You know that story where there’s the hero who’s a decent guy, just trying to be decent. And there’s an antagonist who freaking HATES this guy. Because the hero did him wrong at some point. And it was totally an accident. Or it was when they were just kids, or something else we find excusable because this guy’s the hero and a decent guy.
But the antagonist, man, he can’t get over it. This dude is psycho. I mean, it’s obvious he should just get the fuck over it and not pick fights with this really decent, guy who helps old ladies and is finally about to win over that girl he’s been too shy to approach. Hey, we like this guy, he’s all right, don’t screw up his shit with your bullshit vendetta.
At the same time, we sometimes feel sorry for the antagonist, because this yahoo has legit screwed up his life because he can’t forgive and move on. He’s gone Dark Side. This hatred is who he is, hating the hero is his identity, and punishing the hero is his mission in life. He coulda been somebody. He coulda been a contender. But he’s let this obsessive hatred screw up his possibilities, burned bridges with it, and ignored opportunities to be something more. Instead, he’s playing the part of the freaking psycho and it’s gonna end badly. (Unless this is horror, in which case he maybe wins…)
So I’m reading about procrastination, and over and over again I have to be confronted with this concept that many of us, band of brooders, have issues regarding self worth. We see our sense of self tied up in things outside ourselves, needing approval from others, needing accomplishments to make us feel worthy. And they say it not like that for everyone, but they don’t say where other people get it, this other way of being.
I have considered this issue before. But it’s like the motivation and organization stuff. I legit don’t get it. It’s not like I have it buried somewhere inside and just need to find it. To me that’s like saying the collective unconscious has buried the secrets of calculus within my mind, and I have only to pay attention in math class to awaken the knowledge. Oh hell no. I have no idea what you are talking about.
But okay, I accept that this is a serious problem that other people do not have. And if other people do not have it, it logically follows that I shouldn’t have to have it either. So back to Google to figure out how to get self worth.
Which leads me to effing Oprah who feeds me this blurb of an article in which the author basically has an epiphany that she should just forgive herself. So she starts doing that. And she lives happily ever after.
Which led me directly to this whole idea that I am not only my own antagonist, but I’m the absolute psycho antagonist who can’t forgive. Objectively, on the outside looking into the story, it is sometimes clear that the shero didn’t mean to be fuck-up. That she tried, that she has some decent qualities. And I’m like, damn, dude, give the kid a break. But then I go back into the antagonist character and have nothing but contempt. Meanwhile, settling into the shero character, I know I have my faults, I feel bad about the things I did wrong, guilty. But I’m bewildered by the antagonist. Why does she hate me so much? Why can’t she cut me some slack?
Is it supposed to be that easy? Are you supposed to be able to just flip the self worth switch and let the self esteem flow in and make you a happy, productive member of society?
That’d be a fine kettle of fish, wouldn’t it? Every single Talent I’ve got is dealing with some issue of not understanding how awesome they are. If we all got right in the head, what would we have to talk about?