I am a paranoid, insecure, procrastinating, illogical student. I’m also poor. It may be due to the fact that I spend all my hard-earned money buying self-help books that I think will solve my problems but miraculously always fail.
I have always been a sucker for shows like “”Oprah”” and “”The View;”” shows that promise to help you “”remember your spirit”” and reawaken your inner goddess.
Something about the sappy music and the spiritually awakened guests always hits right where it hurts: in the wallet.
I go off and buy the latest book to hit the self-help stands so I can A) organize my time better, B) learn to be happy even though my grades are failing and I still haven’t kissed a guy and, C) discover God in everything from hair gel to toilet paper.
My friends think I’m nuts. More than $200 later, I am still as bitter and unorganized as before. I’ve perused through the books of the granddaddy of self-help, Dale Carnegie, I’ve highlighted the prose of Anthony Robbins, I have even memorized some of the spiritual laws of the enlightened Deepak Chopra to no success.
Oh, sure, it works for a few days, even weeks at the most. Yet, my old self comes creeping back to me with a velocity of immeasurable force, and suddenly, Divya, the rational, articulate and organized girl, transforms like Dr. Jekyl into Mr. Hyde, and the dream of an improved me becomes dust.
Alright, I’ll admit that last sentence was a bit dramatic, which makes me recall that exaggerating situations is highly frowned upon by the self-help community.
I’ve come to realize how difficult it is to not “”stress the small stuff”” when small things like banging your baby toe against a door or having uneven eyebrows due to a bad waxing experience are actually quite annoying.
OK, maybe Buddha may have found it easy to be able to achieve an enlightened sense of being every day, but I doubt he would have been too happy if he had two midterms, a paper and next month’s rent looming in front of him. In fact, I think he would have been downright irritated if he had to dodge crazy San Diego drivers and try to say a mantra at the same time.
Come to think of it, I don’t think Oprah or Dr. Schlessinger would be able to maintain a higher consciousness if their shows were about to be canceled.
The fact is, self-help books do very little if you are already a little loony from the beginning. Unfortunately, it has taken a few Benjamins to point me in the right direction.
Perhaps it may be better if I just accept my inadequacies. I realize it may be better to be imperfect yet still unique.
And who needs to be on time everytime, excluding firefighters and paramedics of course.
I may as well accept my character flaws as quirks instead of weaknesses, although I’m sure my future husband would have a few problems with that.
Just in case self-help books work though, I have a back-up plan. Stashed in my car, alongside a cell phone for emergency uses, I have a copy of the “”Seven Habits of Highly Effective People””carefully placed in my car.
I’ve skipped chapters one through four, but I think I may still glean something important from the remaining few.
Of course I wouldn’t be so dumb as to mention this to my therapist. I don’t think he would be too happy to hear that.