Of all the lies we tell throughout our lives, whether they be little white lies or the life-altering-spiral-out-of-control type, the people we lie to the most is ourselves.
Why do we lie to ourselves? I’m sure like most lies it helps us cope with or compensate for something, but my background in Psychology is certainly lacking, so I’ll leave the theories for others to explore. When I was traveling back from the Philippines, I realized some lies that I often tell to myself, and occasionally other people.
I’m not shy, I’m quiet
This is the exact line I’ve used several times. Whoever I’d tell this to would give me a puzzled look, after which I’d explain that I’m not shy because I’m not afraid to speak, rather I’m just quiet because I don’t really open up to strangers. This is bullshit – I am shy.
Unless I’ve been drinking or am comfortable with the people around me, I’m just not that outgoing. I usually won’t go up to somebody that I don’t know and just start talking…I couldn’t tell you why, it’s just how I’ve been as far as I can remember. If somebody opens up a conversation with me, I feel completely comfortable talking with them (although I suck at small talk unless it involves something of interest). I’ll always speak my mind in a group, whether I feel comfortable or not, I’m just opinionated.
People that know me, probably think I talk too much at times. When I’ve been drinking a lot, I tend to get overly social, which has got me into trouble a few times. I’m just not good at opening – this makes me shy.
I don’t mind to fly
Other than once flying around the Hays airport in a small plane, I had never flown in an airplane until I was 22. It was a rather ambitious flight, from Kansas City to Atlanta to Germany—didn’t quite ease into it. I was definitely nervous, but I don’t remember being scared. Other than circling Atlanta for an hour on the way back due to weather, the only thing that sticks out in my mind is that the flight was pretty damn long.
After that trip, I flew to a few conferences around the U.S. (San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta) and it seemed that every flight I became increasingly more nervous. It’s probably due to the fact that I over think everything in general, but it was definitely a noticeable change. When I started my day-long journey to the Philippines, I was rather nervous.
I used to enjoy taking off because I do like feeling the power of the jets; however, I always end up getting dizzy and light-headed, and am worried that I might actually pass out one of these times. Other than seeing the glorious ground returning, I’ve never liked to land. And fuck turning.
The two hour flight from Tokyo to Manila was the most turbulent flight I’ve ever been on…it was unrelenting. I can also vividly remember the feeling of the airplane literally dropping several feet on a flight back to Kansas City. As is obvious by me writing this, I was safe in the pilot’s hands. Logically, I know that flying is safe, but also logically, I know falling thousands of feet from the air to the ground would suck.
The first step is admitting
The good thing about knowing that you’re lying to yourself, is that you can change the problem. I often force myself to be more social than I really am, especially when I don’t know anybody there. There are also a lot of easy ways to open groups, even if it’s just a simple hi.
I won’t shy away from a flight, and I’m not going to drive everywhere, but I do have to keep my mind busy during flights. During the dreaded no-electronics portion of the flight, I have to read the in-flight magazine or a book that I might have brought. Throughout the flight music usually works. My sister recommends a Xanax next time, so there’s that.