The Honest Truth: I Am a Worry Wart

The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful consideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong.

Philip Roth

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you had a wonderful 2014, and are supercharged and excited for this new year. This wonderful new year of 2015. Because I’m not. I’m not excited about 2015… and to be honest with you, I’m also not quite sure why.

Additionally, I’m not sure at all what this article I’m typing up now is going to be about, and I’m worried that I might end up writing things that will make you worry about me… because I’m worried about me too. I’m concerned about my procrastination (read laziness), and I’m really only writing now, because the only thing I am indeed sure of… is that I want, nay, need, to write!

You see 2014 had a very turbulent mid-section for me… and the effects of that turbulence are still reverberating through my core. Experiences at work forced me to challenge my perception of myself as “open-minded,” and a “lone-wolf;” a brief manic episode forced me to challenge my projection of myself as “cool, calm, and collected;” and a growing preference for isolation has me questioning whether I am even extraverted at all – and if so, why is it that sometimes, the last thing I want to do is deal with people.  (This past Christmas and New Year’s, being a case in point).

I’ve had so many experiences over the past year that I’ve wanted to write about! So many things that I’ve needed to rationalize and try to come to terms with, and so many things that I believe deserve more than just a passing mention in this article where that is about all they’re gonna get. Can you picture me having a brief manic episode!? Can you imagine what it’s like to come out of some craziness, and yet still remember how “rational,” all that craziness was!? Did you know, that I HATE being vulnerable, and am deathly afraid of taking risks that might expose my weaknesses!? These are just some of the realizations I came to last year.

Sometimes I lie awake at night, just simulating risky decisions: whether to be vulnerable, whether to be straightforward, possible outcomes, possible choices, alternate methods… how to say… when to say… what to say – how to write, when to write, what to write, and playing them through in my head over and over and over like a broken record. I also often spend these same nights reflecting on the outcomes of such past decisions, past failures, and looking for what lessons I can take from them.

The Worry Wart

I do this because I am critical of myself, and I am afraid. I am afraid that I will do the “wrong” thing. That I will say the “wrong” thing. That I will write the “wrong” thing. I do this… because I am afraid to make the “wrong” decision (again). So what is “wrong” to me?

Well in 2014, I discovered, that the “wrong” decision to me, is always the one that alienates, and that the “right” decision, is a gamble. Because the “right” decision, is to share and expose my vulnerabilities. To take the risk of complete alienation, in the hopes of total connection.

In a sense, my fear of this gamble has defined who I am so far. It is partly why I am a good listener, partly why I am a good writer, and partly why I am a good counsellor. My continued belief in the power of vulnerability, yet deathly fear of the power of vulnerability, has led me to develop these other ways of connecting. Tactics that allow me to deeply connect with others, on my own terms.

Yet it is also why I find it hard to whole-heartedly believe in myself. Because what I see in the mirror, is a coward. Perpetually scared to make the “right” decision. Because the “right” decision to me is almost always the riskiest, certainly always the scariest, and moreover, might end up in even worse outcomes – as it has on a few occasions already….

And so I write, because I’m too afraid to have this conversation with anybody, but I believe I need to say it to everybody; and so I listen, because I’m afraid of what you’ll think of my insecurities, but I believe in you, and I believe in supporting you (and sometimes, listening, helps to build my courage to share); and so I “counsel,” because for every “wrong” decision I’ve made, I’ve spent countless hours replaying them, simulating them, thinking about what I could have done better: just as I did the first time around – and I hope that this knowledge will do someone some good.

So basically, what I’m saying to you people, is that in 2014, I learnt that I am spectacular at being wrong because I have the right beliefs. LOL. And that going forward, not only do I need to get more comfortable with being wrong, I also need to confess to it, and stop blaming myself, because life… is all about being wrong, and being weak, and being vulnerable:- and with that, I leave you with this.

Happy New Year Folks!

Damola Mabogunje

Software Engineer by day, Blogger, Poet and Author, by night, I spend my days writing everything from the convex comma, to highly complex code.

7 thoughts on “The Honest Truth: I Am a Worry Wart

  1. Dee, i love this article (the closing paragraph is especially fantastic) and I love your mind.

    What I have found that helps me (refreshes me, calms me, helps me laugh at my crazy trying to be perfect self, helps me keep going/helps me from trying to be perfect or right) navigate through all the craziness both in and out of myself is LOVE. The type of love that covers a multiple of sins (shortcomings, etc), and it is this love I experience daily during interactions with my mom, dad, brothers, husband, the kids, denike, omowumi and certain friends and family.

    Its the love that Jesus gives which i ultimately knew (in my head from being born into a Christian family) and now feel (in my heart from many times that I have gone, “Hmm, Jesus/God must love me or at least like me as I am)and which helps me continually renew my thoughts and hence actions.

    This love is freedom and brings freedom because we, at least people like us, can sometimes be so good at unconstructive criticism of ourselves that we should be on the devil’s payroll…lol

    My 2 cents. Take only what u need from it!.

    Happy new year love, hope to see you this year!!!

    1. Hi Bussy! Happy new year, and thanks so much. I loved your reply – and if you loved this post, I think you will be in for a treat over the next few weeks because I am going to start talking about the journey that led me to write this post, and the new journey towards love, that it has started.

      Wishing you all the best in 2015! Please give my regards to the family.

  2. Incredibly interesting perspective Dee… apparently light-hearted but very deep food for thought! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to learning about the journey that created this level of enlightenment 🙂

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