Jan 23, 2010

Step One: Admission

I realized something today as I was trying to do my taxes (which resulted in me getting angry at the federal government for taking all my hard earned money and not giving it back); I realized that I have a pride problem.

Hello. I'm Whitney and I am prideful.

The thing with my pride is that it is really a matter of principle. Part of why I was so upset that the federal government isn't given me a tax refund this year (because, heaven forbid, I make more money than I previously have!) is because I was going to use that money to pay of my loan. Not only would that result in extra money each month (which I was going to use for something fun, like a cut and color, and a new dress), but I wanted to graduate from college debt free. And here is where my pride comes in. For me, graduating from college debt free did not necessarily mean that I would graduate without having a debt that I would have to find a job and spend however long paying off; instead, it was a matter of pride. I wanted to be able to say that I had graduated debt free. I wanted to show the world (or my small section of it) that I, Whitney, had worked hard and sacrificed and budgeted so that I could be debt free on the day I get my diploma.

Well, I graduate in December (if all goes well, which sometimes it doesn't seem like it will) and, as small as my debt will be, it will still be there.

This isn't the only thing I have a pride problem in, though.

I have been working on a novel. I don't know how good it is; sometimes writing it is boring, so I can't even think of what it would be to read it. It will probably never get published. No one will read it except for my mom (and even that's not a certainty) and yet I am determined to finish it. Not because I think it could be the great American novel, or because I think it will even be a good book. It's pride. I want to finish it because I want to say that I have finished a novel. I have a feeling that true writers write because it is gratifying and feels wonderful to have someone read your writing and somehow be changed because of it. I want the bragging rights. And those aren't even that fabulous! It's not like I published a book, I just finished it!

I don't know how healthy this pride problem is. On one hand, it does urge me to have a goal in mind. I work hard for something. But on the other hand, what am I really getting out of it? What does it show for myself if all I want out of life is something to brag about? It's not finding a cure for cancer, or fighting a battle, or changing the world. It's just me, feeling pride for something that I achieved.

Is there a twelve step program for this?

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