Second Person – A Self-Portrait in Writing

You talk to yourself. You say it's because no one listens. How you convince yourself. You never gave them the benefit of the doubt. How afraid of imposing, even now that you have so many friends. How self-deprecating, as a defense from vanity. You still think you're in danger of being over-confident, conceited. How afraid to cut yourself some slack. You don't know if to think highly of yourself. You're unsure as to whether or not it's allowed. You cling to your past ideas and reject them thoroughly at the same time, but really, you don't make a choice because you fear it will be the wrong one. How wishing someone would just give you the answer. How incapable of deciding between the two yourself.

How extreme. You shift so easily between moods, and don't even try to restrain yourself. You're somewhat addicted to feeling things so strongly, perhaps. How associating it with empathy. You can't quite tell the difference between your own pain and that of others. You take it a step too far. How concerned for yourself and others. How failing to locate the difference. You take pride in it, though you know you're not always attentive to the hardships of others. You do get caught up in your own. How easily an emotional reaction is triggered, sympathy ungiven because you sink in your own feelings. How useless. You know it does no one good if you're too busy feeling their pain (as you think) to help them get rid of it.

How cold. You enjoy every moment of friendship, the feeling of togetherness, but it slips by so quickly. You find it eludes you. How alone you feel so shortly after a high of camaraderie and private jokes. You laugh your head off one moment and the next you're shivering. You're not quite sure what's missing, and yet you go off pursuing it to banish the chills of loneliness. How sad. How useless. You often find yourself pathetic, and then wallow in your own misery. You cry, and then wake up in the morning and it's all gone.

You say you know yourself. You want to prove it. You delve into yourself in an endless quest to figure things out. You find things and then grapple with acceptance. You're still not sure if you ought to be accepting or trying to change. You feel as though you shouldn't be sitting idly by and watching your faults grow cancerous, but you think, also, that you must accept yourself. You are torn. You recall inacceptance and how it led to self-loathing. How frightened. You don't know what to do, here as elsewhere. You are lost, hanging in a limbo of indecision. You're frustrated by your frailty, your openness to conflict with yourself. You walk every day with that frustration. You allow it to trigger other frustrations, make them so easily within your reach.

You talk to yourself. You think you can solve your own problems. You laugh and cry, ponder quietly, screech and bite, yell and write, and ultimately come out with a degree of knowledge. You choose to learn. How hard of you to wrestle with your own mind, try to extract some fragment of self-knowledge. How frustrating to work so hard only to be utterly lost as to what to do with this knowledge. You feel more secure outside, when your mind deals with other things. You love your mind. You apply it constantly, to everything, and let it drift here and there for your amusement, to occupy your time. You think about everything and it all blends inside your mind, like a great churning sea of colors. You spend your time putting together puzzles whose pieces you made yourself. How strange. How you embrace your strangeness. How sometimes you try to be different just for the sake of it, though you know you shouldn't. You indulge and forgive.

You don't know yourself much more than anyone else. You try, I'll give you that, but you know it's more for the agonizing pleasure of trying than because it accomplishes anything. You're unsure of yourself, and maybe now you're learning to deal with that.