It is so easy to get caught up in society. Becoming one with the crowd to blend in with the masses. To fit in. Losing parts of ourselves along the way.
Remember who you are… – Mufasa from The Lion King
I am a Pisces, the last of the zodiac, and it is said that we have the ability to become shape-shifters when confronted with certain situations. We are chameleons in conversation. Adapting to our surroundings. We say what people want to hear, whether to avoid feelings being hurt or to avoid conflicts arising. Telling white lies to side-step pain.
Admittedly, I am not a person who reads a horoscope everyday or consults the stars before I make a decision. However, I do make a note when I see myself in anything that claims to analyse my personality.
And I have been guilty of being a social chameleon. It’s not something I do on purpose. It just happens. Maybe the empathetic part of me senses what the other person wishes to see. It’s not always like that, and sometimes I end up putting my foot in my mouth when I’m nervous. It’s something that I’m not always aware of happening, but when I am aware of something, I am able to catch myself in the act and try to fix it. And trying is important.
This is what I wrote a few days ago. Maybe even a week ago. The longer I had to wait to finish this draft, the more I started thinking about all of this. I had to press pause on this post because assignments caught up to me.
June has certainly been testing me so far. This past week I doubted all my life choices that led up to the point of me yelling at computer software for the umpteenth time after struggling to get a query to run (My fellow Computer Science students will know the struggle).
I wanted to run away and quit and hide and give up on everything. I was so unbelievably frustrated with everything…
Myself, the work, life. It all just got to me.
Like I was saying before, I’m a Pisces and we are also known to be escapists. However, I’m not a person who wants to use a horoscope or a personality test as an excuse or a means to justify my behavior. Some things may be accurate, but I don’t want to embody all of the negative traits expected of me or be limited to the positive ones they describe.
While staring at my computer screen and the program which was displaying yet another error, I had to step up and remember who I wanted to be. Not even who I was. Because the me that I was busy being, was confused and stuck. All the negativity of yourself starts to bleed out into the rest of the world when you start slipping down that particular slope.
I started doubting myself in this one way, and all of a sudden more negative thoughts started creeping in. Before I knew it, they were the only thing I could see in my cloud of rage and frustration.
I was’t going to get this one query right so naturally I was going fail my whole course. Mind you, the question was only about 4 percent of the overall assignment, not even the course. So as you can see I was spiraling a little bit too much and anxiety was blowing everything out of proportion.
I wanted it to stop.
So I calmed myself down, half an hour before the deadline and I just decided to submit what I had. I knew it wasn’t the right thing because the output didn’t match the question, but that was the best I was going to be able to do. And it was better than writing nothing and leaving the answer blank. Maybe I would get a few marks instead of none at all. My perfectionism wanted me to post nothing, because I knew it wasn’t exactly correct. But I did it anyway. (Side note: For those of you saying ‘hey Bianca, next time start earlier’, I didn’t start the day of the deadline, I had actually been struggling for the better part of the week on those questions).
In the midst of this struggle I checked the time and I remembered myself. I fixed my behaviour and just clicked the submit button and I am much calmer for it. My next assignment is looming and we spent so much time panicking because we didn’t know how to begin and we felt overwhelmed by this new programming language that we had to learn. Until this weekend when we watched some helpful tutorials and read more about it, we just let our worry consume us.
I am still a bit worried about how this unit is going to turn out but that is just another part of life. All of the bad things that have happened in the past have happened. They were awful but we made it through to the other side, more or less in one piece.
This too shall pass (it may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass)
Looking back at the title of this post, “Remembering myself”, although ironically, I can’t remember where I going with this post to begin with. And that’s okay. Sometimes one idea leaves you and another takes its place.
We all need to find a safe place in the midst of the chaos. Enough space to calm down and do what we need to in order to meet tomorrow.
I recently started reading a book called Mind Hacking and it teaches you how to look at your mind as something similar to a computer program that you can hack into and change your thought patterns. Essentially you separate yourself from your thoughts and change your thought patterns. (I haven’t gotten very far with the book, but I’m hoping to learn a lot more about it in the next month or so).
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
The classic response you receive when you notify someone that a computer or other electronic device has been acting up.
Humans can do that too. Go to sleep and look at the problem with fresh eyes in the morning. Usually we feel better after resting our brains and being able to look at the problem from a different perspective, regardless of your sun sign.
P.S. This is where it’s important to start things ahead of time so that you have enough days before the deadline to be able to sleep on it…
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