For whatever reason I believed I was different. Not the "good" different, but the "bad" different.
Yeah, yeah, I could blame a lack of parenting, the Catholic Church, fluoride in my drinking water, the Democrats (oh, sorry, that's on Rush Limbaugh's list) and countless other things, but in the end, I own this. That comes with adulthood, by the way: we own how we feel, (for the most part) we own our circumstances in life and we own what we do with ourselves.
The ironic part of this is that, in hindsight, the whole line of thought about being different is incredibly not supported by any facts or logic. Yeah, sure, I've had my share of ups and downs, but Hell, we all have.
We all have.
That's another revelation. Introverts, such as myself, have this tendency to look inwards. That produces all manner of cool stuff, but it comes at a cost: we lose perspective. We measure the world based on a single yardstick, namely the one we have in our own heads. If we grow up to believe that our yardstick is shorter than average, then the standard by which we measure ourselves will inevitably come up short time and time again. Needlessly so, I will add.
As I've said here before during one of these quasi-rambling "private but yet public" thought exercises, I've learned that we are all equally dysfunctional. We all are. What's truly important isn't the stuff on the outside that we do, say or have, it's the stuff on the inside. It's all very circular actually: how we feel directs how we think; how we think directs what we do. If that previously mentioned internal yardstick is perpetually short, then we tend to be dissatisfied with what we do, which then starts the whole cycle all over again, burdened even more so by past perceptions of failure.
Pretty heady stuff. The good news, it seems, is that this internally focused dialogue can also be changed. I'm not claiming that the solution is for introverts, such as myself, to "stop thinking", but rather to spend more time thinking: thinking about the internal dialogue itself.
As for me, I've come to realize over time that I am different, but not "bad" different: just different, We are all different, by the way, and I've made my peace with it. Am I perfectly at peace? Hell no, but that's okay, because no one else is perfectly at peace either. Yes, I still find myself having that internal dialogue of "you f-ed that one one up Steve", but at least now it's not the only dialogue going on in my head.