No such thing as perfect

Hi everyone. I hope everyone is alright and safe throughout these times as COVID-19 continues to cast its long shadow over everything. With everything going on, my emotions have been on level 1000000000 and I’ve been more depressed than ever. Like many of you, I’m sure, I had goals and things I wanted to accomplish this year but that has been put on the back burner for the time being. The knowledge of that fact has made me depressed and left without a sense of purpose. those feelings have caused some painful truths to rear their ugly heads. These were truths that I have tried to deny the existence of, but it has come time to face them. I have lost a lot of friendships over the years and have seen the ugly side of people who I held in high regard and admired.

The painful truth is that they were justified in their words and actions towards me. I have done things that I am not proud of. Now, I am not a bad person and the wrong things I’ve done would be barely a footnote (if that) in the history book of evil deeds done by mankind. My biggest sin is that I am so freaking clingy and needy a lot of the times.. to a fault…. a very, very big fault. One of my favorite 80’s movies is this movie called Plains, trains, and automobiles. It has Steve Martin and John Candy (May he rest in peace). the plot of the movie is that Steve Martin is trying to get home to his family. along the way, he ends up getting stuck with this extremely friendly and sweet but annoying guy named Del Griffith. Eventually Steve Martin’s character and Del become friends, but at the beginning, Martin’s character cannot stand him and feels so smothered to the point that he lashes out. It’s in this scene that Del says a very powerful monologue that I feel fits perfectly to me: “You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you… but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I’m not changing. I like… I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.” That line and the ending of the film makes me cry every time (no spoilers). I can relate because like Del, my biggest desire for others is to see them happy and to be the best friend to them I know how to be. Unlike what Del said, though, I am seeking to change. You’re probably thinking, “Spencer that is a great way to be, Why would anyone hate you for that?”. Well, in my efforts to make sure of that, my social anxiety kicks in and I worry that I am not good enough and that I have made someone upset and so my gut instinct is to try and fix the supposed situation right then and there.

Here comes the ironic tragedy of this all. in my best efforts to mend something that I fear is broken or damaged, I have ended up smothering the poor person to death with calls and texts and have had it all blown in my face. I have lost several friendships because of this and these past couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling hollow and remorseful of all the suffering and aggravation I’ve caused to these people. I would do anything to go back and fix what I have done, but I can’t. And it’s made me realize that sometimes people aren’t who you think they are and that when angry, the words and actions they say and take towardsyou can be so fantastically cruel and damaging that you feel lower and far more useless to society than a maggot in the dirt. But I can’t feel this way anymore.

I woke up this morning realizing that I’m tired. The source of me being clingy and needy is not because I’m lonely or in desperate need for a friend. No, I am blessed to say I have an abundance of friends and loved ones. My clingy actions stem from me trying my best to be the best friend and person I can and I’m tired of it all. I’m tired of worrying about messing up and feeling like I deserve the death penalty if I do. I’m tired of worrying constantly about if I’m going to lose a friend or if someone is going to tell someone about me and the person that has been told that doesn’t like me anymore. I’m tired of being afraid that if someone doesn’t reply to me suddenly or for a couple of days, it’s because they hate me. I’m tired of believing that others see me as garbage to be tolerated when that is not the case. And I am so, so tired of trying to make things work with people who don’t reciprocate.

I don’t say that last part to be mean. I am simply saying that I’m not going to waste my time on someone who isn’t interested in making a connection. It’s not fair to me. It’s not fair to them. Most importantly, it’s not fair to the countless people who actually do give several damns about me and want me in their life. Life is too short to try to love and have someone in your life who can’t make the same obligation to you and if you try to pursue them, you will only be left with pain as well as resentment and hatred from the person who you tried to make a connection with. That is a harsh lesson I have had to learn. I guess it took ten years and a pandemic to make me realize I’m sick of this nightmare and that only I have the power to end it.

I am just tired of feeling like I need to be perfect all the time to everyone, when nobody really ever expected that of me in the first place. And thinking that I’m worthless or that nobody could love me was actually an act of arrogance towards God. Though I didn’t see it this way, I was assuming that my judgement about myself held more weight than the judgement of God, himself. And my subconscious desire to try to be the best for everyone was an act of hubris. God never called us to be perfect. He loves us for our imperfections. That is a truth I am not going to deny anymore.

I now want to write two open letters. one is a letter of closure as well as a mea culpa to the people who I have caused to suffer, and the other is to my friends and loved ones who are still in my life.

To everyone I have lost:

I hope this letter finds each of you well. I hope that this pandemic has not affected you or your loved ones in any way. I do not know if any of you will ever come across this, but there are things that I need to say. I know that you all once loved me and that I betrayed that love. there will be a part of me that will always feel remorse over that. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss any of you and don’t long for a way to correct the wrong that I did by you all. I am sorry for the disrespect of your wishes and for my smothering nature. I am sorry for letting my fears cloud my judgement and prevent me from trusting you when you said we were fine. I am sorry that I brought the dark side out in all of you. I never intended for any of this to happen. I hope one day each of you will be able to forgive me and not hold hate in your hearts towards me. I will always think fondly of each of you and I wish you all the best. I cherish the memories we had together and I wish it didn’t end. I am sorry for everything. I wish you all the best,

Goodbye.

Now to the ones in my life:

I have now revealed to you the pain and struggle I have been facing with this ten year war with myself. I do hope that none of you thinks less of me or thinks of me as damaged. I promise to continue to be as good a friend as I know how to be, not the perfect friend. No one is perfect. I was a fool to try to be and it has cost me dearly. I don’t want to try to be perfect anymore. I want to be free in the knowledge that I will mess up from time to time and that it’s ok. All I ask though is if I do mess up or upset any of you in any way, please (in the most diplomatic and respectful way possible) let me know so I can either work on that or know not to repeat that mistake. I am trying the best that I know how to do and I believe that is all anyone has asked of me from the beginning. I’m sorry I never realized that. I hope you all can forgive me.

Love you all.

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