Wednesday, 26 October 2011

I am a hypocrite

First off, hypocrite is a pretty awesome word. I always imagine some sort of hippopotamus critic, looking at the world disapprovingly. With glasses and a robe on, and a glass of claret at his side.

A little like this.
Back to my point. I am a hypocrite. For the past month I have been telling Corey how intelligent and brilliant he is. How he will make something of himself, even though it might take some time. He's been feeling a bit low some days, particularly since he's done is dissertation, about the fact he is currently working at Sainsbury's two days a week, will probably never leave and is likely to have no money very soon. He's also not overly confident about his dissertation results.

How does this make me a hypocrite? Well, I truly believe I have a brilliant, intelligent boyfriend who has a lot to offer the world. I also believe he will go far and achieve wonderful things in life.

I just don't believe that of myself, particularly at the moment. I handed my dissertation in on the 2nd of September, and I felt utter relief. At the same time I dreaded my results, believing, wholeheartedly, that the best I can hope for is a low merit. I truly looked at the work I handed in and wanted to sob because to me it was imperfect, it was terrible, it could have been so much better. I got my results two weeks ago and I'd gotten a distinction. I was please, so unbelievably pleased. For about five minutes. Then a voice in my head whispered that it really wasn't distinction material. Perhaps they got the marks wrong.

I'm currently interning, as most of you will know. I was pleased as punch to get the job. Not only did I manage to get a job so many others applied for, but I will be learning new skills, getting some amazing opportunities, things I wouldn't be doing in many other jobs. But a part of me still wonders if perhaps they picked the wrong person. Occasionally I look at my colleagues, at the people who interviewed me and wonder if they think they made a mistake. They are so lovely and welcoming. Nothing they have ever said or done would make me think they were having such thoughts. But my brain, the part of me that tells me I'm worthless once in a while, that bit says that they wish they picked someone else.

I am intelligent. I am articulate (although often I am not and I make very little sense, but the people around me seen to find it amusing). I am funny, witty, sarcastic. I am a good friend, listener and advice giver. I am sensible, yet also (as described by someone yesterday) charmingly eccentric. I am definitely not boring to be around, once you get to know me and I let my crazy side emerge. I am hardworking, organised, cheerful and fun to work with. I wouldn't call myself beautiful, but I'm not unattractive. Yes, I have my bad points too. But all in all I think I'm an ok person.

So why do I feel so worthless at the moment? I feel like such a terrible girlfriend right now. I'm tired all the time at the moment, a lot to do with the stresses of starting a new job amidst some pretty crappy accommodation problems. And I know that Corey understands, but I don't understand how he can want to be around me at the moment. I'm grumpy, moody, snappy and more argumentative than usual.

Why do I feel like I have nothing to offer the world? Beyond wondering if my colleagues regret picking me over everyone else they interviewed, I just generally feel like an interloper. I read blogs, as you all know by now, and I often comment on them. Then we had no internet for two weeks, and I was unable to find the time to read the blogs I usually read. I came very close to deleting them from my blog list. For one thing, I'm beginning to feel like an idiot. The blogs I often comment on are wedding related and here I am, unengaged. What right do I have to read these sites, let alone comment on them? And the women on them, they are brilliant, intelligent, oh so cool and sophisticated. What right do I have to even read their words? I feel like a heffalump. A clumsy, oafish creature that stumbles into other people's conversations. I feel so young, so immature, so inexperienced. No, these women have never done anything but welcome me into their conversations. But I nearly stopped reading, subscribing, contributing because I feel like I really have no place in their world. The thing that stopped me was reading a post written on Anyotherwedding yesterday morning, a post vaguely inspired by a stupid email I sent a while back. An email I regretted soon after sending and have wished to draw back ever since. But there my name was, on one of my favourite blogs. But instead of feeling joy, I broke out into a cold sweat. My name seemed wrong there, at the top of the page. What right does my name have to be there?

Why do I feel like this sometimes? I keep wondering, and I think, beyond my utter exhaustion/illness (a minor cold, but it still didn't help my tiredness), it goes back to a conversation I never should have had with someone on facebook.

I was in Cambridge, at my parents, a couple of weekends ago, and was woken up at some stupid hour in the morning. To help me get back to sleep, I went on facebook on my new, swanky phone. I commented on something a friend had said, about rugby, which yes, I, a girl, enjoy watching. I may have misconstrued the tone of one of his other friends posts, but I said nothing offensive or rude, I wasn't even confrontational. The next morning, a gentleman had commented, and in his comment he questioned my intelligence in a particularly sexist and misogynistic manner. I responded, although not to his tone, as I felt that taking on some stranger on a friends facebook wall was not appropriate behaviour. His response was, yet again, to belittle and patronise me, undeservedly. I know it was because I was a woman intruding onto a "male" conversation and I expected the backlash I got. This isn't a post on how utterly wrong his reaction was, and how crap it is that the world often treats women in this way. But this is about how he made me feel. He made me feel the same way a patient made me feel in the hospital I worked at when, after telling him my plans for after my gap year, he responded "Oh, really? I didn't think you looked clever enough to do a masters".

The stupid part of my brain, the one that's still battered and bruised from being bullied and rejected by my peers, that part of my brain tells me that they react to me like this because, well, I have nothing to offer the world. There must be a reason they think I'm an idiot. That stupid part of my brain that tells me I'm not intelligent, I'm not funny, and people only talk to me because they feel sorry for me, that part of my brain has been getting a little too loud for my liking recently. It's only a small part, and it gets smaller every year. But sometimes it manages to seep into my conscious. And I would quite like it to go away now, please.

Because, while I am not practically perfect in every way, I do have something to offer the world. I am relatively intelligent, and a nice person to be around. It's not my problem that other people believe otherwise. It's their problem.

If only I could get that stupid voice to shut up now...

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