I called her to catch up...
I definitely called her to vent...
I felt I deserved to vent because 2011 was a rough year and just when I thought it couldn't get any worse November showed up just to challenge the small amount of sanity I had left.
She picked up on the third ring shouting "Abernathy! How are you??? I miss you!!" My unenthusiastic "I miss you too," warranted her to ask what's wrong? I began to tell her about some of the issues I was having with people in my life from friends to lovers to family and before I could really dive in she stopped me and said:
"Ab, I don't want to hear any of this because I know where it's going and this is your fault. We talked about this when you lived here in 2008. You're too kind...you let people run over you and then you complain about it in the aftermath but you continuously let this happen. Everyone gets what they want from you because they know you're the nice guy and you won't say no...and on the rare occasions that you say no, they make you feel bad about it and guilt trip you into doing what they want you to do putting you at an inconvenience. You not changing this about yourself actually means you're okay with it so I can't sit here and listen to you complain about it."
I was shocked! I knew she was right but it caught me off guard. I was silent and she said you have to stand up for yourself and it's going to be challenging but you do it all the time in your music career...do it in your personal life. I told her she was right and shortly after we hung up.
I was really upset after the phone call and it wasn't because of what she said about me... it was the fact that it was true. I was so hung up on not disappointing people and this mindset put me in bad positions very often. The crazy thing is people knew this about me and they would use it against me to get what they needed from me. I wanted to be liked by everyone and I was willing to bend over backwards at my detriment to achieve that goal. My subconscious motto was "as long as they're good then I'm good," and that was the problem...I wasn't good...I believed the lie I was telling myself.
What she told me on the phone turned on a switch in me that made me dig so deep that for the last three years I've been actively deprogramming everything I've been taught to think that doesn't benefit my life.
The first thing I established was that "I was full of crap" and I wanted to change that about myself. I started by vowing to never lie to myself again. Self-Truth was what I needed so I started writing the following in a Microsoft word document:
You have low self esteem and being overly kind to everyone has been your way of fitting in and gaining likeability. Although you're naturally a kind person, you overcompensate in this area because you don't see yourself as an attractive person. You still see that fat kid that no one was attracted to High School...you're about to turn 29 and you're still stuck in High School.
When It comes to family you have to do everything they say because they've done so much for you when it comes to this crazy career of a musician you chose versus taking that job out of college that they told you to take. You could be doing so much better with your life like your siblings instead of barely making it while chasing this dream...You're grown and can barely take care of yourself...you're an embarrassment.
When It comes to your friends that you're real close with...none of them live here in Washington D.C., so you're alone most of the time.
When it comes to love...I don't what the hell you're doing. You're a fixer and record shows that isn't working in your favor. You continuously wait for women you love to get around to treating you right. You tried to get married but that blew up in your face. I'm starting to believe you like being played to the left and using the fact that you understand what they've been through as an excuse for you to be treated badly. You feel sorry for yourself but you shouldn't because you chose this.
When it comes to your career...you're afraid that you'll never make it since you just got dropped from you're label deal and you're looking for jobs outside of music not only to keep the lights on but because you think it's time to grow up and let go of this silly dream.
This was my self-truth...
I hated the way I felt when I read it back for the first time but...
The greatest thing about that day was I was no longer full of crap. The truth about me was put on display by me and this status report gave me a weird sense of freedom...
The following morning I decided to take that freedom and mentally press the reset button on how I felt about myself and start all over.