Angst Girl

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Inadequate

I watched a documentary on PBS on Monday named “Flying” and it left me feeling inadequate. In fact I almost stop watching it, even though it was interesting, because I was feeling bad about myself. It chronicled the life of a forty-something woman who is a filmmaker and travels the world. She has a ton of friends from different countries and backgrounds. She was living an exciting life and I found myself to be jealous of her. I have a very small circle of friends and am currently unemployed but have always had desk jobs. I don’t travel that much (although I’m on the final countdown to my European trip!) and would like to travel more. She was able to be very introspective and looked to her friends for context and feedback and is able to take negative feedback and make it an opportunity for personal growth.

I found myself taking stock of my life and not really liking what I saw. I’m still fat, I have few friends, I’m on disability so I have no job, I’m not spontaneous, and I’m just not comfortable in my own skin much of the time. I finished the documentary in tears. I know I shouldn’t covet someone else’s life but I just couldn’t seem to help it.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that I just couldn’t live that life even though I wanted to. I’m an introvert (see THIS LINK. It completely describes me) and I need to get comfortable with that. It’s who I am. I’m working on losing weight, I’ll eventually have a job again, and I have little need for a large circle of friends. I need to find a way to be okay with where I’m at in life but it SO wasn’t what I imagined it would be. I mourn for that loss. But I need to stop getting stuck in the mourning period and move on with life as it is or make the necessary adjustments to change it.

I also need to cut myself a break. I’ve had difficult things in life to deal with (as we all have to some extent) and I’ve been able to come out the other side still intact. Depression consumed many years of my life and being overweight has inhibited me from reaching my full potential. As a residual effect of the depression, I tend to get stuck in the past because for so many years I didn’t see a future for myself.

The facts are that I’m a very compassionate person, I’m smart, have good common sense, love deeply, I embrace the differences in people, am a good problem-solver, and I am creative. I need to embrace the good in me and live from a place of gratitude and self-love rather than jealousy or grief. I couldn’t live her life because I am me and have different strengths and struggles.

I can intellectually realize all these things but have never been able to absorb them and believe them. It’s something I’m working on and will continue to work on the rest of my life I’m sure. With what do you struggle?

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Kind Hearted Woman

I watched a documentary on PBS Monday and Tuesday entitled “Kind Hearted Woman” which followed a Native American family for two years. The family consisted of the mother, a preteen girl, and a boy a couple years younger than the daughter. It was a particularly difficult time in their lives because the mother just got out of rehab for alcohol abuse and she was fighting her ex-husband for custody of the children.

The mother had suffered from sexual and physical abuse in her childhood and she was determined to get a degree in social work so that she could help families and children who are facing the same difficulties. It was a very difficult documentary to watch because she talked openly about her struggles. The worst part, however, was when the daughter told her mother that her father had touched her inappropriately. This was all caught on camera. First I thought she was such a strong girl to tell her mother with all the camera crew people in the room. Then I started getting angry that the mother even put her in that situation. Not that the mother could know what was going to happen in the future when she agreed to appear in the film, but couldn’t she have seen where the conversation was heading and kicked out the camera crew?

The more I think about the film, the more angry I get at the mother for putting the children through the added drama of a camera crew following them around. Their world was still spinning from being separated from their mother while she was in rehab. They were still trying to get used to the whole divorce situation. The mother had also been in a relationship with a man who had beat her and her daughter, especially, was traumatized by that. Why would it occur to you, with all this going on, to agree to let a documentary film crew follow you around for two years? It just seemed a cruel thing to do to your young children. To be fair, the children didn’t seem to be too fazed by the ever-present cameras but it still had to put some strange stress on them.

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