Yoda, a Diva, a Monster, and a Middle Schooler Walk into a Bar: The crowded karaoke night of our inner minds
My mom recently wrote an article discussing the different voices that go through her head when disaster strikes. The Judgmental Adult, punishing her for messing up, the Inner Child, sure that she can’t solve the problem alone, and The Guru, telling her to remain calm and keep moving forward. I find that I too have voices in my head…
There’s the Independent Diva who constantly affirms my decisions. “You’re KILLIN’ it today, San! You are SO on the right track right now. DAMN you look good in those shoes.”
There’s the Self-Doubt Monster that creeps up behind me and whispers dirty thoughts in my head. “Wow. Really? You drove the wrong way home, again? YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING.”
There’s the Anxiety-Ridden Middle Schooler who is certain my self-worth is determined by others. “Do you think they’re talking about you? Do you think they like you? Do you think they thought it was weird when you started singing High School Musical in the meeting?”
And there’s the Tiny Enlightened Yoda who keeps me sane. “Worry so much, you should not. Wine, you should drink. Boxing class, you should take.”
I’m constantly bombarded by this barrage of voices who hold semi-organized hearings in my head on a daily basis.
Recently, the Self-Doubt Monster pulled a double on me. He picked me up and carried me right down to the bottom of The Worthlessness Spiral. One moment, The Diva and I were kickin' it while packing our bags for a trip to Brazil. The next, that little devil had me in the throes of doubt. Did I work hard enough before I left? Am I doing a good job? Do I deserve to leave? Do my co-workers think I deserve to leave?
It was suddenly World War III in my head – bombs of anxiety dropping left and right.
I jiggled my keys as I crossed the parking lot from work to my car. Should I call someone? Should I explain to them how it’s suddenly become blindingly obvious that I totally suck? I opened my car door and sat down, resting my forehead on the steering wheel.
Maybe I don’t Totally suck.. The diva started piping up in the background, reminding me that just a few days before my tomato plant had sprouted its first baby green tomato bud, all due to my (mostly) diligent watering.
YEAH. That’s right. I grew a tomato. If I can grow a tomato, I must not be completely worthless, right? I comforted myself with this thought for the rest of the ride home. It wasn’t a lot, but it was something…specifically something I could eat.
Later, in the car on the way to the airport, I explained to my friend Sam the devastating realizations of the afternoon, and my meek tomato-oriented attempts to overcome them.
As we drove down the highway, Mount Rainier sat in front of us in all her glory. I got side-tracked and started talking about how I think of Rainier as Seattle’s Singular Giant Boob. Sam looked and me and looked at Rainier. “San” she said, “whenever I look at the mountain I’m reminded that there is other life out there, and we’re actually just a very small part of it.”
I looked out at the snow-covered boob, and realized she was right. Why waste time getting caught up in the smallest event of my life, when the world was so much bigger than that? In retrospect, it was amazing how quickly I’d lost sight of what was important. I have maybe 100 years to do life. Why spend precious minutes comparing myself to others or worrying about what they think, only to bring myself down? All I can do is live and let live. Life is play, life is work, and both should be done to their fullest. But after that, there’s not much more you can do.
If you think about it, there is no present like the time.
For a moment, I turned down the other voices, and tuned in to the Enlightened Yoda. “Whining, you are done? Have fun now, we can? Doing good, you are.”