Stop Hitting Yourself

So I was thinking some more about yesterday’s post and the job posting situation. I’ve come to the decision that I am, unsurprisingly, overthinking things. That even though I don’t think I’m likely to get the position, it wouldn’t hurt anything to just apply anyway. After all, if I don’t apply, I definitely won’t get the promotion. See? I can logic.

But because I can’t leave well enough alone, I continued to think about why I was overthinking applying for a promotion I might not even get. And I think it’s because, on some level, part of me thinks I don’t deserve to be happy.

I’ve touched on this issue before. For some reason, I seem to see my current employment situation as a form of penance, if not punishment. After all, I have so far failed to use either of the expensive degree’s I’ve accrued in a work environment, so shouldn’t there be some sort of consequence for that?

I’m not saying that this thought process is in any way rational; it clearly isn’t. It’s not even conscious reasoning all the time. But I feel that sometimes dragging your dark demons out into the blazing sunlight can help you exorcise them. So that’s what I’m doing. And in this case, the buggy train of thought says that I don’t deserve the opportunity.

I’ve failed to find a job in architecture. I’ve failed to use my French degree. I’ve failed to get out of my temporary retail job into something more interesting. I’ve squandered opportunities and failed to foster any modicum of motivation. So as punishment, I have to accept the bad (or at least less-than-ideal) situation I’ve ended up in. I don’t even deserve to make the best of what I’ve got. After all, if I didn’t deserve to be here, wouldn’t I have figured a way out by now?

When put plainly like that, this toxic mind-virus is revealed for the hideous thing it truly is. But we’re so socialized (it may even be an ingrained predisposition) to conflate achievement with worth. After all, if someone is poor, the dominant narrative says that it’s because they “just haven’t tried hard enough” (read: are lazy), rather than acknowledge the possibility that luck has just as much to do with falling down as it does making it to the top of the societal heap.

And I have trouble remembering that. I’ve bought in to the “bad stuff = your fault” narrative without even realizing it. Maybe now that I’ve noticed it will be a bit easier to deal with. But doing so, especially in one’s own life, is much easier said than done. After all, no one thinks they’ll end up a statistic. But those numbers have to come from somewhere.