Ego: A nasty little trinket with occasional value
Upon exiting the birth canal, each of us was handed to a nurse. It was there that the mucus was cleared from our airways, we were hung from our feet, slapped on the ass, and swaddled in an ego blanket.
This blanket, ordinary by all outward appearance, was saturated with the magic of assholes. Centuries of egotistical mysticism woven through the threads that carried us to our new homes – with our new parents.
None of us are exempt from carrying this trait. It is the inconvenient younger sibling you were required to take with you always. It is drunk Uncle Jeff who perpetually made an ass of himself at Thanksgiving. You can’t be rid of ego any more than you could have excused these nuisances from your life.
*Rule does not apply to enlightened peoples. I understand they’re adept at kicking ego in the teeth*
I am consistently tripping over my own ego; dangling like an unfamiliar appendage between my legs. Fine – like a dick. I trip over it like a dick swinging between my legs. I wonder if I’ll ever catch on. Shouldn’t my first thoughts be: Geez, this sucks, I’ve just tripped over this newly discovered dick. What do I do about this?
There has never been a life lesson that I was mentally flexible enough to bend with the first time I came against it. I have always behaved like a toddler, jamming star-shaped blocks into square spaces, and screaming bloody murder when I can’t get them to pass through. I must first be defeated and near critical before becoming reasonable.
I detest looking like a fool. Ego to the rescue!
Sure, screaming like a child at the unfairness of a situation seems absurd, even counterproductive, but it has its merits. It may not be helping my image any, but it certainly helps to release all of that underlying fear that I mask as righteousness. All of the dread that walks with me is unleashed in the form of superiority. What a remarkable little trinket this ego thing is.
I like to think I carry it with me (ego), in my back pocket, like party confetti or unicorn glitter. In distress, I dig back there, grab a handful, and toss it into the air. Sauntering through the cloud like an overconfident model, I stroll passed default judgments, overdue bills, child custody orders, and menstrual cramps. I am winning at life but still hugging the container of peanut butter chocolate ice cream while crying about my fat ankles. I run every day and still can’t shake the last 5 lbs. That chick probably eats whatever she wants and only bleeds for 3 days. It’s so goddamn unfair!!
I vow to run faster than her and look better doing it too.
*she’s 27 and fucking flawless*
I can’t be the only person whose need to be right has overshadowed logic or reason. I know I’m not all alone on this island. I see Tommy and Elizabeth over there, hiding in the bushes. Come on out, motherfuckers. No sense in denying it. You, too, are compelled by the need to hear yourselves speak, be heard, & be right.
I have an innate need to correct what I feel are misinterpretations of events. 9.75 times of out 10, no one gives a shit. I correct people’s feelings on issues. That’s what it boils down to. I didn’t realize I was doing that until I corrected someone on what they had seen in a political interview.
Nothing became of the matter because I’m self-aware AF and apologized for my unwelcome commentary. I removed the comment with the knowledge nothing I was going to say would sway this person. Furthermore, I was speaking at (not to) others of a similar mindset. I was, in effect, talking into the wind.
This would not be an instance where my ego would protect me from anything potentially harmful. This would merely be an exercise in futility. If I want to talk to a brick wall, I have an ex-husband I can try communicating with. The outcome promised here would only be my battling with people whose views are diametrically opposed to my own. I’d only get pissed off. It had all the potential to drive a wedge between people and create barriers to seeing the value in the others.
We don’t agree. That doesn’t make one person more or less valuable. My ego would take backseat on this one.
Ego manifests differently in each of us. I guess it depends on which blanket the nurse wrapped you in. Some of you were wrapped in an Egyptian cotton blend; refined and smooth to the touch. Me? I’m a polyester/wool blend. My ego comes on strong, doesn’t quit easily, and may leave a rash.
What I’ve come to understand is that my ego is a shield for all of the uncomfortable feelings I carry around: fear, insecurity, shame, etc. I need a bulky fabric to stand up to all the “stuff” hiding behind the curtain. My hope is that in understanding this, I can continue to adjust my behavior accordingly.
I’m a work in progress. Progress, not perfection.