Peeling Back the Layers of Caring

One of the biggest problems I have with myself is that I care too damn much. And to compound on that, I can’t express that worth a shit. I can hide it with cynicism or stoicism, but in reality, I am a mushy-marshmallow of caring. But since I’m a klutz physically, mentally, and emotionally, my mushy-marshmallow of caring falls off the stacked s’more to the dirt below.

Whenever I start to feel that high-pitched hum of anxiety and adrenalin coursing through me like a hot electrical current, I know two things now:

1) I’m nervous about something I’m coming right up to the wire on.

2) I’m also butting up against something and even if I know what it is and what I need to do to deal with it, I don’t want to do because it’s not going to be easy.

But after number two up there, I remember that I’ve been told from the time I can remember that nothing would be easy for me. I remember I’ve been told that I would have to work very hard to get whatever I got then work like hell to keep it. I sure as hell wasn’t told things were going to be easy for me, nor did I have things handed to me, either. I’ve always felt that nothing has come easy for me and that the times when it feels like it’s flowing well to know that easy-flow won’t last.

That all sounds cynical there but that’s where the rub is: I’m not a cynical person. Oh, I can get into cynicism and sarcasm with the best of them but deep down, I care.

Caring for me is feeling passionate about things. It’s about liking things with an intensity that can be obsessive at times. It’s about wanting something so much yet terrified of succeeding because of what it might cost me. Yes, I’ve had a fear that if I really succeed at something that ‘someone’ (that almost-mythical ‘someone’) won’t like me and will actively hate on me and try to take it from me. I’ve always denied this until just now with that last sentence I wrote.

I’m glad I finally peeled back that layer and guess what, it didn’t hurt too badly. Actually, I’m feeling a bit more calm now that I see those words on the screen here as I type them. Because as I think about it, wanting to succeed at something and caring about it is a duel-edged sword for me. On one side is my desire to succeed at something I want, and the other is being hated on for caring so much about that.

All my life I’ve felt like I’ve cared too much, and that it was inappropriate at best and downright wrong at worst. Because even in my shittiest jobs for example, I cared about doing a good job and taking care of the people I was being paid to work with and help. And in my former corporate life, that wasn’t welcomed without co-workers hating on me and in some cases actively trying to undermine me, and management that felt like I was challenging them. It’s why I don’t miss that life anymore and why I want this one I have now to succeed as much as I do.

But I will say that writing about things does help me. It helps me not only to see things with my own eyes that I need to see, but to also know that I can work through things even if they’re hard. And every so often I get a bit lucky and things come together and work for me in a way that’s not so bad.

I don’t mind having a kick-ass attitude, but sometimes I like to have an attitude of Zen-calm or laid-back chill. I’m all of that and I think the more I understand and accept that, the better off I’ll be. Because every situation requires its’ own way of being handled, past a certain point there is no ‘right’ way or ‘wrong’ way if the objective is accomplished.

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