"What've they got that I ain't got?! Courage."

Blogs can be dangerous things. You spill your heart or soul or brain or whatever onto this keyboard, and (assuming it's public) you never quite know where it'll end up. If you have links from Facebook, links from your internship, a link your Mom gave to your aunt while you were posting interesting pictures during your study abroad time... you suddenly realize that your aunt, your neighbor, and the guy's brother who knows an acquaintance of yours at work may now not only know your secret fashion fantasies but also your monthly goals -- and maybe even some of your deepest, darkest, fears.

I usually try to keep said deep, dark, fears for my journal, but in the interest of breaking boundaries and (hopefully) lifting a tremendous weight off my chest, I'm going to upend the water bucket and spill guts, hearts, brains, and soul all over. Now.

My life is far from troublesome. I am employed part and full time. I have friends who still live around the corner from me. I have a close, loving family. I can get just about anywhere I need to without exerting a lot of energy or spending a lot of money, and every once in a while I am applauded just for being another side of me onstage.

Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, this often "isn't enough" for me. I feel my desires pushing the limits of my common sense and digging their wicked fingers into aspects of my life that normally I am content with. Suddenly I feel underpaid, under-appreciated, and overworked. Self-sabotaging voices in my head begin to challenge and suspect: "If they really loved you, they'd do x for you." "You can't do makeup right." "If you were any good of an actress, you would've gotten that part." "You don't know enough to survive in the working world." "You really are a silly LITTLE GIRL." And the worst part about these voices is I haven't learned yet how to overpower them consistently. Sometimes it's enough just to go off by myself and snap out of it. Often it helps to vent to a friend. Other times I just need a really solid, wailing sob-fest to make me realize how pathetic I'm being. Each and every time I become embarrassed about this mousy, self-conscious person that fills the place of the girl I want to be.

Then I actually feel guilty about having these insecurities in the first place. Rather than recognizing my tendency toward self-criticism and forgiving myself for it, the trait itself becomes something to criticize. And the voices change to echo "You're so selfish." "If you really loved them, you'd x." "Why can't you think about someone other than yourself for five whole minutes?" "How is sitting here moping helping you get out an achieve your dreams."

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

And I suppose those latter challenges aren't entirely shameful. In many ways, questioning your attitude can change your life for the better. I tell myself sometimes that if I knew what I wanted out of life, I'd feel less frustrated all the time. It's just feeling directionless that's making me worry so much at present, right? Then I'm struck by the idea that no one on this goddamn planet knows what the hell they're doing with their time here, whether or not they look the part, and no one ever really does know. And rather than finding comfort in that, I just feel a sting of disillusionment. I really did always think that someday I would grow up and know everything.

Why is it so easy to doubt? To panic, envy, and fear? I know in my heart that I'm intelligent. I'm reminded by those dear to me that I am loveable, genuine, and vivacious at my best. Strangers, on occasion, have even told me that I'm beautiful outright. But no amount of compliments is ever enough to outweigh the doubts I have about myself. I realized a long time ago that such conviction has to come from the inside before it can do you any good. I'm just so tired of feeling lost in my own head. Perhaps, dear reader, you are too.

Let's dream on it. Things always look better in morning light.


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