Monday, November 08, 2004

Sense of Worth

Perhaps now more than ever, I find myself evaluating my life (i.e. midlife crisis) and trying to find my sense worth. It's probably due to the fact that when I was a kid, I had low self-esteem. But it's also probably due to the fact that I'm not in school anymore, and the goals I have aren't something other people set for me.

I mean the moment you hit school, whether it's nursery, grade school, or even high school, it's ingrained into you by teachers and parents to get good grades. If I scored high and got awards, I'm doing good. And when this happened, I did swell with pride. But over time, getting good grades stopped being my goal, and my sense of worth was derived from something else.

I have an inferiority complex and that was reflected during my grade school and high school years. I was constantly yearning for friends, trying to earn their trust by doing them favors, bribing them, and attempting to be the cool kid in general. I failed. But not all the time. And so, I did manage to acquire friends, although not necessarily close ones. My world revolved around them. If I was with friends or if I got accepted into their social circle, I was happy. I felt content. But that didn't last too long either, especially when I came to realize the shallowness of my relationship with them.

There was also a time when I fell in love. I became devoted to one girl. Too bad the reverse can't be said. Perhaps the one thing I could be thankful for is that whenever I have a crush on a particular girl, I'm focused. My happiness was centered around her happiness. Nothing else could chafe me. To make a long story short, that didn't work out too well either. I'm too dependent on other people for my happiness, and in this case, it's in the hands of an individual who's not me. That didn't work out too well either.

I'm easily mistaken as being a rich kid. If I was rich, I wouldn't need to be looking for a job. But I admit, I do enjoy a moderate amount of opulence. Does that give me a sense of worth? Well, for one thing, I didn't earn it; it's given to me by my parents. There's no satisfaction in that. Second, while money can buy you a lot of things, it's all useless if you don't share it with other people, or if you're alone. That's perhaps why I'm bored to death and having this entire dilemma in the first place. Yes, money makes you live comfortable, but not too comfortable. It really doesn't give me a sense of worth.

What else is there? My writing? Well, there'll always be someone better than me. And while some people do like my writing, I'm sure there's a fair number who dislike it as well. My writing gives me pride, yes, but as for a sense of worth, I'm not there yet. How about my intellect? Well, aside from me, few people recognize it, or actually utilize it. Hey, I know I'm a genius in a lot of things, but that's useless if I don't get to practice it (or put it to good use). No sense of worth there. How about my attitude? Attitudes and behaviors can be changed. Mine changes as well. Sure, I take pride in my integrity. But I could be doing more. I really have a lot of things to be thankful for. But it doesn't ease my longing of self worth.

Nowadays, I feel useful when I help other people, even if it's something as simple as helping you carry your bag. I also feel some sense of worth when I'm being productive (i.e. doing work), or at least it distracts me from thinking about it. And sometimes, it boils down to my friends. If I'm with them, that's great opportunities for me to flourish. Nowadays, especially on the Internet, I feel so helpless since the most that I can do to help out other people is to cheer them on and greet them. I often want to do more than that. But I can't (because hey, I'm only human, and I really wish I could give a reasonable solution to every problem).

My sense of worth comes from me. It's my life, after all. While what I mentioned above is good (helping other people is always good!), it's perhaps even better when your basis is something rooted within yourself. Yes, we're social beings, which is why it's important to interact with other people, but we're also individuals. I can't live all of my life with my happiness dependent on just other people. Which is why I treasure time alone. Because I get to do the things I want to do and have to do. Because I get to ponder about this crisis of mine, and find a solution for myself. Because I discover more of who I am, and what I'm capable of.


Post a Comment

<< Home