Inspiration and Caves and Guilt, Oh My!

I was kind of beating myself up a little for not doing my blog today. I have been pretty good at blogging daily for what feels like forever, but has actually not even been seven days!

Consistency is key, I know that. That is most likely why I have not succeeded in many things. I dont know what it is, the minute I see that I am falling into a consistent pattern, or I am noticing I am getting good at something and people are starting to take notice, I freak out. I can't handle expectations. If I am good at something and I do it on a whim for fun, great! If I take that and run with it and people take notice and it turns more into a job instead of a thing I am good at and ocassionally do, it suddenly forces me to retreat to my cave.

If my cave had a name it would be "bed." NO, that is not a good name for a cave, but I woud definitely have one in there because if you have ever been camping with me you will know, this girl needs her bed! My cave is where I hide until it's safe to come out, by that I mean people assume I have gone AWOL and give up on me. I think this may be a bit chicken and egg. I don't know if I was at one point consistently good at something and then someone gave up on me, or if I just couldn't ever handle the pressure of people expecting me to do something, to do it well, and to complete it.

Tonight I thought, "eh I don't think I will write, I just don't feel inspired...HELLO, Colleen you just finished watching the Olympics. If you can't get inspired by that then you may perhaps not be an actual living human being!"

I remember when I was young, grammar school, I was the fastest girl in my class, possibly the entire school. We would always play chase and there was only one boy who could catch me, oh how I wanted him to catch me ;) We tested at school and it was "official," I was indeed the fastest girl in my age group. Other girls, the popular ones, didn't like that. One day after a race in gym I went up to the second fastest, but most popular one, to tell her she did great and it was no big deal, she told me I was conceited and ignored me. She got other girls to ignore me and at recess they would follow her around like she was that chick from Game of Thrones that has the baby Dragons, and I would just walk around trying not to look totally crushed. I would have to sit in outdoor art class alone, on the hill in my purple leisure suit drawing a landscape while she and the other girls would laugh at me and make faces at me. I pretended it didn't bother me, but I was burning inside with questions like "What did I do to deserve this? Maybe I should have let her beat me instead of trying my best and winning. Does winning mean losing friends? Being lonely and treated as an outcast? Was I conceited? The mere act of winning and saying to my 'friend' 'Great job, no big deal you didn't beat me' turned into 'I certainly think a lot of myself don't I?' Why was I so stupid to say that to her? I mean she is pretty and smart and athletic and popular and has the boy everyone wants, do I really want to be banished from her presence?" I guess the answer was no because this happened over and over and over again, banished and brought back into the circle after she thought I had learned my lesson, or had enough and I always went groveling back, so grateful to be let back "in."

My grades were average, my looks were average, and the only thing that wasn't average was my athletic ability and I decided if I needed to make that average in order to be accepted than so be it. I became overall average for the rest of my life.

Who knows if my inability to be consistent stems from this but I am pretty sure if my therapist was reading this she would ask if a bear shits in the woods. I mean, there were many things in my life that contributed to who I am and the decisions I make. For instance, I am driven by guilt, therapist for twenty plus years have been trying to help rid me of this useless emotion (if it can even be called one), does growing up in an Irish-American Catholic household have any bearing on my being riddled with guilt, I think yes, but not entirely. When I confided in my high school guidance couselor that I wanted to study film at UCLA she looked at me and laughed, outloud, and then said in a very staggered speech "YOU ---- WANT ---- TO ---- GO ---- TO ----- UCLA???? It'll never happen, not with your grades." That was it, no "let's see what we have to do to get you there. It might not be right away because you will have to build up your GPA," it was a joke to her that I even thought I was capable of such a thing. I thought since I was doing so well and really thriving in my television class that it was perfect for me, it was all I ever wanted to do, all I ever felt good at, other than sports. I let this woman, this "guidance couselor" who sat down with me twice in my entire High Schoool career, dictate what I was NOT going to do. Do you think that had an effect on my self esteem and my ability to go after what I wanted, I believe yes, not entirely, but yes she was a contributing member of the kick her when she's down and keep her down club.

And so it continued. I had stirdes where I'd attempt to follow my passions but my "Misguided Allie" was very loud by then, as a matter of fact I think she was, is, that so-called 'counselor.' Allie constantly smacked me down at every turn. She had such power over me. She wanted me dead. She didn't get what she wanted but she tried so fucking hard and came so close to winning on more than one occassion. I have been in an all out cat fight with this bitch my entire life. Sometimes I would give in and hit my cave, retreating for months, sometimes years at a time. I would come out squinting from the bright sunlight only to be pushed back into my cave and told not to come out. "It's not safe. No one will like you. No one will listen to you. No one wants to hear what you have to say, read what you have to write, see what you have to show."

Allie and I are still at it. I think I am less inclined to let her push me back in my cave, or at least I push back, but sometimes, like any abused animal, I go there because it is safe, and familiar and all that I know.

So I guess the name of my cave would be "Purgatory." My keepers "Allie" and

This may explain why I was not feeling inspired by the Olympic Men's Figure Skating Finals tonight, that and the fact that I really honestly know I will never be a Men's Olympiic Figure Skater, although dammit, they have all the best outfits!


  1. One time, I went to a therapist, and I said "hey, people at work don't take me seriously and it's really affecting my self-esteem", and she goes, "Do you ALWAYS dress like THAT?!" WTF? Seriously. I stupidly made another appointment with her, and guess what? I showed up for the appointment, and she didn't. She "forgot" the appointment. With therapists like that, who needs enemies? Keep writing. You are a brilliant writer. A winner.

  2. Say to them,
    say to the down-keepers,
    the sun-slappers,
    the self-soilers,
    the harmony-hushers,
    "even if you are not ready for day
    it cannot always be night."
    You will be right.
    For that is the hard home-run.
    - Gwendolyn Brooks


Post a Comment

Popular Posts