I sat in the counsellor's office for the first time today, and did not expect to unleash upon them in the way that I did. Only a slight prompt regarding my course and off I went; "I want to be good at this course", "I was good at physics", "I am good at writing and editing", "I am good at my job", "I am good at connecting with people".
There it is. First session. Forty minutes in and we've already knocked through enough of my self-imposed wall to see that I've an obsession with being GOOD at things. That I'm scared of failing. That I can't take criticism, even though my inner voice screams "DON'T BE SO DEFENSIVE!" every time I bristle at someone's negative opinion. That I'm emotionally involved with success, tying in my self-worth with how well I do at something.
I'm confused as to where this comes from. I'd never measure a person by what they do; you are who you are, not what you do, after all. It could be envy; dissatisfaction with someone being better at something than I am. But again, is this true, when I celebrate the success of others in a genuine way? When a fellow student scores top marks in their language written assessment, I sit there in awe, wanting to know how I can be as good, with no ill feeling. If another secures their dream job, I am excited for them and must know more. I'm not a jealous person; I see people buying houses, cars, going on holidays and I'm content with my lot. Sure, an extra holiday would be good, but THEIR holiday wouldn't make me happy.
In that office, I'm a little spool of thread. The counsellor has one end and I'm bumbling away on the spot as they pull on it, unfurling more of me than I ever thought was there. I guess next week I'll be threaded onto the needle that will piece together this patchwork quilt in an attempt to make the full pattern.
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