Interaction Imbalance

I need to get out more.  I’ve known this for a while, but it’s becoming more and more pressing now.  A year has passed since my life physically stagnated, and I’m realizing how at the same time that I’m seeking more balance, my life has become more imbalanced than ever.

I’m the type of person who can only fully see myself when in relation to other people.  Perhaps everyone is like this, but it’s dawning on me with painful clarity.  It’s good for me to know this, because in this past year I’ve primarily only interacted with my immediate family.  And they don’t count as “other people.”  I’ve often felt like the worst parts of me come out around my family, so this long period of limited interaction has me doubting whether or not I’m even a good person.  This is coupled with the fact that I only became truly self-aware last year.  That may sound strange, but I honestly never truly looked at myself as someone who mattered, or gave myself the chance to matter, until about 7 months ago.  This is also not to say that I have myself all figured out—far from it—but I’m beginning to see myself, and not having the mirror of other people seriously delays my progress.

Part of becoming aware of who I was involved becoming aware of who I wanted to be.  And I realized that who I wanted to be was, in many ways, different from who I had been for a long, long time.  So the readjustment period involved forcing a lot of long-established bad habits to change, and also coming to resent the bad habits that I couldn’t change, the ones that I didn’t have control over.  Namely, these “bad habits” were the ones held by those around me that affected me, including how they treated me and expected me to be (not technically “bad habits,” but just roll with it).  The more I set out to change, the more angry and resentful I became of everything else that stayed the same, until I reached my current point, where I feel so restless that I might combust at any moment, and I carry an anger that constantly simmers beneath the surface.

So I need some new surroundings.  I need different people around and more chances to practice the different sides of myself.  I’m sure that it’s normal to act differently with the people you have enormous amounts of baggage with versus the people you’re just getting to know and are trying to get to like you.  In my case, I’ve had so much—far too much—interaction with the first group that I’m beginning to forget who I am with the second.

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