I am a very self-conscious person. It’s one of my most prevalent personality traits. I would call it a personality flaw, but I refuse to give it that title because that would give it an inherently negative connotation. Self-consciousness, in my opinion, can be a flaw in certain contexts. But in others, it can save your life. Or at least your reputation.
I have a distant admiration for people with no self-consciousness. They are the ones who are truly carefree: I call them the I Don’t Give A Fuck-ers. They are the kind of people who, when presented with some kind of task that some might perceive as potentially embarrassing or psychologically damaging, will respond with a statement akin to, “I’ll do it, cuz I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!” A typical scenario might play out like this (especially after a few drinks):
“Alright, who’s gonna shove this porcupine up their ass?”
“Oh, God, not me!”
“I’m sure as hell not doin’ that shit!”
“Oh yeah? Well, I’ll do it…cuz I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!”
“…who invited that guy?”
I could never have that attitude towards life because my self-consciousness holds me back. However, I don’t mind that. In fact, I embrace my self-consciousness, because it keeps me grounded. You show me a guy who’s really self-conscious, and I’ll show you a guy who’s never once gotten hammered at a party and tried to fuck the couch. Why? Because your self-consciousness keeps you in check, and keeps you from doing such ridiculous things. (Plus, let’s be honest: how embarrassing would it be to know that the couch lasted longer than you did?)
Does that mean I live a somewhat sheltered life due to that trait? Probably. Hell, I feel nervous when I start rocking my head back and forth at a rock concert–like everyone’s watching ME rock my head like a doofus. I know it’s totally irrational, but I can’t help it. That’s the negative side of it coming out.
One of my favorite personality traits (although I find it really weird to call it one of my favorites) is my tendency to be somewhat delusional. And when you pair that up with self-consciousness, it makes for one hell of a mental tornado. One night, I was sitting in a coffeeshop writing about how big of a loser I am (a common occurrence), and I somehow delved into this weird inner psyche in which I felt that every other person in the coffeeshop was staring at me–making my self-consciousness increase–and harshly judging me, which was caused by my delusions. When I go back and read what I wrote when I was in that mindset, it’s actually strangely interesting: my usual polished handwriting looked much more rudimentary, as if a seven-year-old had gotten hold of my pad of paper and scrawled all over the pages with a pen. Misspelled words abound (which, truth be told, are very uncommon for me). My thoughts spiraled into a black abyss of negativity. It didn’t look like MY writing. Yet, it was. And as I was writing/carving those words, I felt connected with whatever inner psyche was at work. Possibly more so than ever before.
Being delusional, in my opinion, is just another way of saying I have a kickass imagination. Either that, or it’s just proof of my deep-ridden self-centeredness. I like to play out events in my head–I live vicariously through myself within my imagination. I will take something that happened in real-life, and then re-interpret it into a completely different event based on making myself act differently in my head.
For instance, if I was performing at a stand-up comedy show, and during my act an audience member were to shout some sort of insult towards me, the real-life me would simply brush it off and try to ignore it. But the version of me that lives up in my head would be going fuckin’ nuts: pacing around, breaking beer bottles, like this:
(crack of beer bottle) “C’MON, MOTHERFUCKER!”
“You don’t have the BALLS!”
“Oh, I’ll do it, cuz I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!”
(ensuing brawl erupts)
I’d never do that in real-life, but it sure is fun playing that out in my little fantasy world. It’s great, because I’m like a badass in my fantasy world.
In real-life, I’m just a guy who talks to himself all the time.
Until next time,