Sunday, July 31, 2011


I was talking to my friend Sunitha a couple of days ago and she mentioned something* that made me literally stop and think. What she said had little to do with me per say and more to do with how I view myself.

I think very poorly of myself. How and where that comes from, I'm not too sure...but I think it has something to do with my up-bringing. I was never the model child in my family. I was a brat, to put it mildly. I had issues and I had no idea how to deal with them. The only way that I knew was to be rebellious. This of course made my parents worry a great deal and the only way that they thought would change me was to compare me with anyone and everyone around. To them, any child on the road was better than me. From my sister (who btw, was THE model child) to all of my classmates. So obviously I hated them all, including my sister. But it also made me feel highly inadequate about my own abilities. And the little things that I could do well, I always looked for external validation from others to make me feel surer. Surer that yes, I was actually good at something.

And I carry this like a burden on me to this day. Another spin-off about this issue of mine is that I also constantly evaluate myself (and my life) based on what others have achieved. By others I mean those people my parents thought right to compare me against. So it comes as a horrible surprise when someone does the same with me as the yard-stick. I feel like gagging when I hear people tell me that. Because I am doing the exact same thing with someone/anyone/everyone else.

I have nothing against my parents, believe me. They did the best job they could with a brat like me. And all that I am today is because, whatever it is that they was a dammed good job 'cause I am in a good place in my life. Of course, I had problems in my growing-up years but which teenager didn't? It reminds me of this song that I loved in my teenage years...Affirmation by Savage Garden. And this one line in particular: "I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do". It's not like our parents were interviewed or shortlisted before they became mom and dad. And it's not like prior experience was a pre-requisite to become parents. They just married and had kids. Because that's what they did. Come to think of it, that's what most of us are going to do too. Or have already done. Whatever. No one has answers to these kind of questions and it anyways demands a completely different post in itself.

Which brings me to the other issue that I have. Now, I do understand that this kind of comparison does make me get off my lazy ass and do things for myself. But it also makes me look at some others on my down-in-the-dump days and say to myself: " Thank God, I'm better than him/her". Now before you get all judgmental on me...cut me some slack! I'm human, after all. But here again the sick part that I can't help think about is...who is looking at me like that and saying the same thing to themselves? You know, the one with "Thank God, I'm better off than A".

Oh, it makes me feel sick... :(

* Sunitha said that she learnt a lot of things from me. That she wonders how I am so responsible about things in life and even take care of every small issue that she didn't even know would need attention in life. It made me smile then; and it makes me smile now. Thanks Sunitha :)


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