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Angry today.

Lesson of the day is self-worth, or the lack thereof.

To me, self-worth is something that you have to determine for yourself, it has to come from inside you by definition. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. The concept of worth requires a sense of value, and value is inherently a relative judgement. SO in at least some aspects, you have to judge your self-worth based on a social framework in which you operate.

Or you don't. You could judge yourself entirely by your own criteria, but that has a different name. It's called Ego.

A lot of people take their self-worth from relationships. I've done that myself. It can get to be an ugly thing. I chose to end a relationship when it got ugly, mostly out of a sense of self-preservation.

Some people get their sense of self-worth from their jobs. I worked as a contractor for ten years, and it pretty much killed any illusion of worth coming from a job.

Some people do things like paint, sculpt, make music or movies. This is perhaps the most fragile of all, because any art that is intended for an audience is going to be judged, and the context in which it will be judged is completely out of the control of the artist. Basing your sense of worth on the percieved value of your art is really asking to have your ego crushed like a watermelon at a monster truck rally.

I didn't realize how much of my sense of self-worth I had subjugated into studio projects until I shut down. Suddenly the goals that I had set were no longer achievable, and I lost my sense of measure.

I look at the house. It's the Beast of irresponsibility, a reflection of my inability. I've had insults hurled, people asking when I'm going to get out so someone better can move in.

Sometimes I just want a Do-Over button.

Why am I here? Why have I chosen to stay?

I suppose because going somewhere else would be a bit too much like trying to run away, and I can't run away from myself, much as I want to.

It's a low point in the self-worth department. I can't figure out any sense of value, can't find anything that will give me a handle onto something good. I suspect that I'm looking for the wrong thing, but I fear that there is nothing, or that what there is is too small to count for much.

It's not a good time to be introspective.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
I hope when you sell that you make a shitload of cash. I hope a commercial developer buys you out and gives your neighbors a big friggen white castle. No wait I hope its a taco bell.
Jul. 31st, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
Shitload of cash is unlikely for several years, though the neighborhood is having some cash infusion both from the city and businesses coming in.

Biding my time looks to be a good idea if I can hire pros to fix up the outside.
Jul. 31st, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
The house is not you. The house is a morass of unpleasant, time-consuming, expensive tasks (oh, and also shelter for you and the animals). Please get a personal or home improvement loan, hire the work out as quickly as possible, and get back to doing what you love, even if it's only an hour a day.
Jul. 31st, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
I would love for the Home Improvement Loan Fairy to visit and bestow upon me her blessing, but so far it's been problem after problem. Still waiting to hear on a couple of different options, so all is not yet lost.
Jul. 31st, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
Credit to American Heritage Dictionary:

Self-worth - self-esteem; self-respect
Self-esteem - pride in oneself; self-respect
Self-respect - due to respect for oneself, one's character and one's conduct

There's one theme running through those definitions -- self. Although many people determine their self-worth based on external sources, it's ultimately defeating. No matter how fantastic or brilliant you are - if you derive your self-worth solely from outside of yourself, you are at the mercy of someone else's cranky day... and perhaps THAT person gets their sense of self-worth by deflating others. You only have control over you.

You CAN derive self-worth from your relationship or your work or your art - just don't base it on someone else's opinion. Base it on your own goals and accomplishments. If you *know* that you are a good person and care about others, if you *know* that you are capable at the work you choose to do, if you enjoy the art for the sake of the act of creating and you can step back and be pleased with what you have created, accept that feeling of self-worth! Embrace it!
Jul. 31st, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
I think that is the issue. Coming from the self is one thing, but there is the constant... need is the wrong word... to gain ablution from outside. Or perhaps the outside pushes in like a nosy neighbor who blames you for his house decreasing in sale value.

Detachment of the self from outside influences is something which I have yet to master; I think my sense of self is a little malformed in that way. I think to gain that, I would need to cut myself off from society completely, which is unlikely. In the meantime, I've pretty much cut myself off from romantic ties and am in the process of cutting myself off in the artistic sense (though I don't think that will be nearly as easy).

I do however tend to define myself by projects. I know that I am a person who cares about my friends, but I don't care about myself in the same way: I look at what I'm doing and what projects I have planned rather than... um, What would you call all that girly inside crap?
Jul. 31st, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

big hugs.

if it's any consolation, I think you're pretty great. if you need something, please call me. you've been there for me before, and I'd like to return the favor, if possible (or wanted).
Jul. 31st, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
Certainly wanted.

This week is probably not possible because of fringe stuff. Next week?
Jul. 31st, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
next week. you are on. call me sometime and we'll set up a day / time. I should have blood freak by then....

were-turkeys are obviously the answer to all your problems.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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