I had a very frustrating experience yesterday that I thought I would write about. Last night, shortly after I went to bed, I had just started to fall asleep when the smoke alarm in the bedroom went off for no apparent reason. I jumped out of bed, switched on the light and (of course) the alarm stopped by itself. Don’t know what triggered it, but it now it was blinking red and I was worried about it going off again. It was at this point that I realized that I had no idea what to do.
This may sound silly to most people, but to me it was a crushing realization. I consider myself a technically proficient person, some would say geek, but as I stood staring at the alarm I felt completely lost and helpless. Do I just press the button? Do I have to open it? Do I do nothing? I had no idea. Of course, 2 minutes of Googling later I had the answer, but I felt so stupid and useless. How could something so simple make me freeze like that?
As I get older I am starting to find out all the things that most people find out when they are children, or at least younger than 42! As I lay in bed I couldn’t stop thinking about how my dad never really taught us how to do things. My dad never really wanted to spend much time with us, and was very controlling and never allowed us to help him around the house. He never taught me how to bait a hook, never played catch, never taught me to drive, or even let me learn how to do the little jobs around the house. He would do a lot of DIY, but would never let us be involved. I didn’t realize just how much it affected me until now.
I feel like a small, scared child pretending to be a grown-up, hoping that the “real” grown-ups don’t see through my disguise and reveal me to be the fraud that I feel like. I’m sure that a lot of people feel this way, but I am going through a phase of “post-therapy” self-realization. Even as I write this it sounds so whiny, and it probably is, but it is something that hurts my soul.
Sometimes, self-awareness sucks…