Remedy my teenage angst
October 23, 2011 2:10 PM Subscribe
I realized I'm a turd recently. How do I stop being such a self-involved, small-minded teenage asshole? Techniques, media, a stern talking to--I'd appreciate anything that might give me some perspective.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (32 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 17, female, and a senior in high school. I know I can't do much about the teenage part, but I've been feeling shameful of my thinking and habits and want to become a better person.
I spend a lot of time dwelling on myself--why can't I be beautiful like my sister, what if I don't get into my top-choice college, why doesn't anyone get my ~witty~ ~quirky~ sense of humor, I want that iPhone so badly--and am beginning to hate myself for it. One side of my brain is smoking a cigar somewhere and having a good laugh at the frivolity, and the other side is a nervous wreck of "I'm not good enough! I'm going to be a failure!" This is making me miserable. I don't know how I can expect people to like me if I don't even like me. I want to become someone who I can be proud of.
I'm coming out of severe depression with the help of my new friend Zoloft. I'm feeling more able to make changes rather than wallow or think being an asshole is alright, but it comes with the side effect of a massive drop in self-esteem. I will never look like a supermodel or weigh 120 pounds. I will never get into UChicago or Barnard or Brown. I will never work for NPR. I will never have as many friends as my sister. These things are like a fungus inside my head, and while some of this may be true (says the INFJ while hearing her ENFP sister talk on the phone), said logical brain space knows this is defeatist and self-absorbed and doing nothing but making me cry a little sometimes. I've tried writing "I am attractive. I am successful. I do good things." in my Lisa Frank notebook and listening to Jason Mraz, but that's just not doing it for me.
So, rationally, I know what I have to do. I have to put care into my appearance, make good grades, show compassion, and give back. I need to feel accomplishment, widen my horizons, volunteer more (I think about this a lot; it seems like all I do is take and disregard contributing), etc. Knowing that it will all be okay if my short-sighted teenage dreams are never fulfilled is also pretty big; so what if I don't go to the school I want? There's more than one way to skin a cat, right? (I feel so silly and douchy even typing these fears, but they still keep me up at night.)
Long rambling done, I know internally, I've got the blueprint figured. I now need external resources to pound it home; novels (fiction or nonfiction), movies, TV shows, podcasts, essays, peptalks/lectures, they're all welcome as long as they deal with the realization that you kind of suck and now you want to get better.
Throwaway is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading.