in clouds

hello, i have returned. albeit for only a short while, or perhaps for a new string of long-winded grievances. it depends on my future sentiments..........

anyway, lately i have been bothered immensely by something...... it's been going on ever since the new year started, and i've been wanting to try and sort it out in writing these last few weeks. i never actually got around to doing it though, owing to the fact that i either wasn't at the right place (i.e in the shower, in class, half asleep etc.), or just wasn't particularly feeling it. yet today i have finally slipped into the closest possible opportunity, and now here i am, trying to muddle through my horribly wearying but burdensomely necessary Introduction.  but at long last it is now lengthy enough to be satisfactory and i'm desiring to thank you for bearing with me, since i haven't actually written anything worth reading yet, lmao

OK!! the thing i laboriously have been contending with lately is my feeling of bluffing my way through life. i don't know whether this is a result of my less than adequate self image or whatever but this has been Eating Away At Me in recent days, and it's really frightening.

a lot of my life, many people have taken pains to tell me that they believed i was artistic or creative or rather clever at certain things, and of course, since i've always welcomed compliments (them being a sort of weakness with me), i thanked those people and seemingly went on living. yet those words, after being said to me, impudently lodged themselves deeply into my soul, and built up a sort of mental image of myself that i feel i now have to live up to and maintain.

please don't misunderstand, i really do feel touched when people say kind things about my abilities, but sometimes i think people do flatter me.

after making a few pretty pictures and cards once in a while within my tiny life span, some people around me seem to now have this perception of me: that i am some sort of artiste with skills and imagination. once when someone kindly assured me that she believed i was creative, unanticipatedly it felt like warning bells had suddenly broke into the tranquillity of my thoughts. in the throes of my dismay my first thoughts were, "oh no please don't believe that! i really am not!"

now i find that these sorts of notions really terrify me. it makes me so afraid to think that for all my life i have been accidentally bluffing people into believing that i'm actually greatly accomplished, when i'm so very far from it!

now another contributor to my anxiety comes from people who think i'm very good at language. while i do admit i'm better at language than anything else i'm able to do, i'm still afraid that i really am Not what others think i am. does that make sense? i am good at english, and i adore words and the intricate meanings and uses they potentially hold, but there are times when people speak to me about linguistics and then my heart abruptly feels all stopped up, with the fear that i might scandalously bungle.

like for instance when people compliment my writing or my knowledge-- instead of being pleased and complimented now i'm immediately transported into a panic. what if that person who just said a kind word to me lives to regret it? what if my inadequacy is suddenly revealed, and everything positive people believed about me is to shown to be false?

you might think that this is obviously my pride speaking here, and i realise that i am giving way to some of the conducts of my ego. yet can no one honestly acknowledge a life lived without some fear of certain people's opinions, if not everyone's? and don't you think if i continue to live like this that i am being deliberately deceitful?

i am desperately afraid that i am not what people think i am; desperately afraid i have led everyone in a merry dance to considering that i'm up to standard though i'm not; desperately afraid that i have given others reason to believe that i am good when i am ghastly.

i am scared i am not as solid as i believed i was, and fearful that i have unwittingly defrauded all my acquaintances in the process. what can i do now, but to tell everyone not to expect too much of me?

this seems to be the very apple of discord between me and those around me. i'm afraid the people i know expect me to be a certain way when i know i am just barely living up to my own standards.

in university i always make sure to try to answer my lecturers' questions. in church i always try to be as good a specimen of a person as possible, so that my parents and sisters won't be ashamed of me. wherever i go i do my best to keep myself as aloof and collected so that no one will be able to see the worms of my fears and discontentments with myself, wriggling hideously in the pit of my stomach.

i fiercely want to be the Correct and Proper Person of My Dreams and Aspirations, but i'm afraid that in the process of my parade, something is going to sneak from behind me and snatch off the mask that i have been hiding behind.

is it right for me to feel this way? is it proper to strive to be better, even when you feel like you are a walking abyss on the inside? is it proper to allow people to believe you are respectable and skilled, even when you yourself are staunchly doubtful of yourself?

is it Right to let people carry on thinking that you are capable, when your own estimation says you really aren't? what is the line between being self-deprecating, and being truly unconvinced of your own ability?

i am as riddled with questions as i am with fears, and unfortunately, right now i don't think i have the answers. i want to be free of my quandary as soon as i can, but i cannot pretend now that i hold the solutions to my own troubles.

oh Jesus, please show me what i am to do.