Sometimes it takes a swift kick in the pants before you realise you've got to learn yourself and fast if you're to keep your head above water.
I have decided I don't know myself very well. Or at all, for that matter. I'm one of those people whose answers to anything have always been something to the effect of "I don't know, could go either way." Which is why, too often, I end up relying on other people to tell me what to do or give their opinion way more consideration than I should.
Then it occurred to me that a big reason for this lack of self awareness is that I'm very hillbilly shit-kickerish with my introspection. For example I'll ask myself broad generic questions like "What do you want?" and I'll get broad generic rejoinders like "To be happy." And then I start thinking about potato chips and we all know how that story goes.
I'm very generic the few times I make a courtesy calls to God even - "Dear Jesus, give me everything I want. And also give everyone else everything they want. Thankyou." If I'm specific, I strongly suspect it's not the right kind of specific - "Dear Jesus, please don't let her (the parlour chick) fuck my eyebrows up. Thankyou."
I think the other reason I have failed to know myself enough so far is that I tend to judge my answers very harshly. The classic 'Damn, everyone else is asking for the cure for cancer and I'm asking for weight loss' syndrome. I feel guilty and lame and superficial and then I'll kid myself into thinking I want all those deep things when really I just want to very badly look smoking in my new pencil dress. Is that so wrong? I am coming to think not. I have just come out the other side of a very bad phase and even though I'm seeing lights in the distance, the repair takes time. I read these words recently and they made perfect sense to me:
"When you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt - this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life, it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight."
So I have decided to ask myself a series of very pointed questions to which the only rules of answering are - Specificity and truthfulness. Wish me luck. And if I feel brave enough, I'll put 'em up here. Now I go hold down my day job.