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Still navelgazing: 5 MORE things about identity, 6.11.2017, dear gods when will it stop, enough already with the narcissism

  • Still keep thinking about my changing sense of self. I had a bit of a jolt this week when I realised I’m becoming far more conformist than I ever used to be (or wanted to be) – I was reading about Disneybounding (I KNOW RIGHT!!) and realised I’m never going to try it. Not just because of budget, or the fact that I don’t really want to draw attention to my pudgy body these days. But because I don’t want to draw attention, full stop. This is… not how I used to be. I used to be very into playing dress-up. But not now. And that slightly frightens me.
  • I can think of a lot of reasons for this. One is that it’s just not as cute on a 40-something as a 20-something. (This applies to more than just clothes, and was a horrifying thought after my last job interview: I’ve aged out of bubbliness but haven’t gained gravitas, so now I’m just awkward and hard to picture as part of the office team.) Another is that I already feel like such an alien in the Swiss burbs, I don’t want to marginalise myself even more.
  • Ruh roh. I love Switzerland deeply – except for its three Cs: conservative, complacent, conformist. A and I have always been aware that we don’t want to become those things, and don’t want our kids to grow up that way. We thought we could have a little family bubble of quiet resistance. But apparently it’s not playing out that way for me. There are just too many factors. If I weren’t struggling with the language, if I weren’t unemployed, maybe I’d be happy to be an oddball? Being an oddball among friends, or in a workplace where you’re constantly proving yourself regardless of how “weird” you are, is a very different thing. So… suddenly I’m keen to be part of the Borg? Well that just sucks.
  • I keep starting to cry when I talk about myself these days. All this stuff is just a bit too raw. But it pisses me off, this crying. I never used to be such a fragile flower and I hate that there are people who’ve never known the old me but have now seen me in tears more than once, over basically nothing. This is fucking STUPID. I’d like to grow up now please.
  • OH WELL. I have awesome kids and an awesome husband. And awesome friends, even if most of them are on the other side of the world. I’m doing work I’m proud of on the design front, even if it is just a weird hobby that most people will never get. I know I am loved and worthwhile. So that’s enough.

4 thoughts on “Still navelgazing: 5 MORE things about identity, 6.11.2017, dear gods when will it stop, enough already with the narcissism

  1. Well I think you are just awesome all around, even if we have never met!!!!! I think it is truly human nature to naturally gravitate toward fitting in and being one of a crowd… think back in caveman days when things like that would save one’s life. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Lately I have been pondering on the fact that I am at age 35 pretty much just as self-conscious and self-hating as I was in high school. I thought I was supposed to be older and wiser…. and yet…. argh.

    1. Argh indeed! I think I’m generally much kinder to myself these days than I was back then (“generally” as in, maybe not in my current state of mind, when fretting over stupid screwed up job interview or such) – but omg yes, it’s a huge struggle. And you’re right that fitting in is a basic human need. It’s just weird to realise that I need it so much more now than I did 20 years ago and that… kinda seems the wrong way round?!

      Anyway thank you. I think you’re awesome too, and am glad to have you around. 👌

  2. Only just reading this, and empathising – much more straightforward for me here (it’s Wales, everyone speaks English) but I am somewhere new, people don’t know me, how do I want to be seen? If I meet someone once and they see me unbrushed (hair) and in an unflattering clingy top thing is that how they will always see me?
    And not working – that’s so weird (I’m really not working unlike you – no caring responsibilities and no designing, just knitting and watching grand designs).
    I have met you a little and love that you’re writing this blog, you’re interesting and well-written and actually say things. So out there in the three Cs Switzerland its easier for you if your outsides conform – bet your insides don’t, you’re setting it up so your real non-conformity can creep into the people you meet without them writing you off. Like a secret agent.

    1. 💜 Hello and thank you and I’m very glad you like reading! I like the secret agent idea. Ninja rebel, me. Good luck with settling in – it is a very odd thing, being in a new place without the automatic in that a proper job gives you. I hope you’re enjoying the not-working at least a bit? It sounds dreamy (no responsibilities! just knitting!) but it really does such weird things to the self-image…

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