Broken-down Poetry: Hi, I'm a narcissist


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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hi, I'm a narcissist

I am a narcissist.

After my Media and Society paper about narcissism on Facebook, I realized that I have all the tell-tale signs of a narcissist. I talk about myself. I am frustrated when people don't honor me the way I think they should. And in the midst of my self-loving is self-loathing - I want to be more than I already am.

It's a big mess.
It's also something I've been praying against since the spring.

My goal for this internship was to rid myself of narcissism. I wanted, and still want, a character arc. I want my character - me, Lauren Deidra Sawyer - to change during this internship, and for the better.

I wanted to magically become more others-focused and compassionate.
I wanted to overcome my insecurities and view myself soberly.

It's about four weeks into my internship, and I think it's finally happening, just not in the way I had imagined. I thought that I'd start stripping myself of narcissism when I met a bunch of sick kids or toughed the 115 degree heat. But honestly, I'm being challenged the same way I am in the States.

Note that I'm glad I'm going through this. I don't want my dear PLC family to think that they're doing anything wrong. Everything that's going on is for the best - I believe it. I won't be able to shake this narcissism without fire.

- I am most comfortable in a leadership position ... so I find myself in a country where women aren't meant to lead. I'm forced to be okay with that.
- I'm not the best. Esther's the journalist. Lydia's the artsy one. Claire's the funny one. Sophie's Wonder Woman. I'm just me. A me that isn't "winning" at the moment.
- The task I chose for the summer does not bring me instant gratification. I am one of the few interns that took a long-term project. I am making headway on my assignment - PLC's year-end review, kind of like a magazine - but it's not as though what I'm writing is posted on the blog. It's hard. That's the one thing I love about working at a newspaper - I can see results by the end of the week.
- To somehow make this vague and mysterious: it's hard talking (I mean "talking") to a boy when you're a narcissist. It's easy for me to talk about myself all the time, but that's not how you attract the opposite sex.

Oh God, break me down.

I read this prayer in Elise and Sarah's copy of "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer:

Oh God, I have tasted Thy goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further Grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.

Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my Love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me Grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.



Russ said...

The dictionary definition of "narcissist" someone "in love with themselves". A narcissist cannot see the need for self improvement and growth. Your entire blog is citing your feeling of a need for improvement. Loving oneself is not detrimental to you anyway, if drawn from the right motivations. Self improvement, expanding, growing IS life. Improving yourself is adding to the improvement of the human race!

Mom said...

What's so wonderful about you, Lauren, is that you may not be the best writer, the most creative, or the funniest, but you are all of those things together and you're a very caring person as well. That's why people love you and want to be your friend.