I have a strange sickness today.

It’s called “I’m sick of my ego so I’m crashing it into a large cement wall.”

I could write you an elegantly edited, scripted, neat little post but again, I’m crashing my ego into the wall right now. So this will not be elegant or pretty. It might be spiritual. But you can call my shit on that one too if you want. I may very well be wrong.

Yesterday I had a great conversation with a dear friend about boundaries. I always need that reminder. Pay attention to my internal compass and don’t just get blown wherever the wind takes me. It’s difficult, and I always have to remind myself about it. So anyway my friend said something that really hit me square between the eyes. “People do everything because they want to be everything.” I guess it was a Mark Nepo quote. Ouch. Of all my boundary problems, that is the one I have done the least work on.

See, things easily and quickly interest me. It’s the “ooh, shiny!” syndrome. I am getting a degree in psychology and plan to get a masters in Counseling or Social Work. I play guitar and sing. I sometimes like to paint. Ask me if I’m interested in dance and I’ll say yes. Look through my art boxes and you’ll find framed photography. Am I interested in cars? Sure am. I would love to know the underside of an engine backwards and forwards. Snowboarding? Definitely. You’ll find a 2008 NeverSummer in my closet. Hiking? An enthusiast. Do I climb 14ers? Yes of course, and I should have a goal to climb more. Do I like rock climbing? Yeah sure! The rush is awesome. Travel, you ask? Talk about “ooh, shiny.” My next idea of a place to go changes about every month or so. My newest obsession is doing a trip with the Adventurists, who specialize in crazy trips. Just my thing. Do I like sports? Eh no but I really should pick a football team to root for…

See my problem? My interests are broad.  But SOME OF THEM are only broad because I want everyone to like me. I want to be everything. Yes. It’s true. I’ve even told people that I want to climb Everest. (Really? If that’s not ego-driven… I don’t know what is)

Lately I have been feeling the pull to stop it. Stop being everything and just be what I want to be. The truth is, out of that long list of interests, there are only really two big things that attract my attention and intention. My degree. And Travel.

It pains me though to even think about letting go of some of those interests. I have a lovely voice! I really do like playing guitar. People have told me that I should go on The Voice or American Idol. But you know what. I. just. can’t. do. everything. And I love my music, I do. But my favorite memory of it is not singing up in front of a bunch of people. It was in the back of a decked-out hippie van with a small group of friends, where I could sing a lullaby over them like a gift.

I like rock climbing. Do I love it? No. What if I let it go? Well… then what if… I lose something that could have been awesome? Come on Laurie get over it. When it comes to hiking, hiking is a nice hobby that I can hang on to without really losing myself in it. Maybe when I have more money I can splurge on more gear. Maybe I’ll get into backpacking at a later time, again, when I have more money.

Snowboarding – it’s great. It’s lovely to ride through the trees and hear the swish of a board underneath. Everything is so quiet. But honestly, snowboarding is so damn expensive. “But you’re in skiing Mecca!” I can hear you all exclaim. All the out-of-staters, anyway. A ticket to Breckenridge? $90. For a day. A season pass to a good group of mountains will run you at the VERY least, $200, if not somewhere close to $600. It’s outrageous.

I think one of the biggest problems I’m having with having such a broad range of interests is, I don’t have the money to put into all of them. I really can’t be everything. I have to choose which things are the most important to me and go with that. So far in my life, I’ve prioritized travel. I’ve gone out of the country every year since 2006. It’s a big deal to me.

I feel like my little sister Rachel. When she was two years old, she looked up at my mom and said, “BUT MOOOOOOOOM… I CAN’T DO ALL SEEZ SINGS!!!”

I just can’t. My ego is so disappointed and in a sickening fashion, does NOT WANT TO GIVE THEM UP. Hence, the crashing it into the wall thing. Which yes, is a little extreme. I do feel compassion, yes I do. My little ego is so frail and so scared. But I really can’t do everything and I have to make some priorities and decide who I want to be. Especially when it comes to monetary things. Do I want to take a trip next year? Because if I do, I need to save some money for it. And that will mean that some of my other interests will fall by the wayside. The big question is, can I actually handle saying to someone, “No, I’m sorry I can’t go snowboarding with you. I’m trying to save my money.”

I don’t know. That sounds so painful. Icccckkk. Ego, honey doll, I promise you… everyone does not have to like you for you to be okay. I’ve got you and that’s all you need to know.

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3 thoughts on “I have a strange sickness today.

  1. Focus. I do the guitar and songwriter thing that is about it. I’m not necessarily that good but I do just focus on one thing.

    Hmm luck choosing and pushing ahead with that.

  2. You speak my language here, Laurie. Boundaries, people pleasing, ego…love this kind of talk. I have the opposite issue that you do – I have a hard time figuring out what it is I like to do! (Other than recovery). I started up running about two months ago, but that’s after two and a half years of recovery…so it’s going to take me time to warm up to something else. But you have a lot going on, and it’s wonderful to see. It’s a groovy thing going on there. And yeah, time and money are considerations, but why does it have to be all or nothing? You may not be able to snowboard every second day or get a new guitar every year, or whatnot, but there is time to fit some of these things in your schedule if they truly do arouse your imagination.

    What I do like here also is that you are checking your motives on these…but don’t overdo it. Keep it simple. if you like doing it, do it. If you think you are doing it to be liked…then maybe stick to the stuff that lights you up inside. People are attracted to those who follow their passions, not other people’s passions. Stay true to what gives you joy. Not what you think others will like that you like.

    I have been in those shoes. I adjusted to whoever was around me. I was a chamelon that way. And in the end no one ends up happy, least me. Stick with you. You’ll be so much more satisfied and content and serene…and that’s the good stuff 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

    1. Paul, glad you liked it 🙂 Boundaries is just something I need to remember time and again. I could be reminded daily and it would probably still be just the right amount of reminder.
      I like what you said about keeping things – in moderation. I don’t have to be all or nothing about doing things. 😉 I can actually, shockingly, have little hobbies that I do here and there! Surprise!
      And thanks for the reminder to keep it simple. I can get things so over-complicated. But you are right it does have to do with the chameleon thing. That’s who I have been my whole life, and old habits die really hard. So I’m really trying to just ‘stick with me’ as you said.
      Thanks for commenting… I’m always glad to hear from you.

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