“Hi, my name is Gyasi and I’m a recovering me addict.”
I really like me. No, you don’t understand, I really like me. I like myself so much that I would marry me if the government allowed it. In front of God, my friends, and my family, I would walk down the aisle in a Vera Wang gown and marry myself. That’s how much I like me.
There’s no one to blame for my inflated self-perception and egotism. To their credit, my parents raised me to think of other people before myself. They always made me share my toys with my siblings and cousins, they tried their darndest to get me involved with sports so that I would understand the importance of team work, and they stressed the fact that there were other people in the world and that said world did not in fact revolve around me.
Unfortunately, their lessons didn’t take.
I’m a petulant child who cries in the corner when she doesn’t get her way.
I still do this at 22.
I will probably still do this at 52.
99% of the time, I got a bad case of me.
Why am I telling you this, you ask? Why am I posting this all over the internet? Why am I revealing that I’m extremely self-absorbed? Because the other day I had a revelation about myself and it wasn’t good.
As some of you know, I applied to two grad schools last year: one was my dream school, the other was my back-up school. Guess what school I was rejected from and guess which one I was accepted to? Exactly.
Now, for most people, this minor rejection (minor in the grand scheme of things) wouldn’t send their entire world into a tail spin. Most people wouldn’t have insomnia for three weeks. Most people wouldn’t have lost five lbs. Most people wouldn’t have stayed continually plugged into their iPod because hearing their own thoughts was too painful.
This is the problem with being so in love with yourself: when self fails, there’s nothing left but fear. Ever since I “failed” at the one thing I thought I could do perfectly (get into grad school), I have been a scared little mouse hiding in the corner.
I didn’t go to my back-up school.
Because I was afraid I’d fail there.
Yeah, I thought it was because the program wasn’t a great fit, and that’s probably the answer I’ll stick with it if you ask me, but really, I was afraid that I would go there and fall flat on my face. I was afraid that after one semester, I would have to come home with my tail between my legs and try to pick up the pieces of the life I’d left behind.
Fear is a tricky minx. Sometimes she can light a fire under your butt and get you to do something. Other times she leaves you paralyzed and scared of your own shadow.
I came to the self-realization that I had succumb to fear this weekend when I sat in front of my computer for two hours, going on Facebook, YouTube, and iTunes instead of filling out the application for grad school like I had planned on doing. I updated my status, looked at pictures, watched different versions of “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy, and downloaded music. I didn’t even log on to the website with the application.
Fear’s got me by the throat.
Even though I can see my dream on the horizon, I can feel the diploma in my hand, I can hear the sound of “Dr. Gyasi Byng” ringing in my ears, I am so afraid of failure that I can’t even take the first step.
Part of me is telling you this in the hopes that maybe I’ll overcome my fear. The other part is hoping you’ll take this as a cautionary tale. When you feel fear tickling the back of your neck, don’t run scared like I did. Take her by the hand and become her friend rather than making her the bully.
And above all else, eat a slice of humble pie daily. It’s the only way to stave off a case of me.