Cruise Control.

Hi. My name is Megan, and I'm a control freak.
...I guess "freak" is a harsh word, let's just say that I like to be in control. I feel comfortable when I am in control of a situation for a number of reasons. One, I suppose, is a lack of trust in other people. Another is something like an overconfidence in myself and my capabilities in the majority of situations. A third, I suspect, might be that if/when things do fall apart- at least I can trace back to the where and why. I dislike not knowing why a situation went sour and in this way, I can understand it all to a micromanaging "T."
It's not pretty, I'll admit that. No one likes to be overbearing and micromanaging. But we all have our flaws, and among many more... this is one of mine.

I wont lie: this flaw of mine has gotten me into several pickles. Not literally, because that would be delicious, but figuratively of course. My neck and shoulders constantly ache, I spend more sleepless nights than I'd like to admit, and I'm getting wrinkles on my face from making that "you're kidding me, right?" face. Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes that face. Obviously this is something that I need to work on.

Which brings me to my daily commute thought this morning: Where does it start? And where does it end?
I think that a lot of the equation of "control" stems into our psyche of "taking care of things." Obviously we, as adults, need to be responsible individuals. However there are plenty of times when we (see: I) allow ourselves to overstep our boundaries of responsible and into the territory of controlling. It's far too easy to do, if you ask me. I am a master legitimizer, and I often tell myself the old "well if I want it done correctly/at all, then I had better do it myself." Or worse yet, "They need me to do it, it would be irresponsible not to step up to the plate."

I once had a roommate, years ago and she may still read this blog, who said that I was a "Mother." She claimed that I manipulated situations to a point where I could control them, and that I likely didn't even realize I was doing it. I can honestly say that I spent years annoyed at her evaluation of my personality. It's only far after the fact that I can see how right she really was. I hate not being in control of things, and to some extent I most certainly push them towards a place where I am back in charge. I guess it's true that the things and people you find yourself most angry at are often from a place of truth that you didn't want to see.

So now I ask, again: where does it end? To begin a search for the answer, I came up with this: Responsibility is taking charge of the things that you're supposed to do. Control is taking charge of the things other people are supposed to do.  
photo credit: unknown

It's my aim to make this a new credo. In a situation where I start to feel anxiety over what is and isn't being done, I need to ask myself: is this something that is my job to do, or is it someone elses? And there's a certain level of peace in releasing that need for control. Suddenly you wont feel so overwhelmed by the number of things that could go wrong. You wont feel that pressure to get things right, because they're not your things. Sure, things might not go the way you would have arranged them to- but isn't that sort of beautiful? Who wants to live the expected life, the one you see coming? I know I don't. I want surprise... I want amazement. It's not a matter of abandoning responsibility, but discerning what things in life were never yours to begin with. Then just take a deep breath and let those things go.

This is going to take a lot of work, at least for me. But I'm looking forward to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If there is one major thing I learned from my past relationship is how controlling I was. Like you, it's not something one acknowledges immediately. People will tell you, (or wont) until they're blue in the face what you're doing, but you wont see it until your eyes open up naturally. I get the whole, "if you want a job done right..." motto. Sometimes, I think we feel we know whats best for others than they know for themselves. Sometimes, that may be the case. But in the end it doesn't matter. Because as good as your intentions may be, they can't help but be perceived in some sort of "over boundary stepping" light, and rightfully so. Most of us try to better ourselves everyday. Everything is a test to our reactions of the past. Unfortunately I will not know if I've truly learned from my past errors until I'm in another relationship. I'd like to think that I have. Different social circles do teach lessons themselves, though. So in that respect, I definitely can say I have. But once that challenge steps up, I'll at least be more aware of it. Good luck to you on this journey, my friend. I admire you for being open to change. At least a little bit. We should be true to ourselves always, but that doesn't mean we can't embrace others teachings. Take care.