Pretending

I have this pretty big problem. I avoid confrontation of all kinds. That doesn’t sound like a problem. Maybe confrontation isn’t the right word. I avoid anything that could resemble a confrontation, competition, or even provoke a long conversation that would require me to explain or justify myself. I do it in a lot of different ways.

I have a tendency to lie about things that I like and don’t like. It’s almost always in an effort to “make things easier.” I tell people all the time that I hate to cook and that I’m terrible at it. I don’t hate cooking and I’m probably not completely terrible at it. I live in an area known for amazing food. Everyone here is a chef or at least fancies them self one. I think that if I talk about something I’ve cooked it becomes a competition. I don’t want to compare myself or my abilities to other people. It stresses me out.

I realize this is irrational. I used to like photography a lot, but I actively avoid talking about it. It always becomes a back and forth of; “Are you a Canon or a Nikon? Do you shoot weddings? Where are you hosting your portfolio? Do you prefer fixed length lenses?” I guess I just don’t like talking about things I like with other people that like things I like. This is probably the anxiety talking. I worry that they are judging me based on my answers. “Oh, You’re a CANON?” And really, there is some rational truth to that. I am being judged to an extent. I know I need to not worry so much about what other people are thinking. I am completely aware of that.

There is a line in a book called; Seperation Anxiety by Karen Brichoux* that I’ve always liked.

“I’ve always avoided fights. I make jokes instead. I tell people what they want to hear in order to avoid a confrontation. I pretend to want things I don’t want, and I pretend not to want things I do want. No one gets hurt. Except me. The lines are so crossed and blurred at this point that I don’t know what I want. I just know I want it to be easy.”

That’s exactly it. I feel like I have no idea what I like anymore. Sure, I know what I used to like, what I used to be passionate about. But I don’t feel that way anymore. Loss of interest is a symptom of depression. Duh. It makes me even sadder that I cannot even make a list of things I want. I can’t set goals for myself if I don’t know what I want.

*I also second guess myself a lot. I may be wrong about that quote. It may be from Karen Brichoux’s other book: Coffee and Kung Fu. Either way, they are both good reads.

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