” category with listening to someone else’s dream-from-last-night told in boring detail after boring detail.
But I’m in the mood for sharing titbits of wisdom so you’ll just have to read it.
Granted, these are my titbits of wisdom concerning my own life. And my memories coloured by my take on what happened.
Right or wrong and most probably twisted. But I need to put a few things in sentences for my own sake.
What I’ve been thinking about goes more or less like this:
– I studied psychology to the point of doing an honours degree mostly because I wanted to “get” other people and their doings and most of all to “get” myself.
– To this day the only thing about those gruelling years of working and studying that struck a chord with me was cognitive psychology. In short, cognitive psychology treats the thought process of an individual. If the client says : “Everybody thinks I’m fat and ugly” the therapist says : “EVERYBODY? How can you be sure of the thoughts of others? Can you read minds? No, you can’t. So your statement that EVERYBODY thinks you’re fat and ugly is UNTRUE. ”
– Cognitive psychology made me question my ingrained assumptions about most things. Mostly my assumptions about the way others are in the world and about what they need. In short, I started moving away from MEH- MEH- MEH ( carried firmly along since teenagehood where I wore only black for years, thought I was hideously ugly with a face that “worked funny” and during which I sulked and frowned myself into teenage drama-delux. )
Stay with me here. STOP YAWNING.
– The point I’m trying to get to is : Why did it all centre around me so much? Granted, I had parents always ALWAYS impressed with beauty, thinness, achievement, awards. I liked those things too. I liked being “the best”. And being “the best” meant coming first. Second meant “you lose, dear.” Second or silver or 70% meant grovelling in the dirt with 95% of the population. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
– I married a man who is happy to just “be in the world”. He never got a prize or an award for anything in his life. Not even a certificate for 100% school attendance. And he couldn’t give a rat’s ass whether our children come first or last in the class/race/party- invite- popularity contest. I found this quality of his to be hairpullingly frustrating in the first few years of our marriage. Now all I feel is intense relief.
OK. I’m almost done. Hang in there.
During me thinking all of this over on the gravel road to town I have come to the conclusion that I never, ever really “got it”.
I never “got” the simple concept that people need people. And in essence, people don’t care about your hair, your weight, your clothes. Your degree, your published article, your stuffed-with-real-goose-feathers pillows.
They really, really just…well……..don’t.
People care about how you make them feel.
I wish I could tell my 16-year old self that.