Monday, January 13, 2014

On the Outside, Looking In

I read a quote the other day that made me sit up and take note. This is long.
...when shame has been completely internalized, nothing about you is okay.  You feel flawed and inferior; you have the sense of being a failure.  There is no way you can share your inner self because you are an object of contempt to yourself.  When you are contemptible to yourself, you are no longer in you.  To feel shame is to feel seen in an exposed and diminished way.  When you're an object to yourself, you turn your eyes inward, watching and scrutinizing every minute detail of behavior.  This internal critical observation is excruciating.  It generates a tormenting self-consciousness which Kaufman describes as 'creating a binding and paralyzing effect upon the self.'  This paralyzing internal monitoring causes withdrawal, passivity and inaction....To be severed and alienated within oneself also creates a sense of unreality.  One may have an all-pervasive sense of never quite belonging, of being on the outside looking in...  This also has to do with the sadness of losing one's authentic self.  Perhaps the deepest and most devastating aspect of neurotic shame is the rejection of the self by the self.
Woah.  Yeah. I have spent my entire life feeling like I just walked into the middle of a long, detailed conversation and have tried to talk my way through it.  It's exhausting.  And I think I'm done with it.

Know what else is exhausting?  Self-discovery.  :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

23 in 23

While waiting at the airport this afternoon, we ate lunch with Jakob.

We were talking about things that have changed or improved since we got married in 1991.  

Here's our list of 23 changes in the last 23 years.
  1. Adam and Jakob Kounkel - and what world changing characters those two are.
  2. Then there's Haleigh, Bethany, Brittney, Megan, Luke, and Ethan - our nieces and nephews who came after we married.
  3. The Cold War went away.  It was a scary thing for those of us paying attention to world affairs.  And the Berlin Wall - that was something.
  4. There aren't anymore encyclopedia salespeople.  And we liked them.
  5. Tattoos used to indicate something about people.
  6. So did earrings in men.
  7. Carseats were sort of a novelty - and so were seatbelts.
  8. Cable/Satellite TV.
  9. Monticello High School.
  10. The house we build at 2197 116th St NE in Monticello.
  11. Remember plain paper faxes?
  12. Nine Eleven.  And the Twin Towers are no more.
  13. The Internet.
  14. E-Mail.
  15. Social Media, Blogs, Twitter...
  16. iPhones.  
  17. Notebooks/Readers.
  18. Digital TV & Music... 3D TV ?!?!?!
  19. Flu shots.
  20. New princesses were born.  Think Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Anna...
  21. New roads appeared:  Chelsea Rd is a personal favorite.
  22. And in recent years, we elected a President of color.  Still.  No women. I find that odd - a bit demoralizing.
  23. Joe and I started our own somethings:  A+ Taxi of Monticello, Inc., and Paddle Pedal & Play of Monticello, Inc.
I wonder what the next 23 years will bring.

Certainly a thought occurs about "development" and "progress" over the last years.

When I wrote my senior honors thesis, I considered the sad fact that everything that was great and beautiful and progressive at one time came from Germany.  And that culminated, really, in the gas chambers of World War II.  

Is there a parallel between that and this once great country?

Of course, I was also pondering this great thought:  was the first decade of 2000 the only time hair fashion actually made sense?