It’s All About Me
Many years ago I paid $100 an hour to hear something that I’m going to tell you for free:
It’s not always about you.
I know. Take a moment. Absorb that.
I had this idea for a post where I was going to ask about having secrets that you would never tell anyone. Ever.
But then I realized that, of course, everyone has secrets that they keep to themselves. It doesn’t have to be some sort of mobster style crime just thoughts or feelings you’re, whatever, I suppose the base emotion would be shame, so, too ashamed to share even if you’ve drank too much and are sitting with your best and most trusted friend of all time.
And isn’t this a conceit of being a human being that you wander around through life thinking you’re the only person who has ever gone through what you’re going through? How many times in your life have you felt relief when you learned that a behavior you have that you have deemed crazy, is business as usual for someone else?
I just read this book by Francine Prose which I didn’t like. BUT, there’s a scene in the book where this character has just had an awkward experience and he’s trying to reel himself in and he’s self-conscious and he goes into his office and even though he’s all by himself, he goes through these motions, as if someone were watching, to indicate, all is normal. Have you ever done that? No ones around but you act as if people are watching? In the book he’s opening and closing desk drawers and shuffling papers. I have. I never imagined other people doing this yet here it is, in a book.
Then Daria on the radio was telling a story about driving her family out to the coast and having all sorts of driving anxiety: what if the car breaks down, what if I get lost, what if I’m in the wrong lane and no one will let me over? I am the queen of all forms of driving anxiety. And here is cool radio personality telling the same story.
My final example has to do with what I refer to as nervous traveler. I don’t eat ginormous quantities of food on vacation. I always thought I was the only person alive who came back from vacation having lost weight. And look here, Eden articulates my problem almost perfectly, “I have this thing when I travel where I can’t eat very much? It’s a combination of nerves and an irrational fear of experiencing a food-borne illness in a city thousands of miles from a familiar bucket to barf in.”
I’m sure the world is a better place with some secrets.