When I was in high school, the word “pride” resonated throughout talks of school spirit. It was pretty much our school’s motto. The picture above is of a button we all received as 8th graders at Challand Middle School, whose motto was “respect” – even going as far as playing Aretha Franklin’s signature song before the morning announcements.
I didn’t think too much about pride, because homework and making friends were my basic priorities in high school. It was a value that was beaten down our throats once we represented the school in athletics.
Then I learned that pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, along with lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath and envy.
I didn’t know what to think.
The thought of pride didn’t come up again, until one depressing day when I was asked, “have you not any pride in yourself, Cody?” The answer I gave then was a flat “No.” – I wasn’t proud of myself; wasn’t proud of failing at love, wasn’t proud of running a website because I wanted to do more, wasn’t proud of whatever good things people thought of me because I didn’t see that in myself. I was always left not satisfied with what I had, because I wasn’t happy.
Looking back at 2015, it wasn’t a very proud year.
I was always fighting with myself over the balance of two jobs. I wasn’t happy with myself because of the burden of dealing with it all. I took the challenge angrily. I wasn’t satisfied with myself because I felt like I shouldn’t be facing all of these challenges at once. I kept thinking that something was wrong with me, and that didn’t make me a very proud person.
All of this led to the horrifying break-up of my best friendship. She had enough of me being in the state of mind that I was, and it only led to worse things. I wasn’t proud of myself because I always felt like something was not right.
I couldn’t see the values of the positive things that I’ve done, because they became too overshadowed by the flaws that I have. I’m autistic, fat, single, have few friends, can’t carry my voice, stutter, and don’t work a blue-collar job. But at the same time, I’ll look at the whiteboard of accomplishments that I have made in my life, it everything seems to cancel out.
But there’s still that one thing that has eluded me for almost 20 years.
When I think about it, all positivity collapses inside me.
When this is on my mind, it is tough to get any positive vibe out of me. When this is on my mind, there is an absolute lack of pride. Why? I’m not happy with myself when it comes to this.
That is, of course, finding true love.
Couples together, news of marriage propositions, and group dates; all of which are things that I see and immediately my mind sinks into disappointment. They remind me of what I do not have, and what’s left of the accomplishments I have.
I spend too much time thinking about what it’s going to take from me to accomplish the one thing I have yet to accomplish. I’ll find myself sitting alone in my living room, staring at a wall wondering what the heck it’s going to take from me; all with no real person knowing how to help me.
It is hard to listen to people who tell me to not think about it, because every single time I go out in public there is a visual reminder somewhere that reminds me of the one thing that has eluded me.
Thus, I lack pride in myself.
Having pride in me is something that I want to work on in 2016. Call it my No. 1 New Years Resolution. When you think of me, I’d rather it is positive; and not this negative mope.