Milestone(s): Chronicling Disillusion (or, “Pretentious Self-Reflection”)

There is a moment in every one’s life where they are faced with an extremely unfortunate reality; you are not the person you think you are. Sometimes this is a good thing. You are better, more noble and interesting than you ever thought. A veritable hero!

Usually that’s not the case; usually you find out that the perception you have carried about yourself, the grand idea that you are, in fact, a good person is wrong. Ulterior motives are revealed. Manipulations come to light. You are not just knocked off your high horse; you are thrown off and kicked in the head by the hoof of reality.

It’s not pleasant.

There are two main ways to react to this revelation. You can A) say a big “Fuck You” to the person or event that brought your glaring character flaws to your attention or you can B) do something.

In my case, I chose option A) for as long as I could. Years of denial and self congratulations formed a horrible habit. A failed relationship? Fuck you! A constant conflict with roommates? Really, Fuck you! I knew who I was and I was comfortable with my intentions and integrity.

The fact that I was going through, and had gone through a very difficult time was a ready excuse. A sign held in front of me, preventing comprehension whenever anyone tried to talk to me about my attitude or my reactions. “Excuse me, sir, but you are in fact full of shit”. It wasn’t something I was doing wrong; it was their reactions to the situation that were wrong.

Yes, I was emotional and flawed, but I was also right, God dammit!

At least that’s what I thought.

Very recently, a really good friend of mine finally got through. She wasn’t mean, just very blunt. She tore through my excuses and gave me some new perspectives. To say I was floored is an understatement. I’ve been told these things before, but hearing them from someone completely uninvolved in the situations really took me by surprise.

I am not the person I thought I was.

Now, this isn’t to say that I am a genuinely bad person. I’m not. There have always been things I do not like about myself, but I do try. I always make an effort to include people and I try to be nice to everyone until they give me a reason not to.

I like people and I like to be liked by people; this is actually my biggest flaw. I can be totally unimpressed by a person, but the second they don’t like me I am desperate to be their best friend. I crave approval and am left in a complete funk when I don’t receive it. I knew this about myself, but until I talked to my friend I didn’t realize how damaging it truly was.

This one conversation, a short hour out of my life, has genuinely changed me. There are still a lot of things I need to work on, issues I need to examine and problems I need to sort out, but it’s no longer a daunting task. In fact, I’m looking forward to it.

This revelation combined with my upcoming move is really giving me a chance to examine myself and become the person I want to be. Ladies and gentlemen, I am finally going to grow up.

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