Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Warts And All

Sometimes when I'm around or talk with other people with very strong personalities, I begin to doubt myself.

I am not blaming these people for the way I feel... if anything it is my own fault for caring too much what other people think, and wishing that I could be more like them, and fit in more with society's ideal.

You know the people I'm talking about... there is nothing wrong with them at all, they are simply very very confident and self-assured, and have very specific ideas about virtually everything.  Basically, they are the embodiment of traits that are highly valued in our society: confident, successful, dedicated to their ideas, problem-solvers, and usually very busy.

I am the opposite.
I suffer from a healthy amount of self-doubt, I live a quiet life, I think more than I act, and I savor my downtime.

My qualities are not valued in our society, and perhaps that's what feeds into my self-doubt.

I am a woman, and a mother, but that is rarely enough.  Because I CAN, I am supposed to have a great career, as well.  And if I really want to prove my worth, publishing a book or running a successful side business on top of this is definitely a bonus.

I should be educated, but not mind giving it up to raise a family.  I should be politically savvy, but not so much that I offend too many people.  I should be easygoing, but still maintain a clean, well-run household.  I am not supposed to hate doing laundry, or serve my kids too much fast food.  I'm supposed to volunteer at school, but not so much that I'm a 'helicopter mom'.  I'm supposed to take all the pictures for the family, and when I choose to forgo that to enjoy my children, people are appalled that I haven't documented their birthday, their dance recital, or their school play.  But if I focus too much on documenting, I'm told to 'slow down and enjoy them... they are only small once'.

I'm expected to get by on less sleep than I need to fit everything in.
I'm expected to be outgoing even if I don't feel it.
I'm expected to forgo my petty needs, because I'm so much luckier than some.
I'm expected to have a grand house because 'we can afford it'.

None of this is me.
Let me tell you about me...

I enjoy sleep, and I make sure I get enough.
I abhor being busy just for the sake of it... I tried it, it was miserable.
I hate putting away the laundry, and if you come to my house you are very likely to see folded stacks sitting around.
I have a few good friends, and a few more casual friends, and that's all I need or really want.
I still find my needs to be very important, even though by all accounts I am 'lucky'.
I find being 'house-poor' a tragedy.  Our home is unlikely to ever live up to our means.
I value experiences over things.
I am far more interested in our children being well-rounded than being well-dressed or overly busy.
I like to read - a lot - but I often read garbage.  I am OK with that.
I am more interested in my family having a great vacation than me having a great wardrobe or fancy jewelry.
I like to know a little about a lot... I'm an expert at nothing.
I over-think, but still rely heavily on my intuition.
I swear too much, even though I'm not crazy about it.
I believe in God, but have trouble believing I am worthy of his grace.
It takes more than you can ever imagine for me to give up on someone.
If I've truly allowed you to get to know me, you are special - it doesn't happen a lot.
I suffer from depression, and it colors my world way more than I want it to - and I take meds for it.  I have for almost 16 years.  There are people who think that makes me weak - I don't give a damn.

That's me.
I'm not a martyr, I'm not a slave to the expectations of others.  I go without make-up, and don't 'fix' my hair a lot of days... I live in flip flops, and am not afraid to get dirty.

I am atypical in a lot of ways, and sometimes I feel very insecure about it.  That is why I am writing this....
I'm writing it to remind me that I am different, and these are things I have CHOSEN.  At the end of the day, I could choose to be different, but I don't want to.

This is me, warts and all.
I'm embracing it... those who love me do so because of this.  Because of who I AM, not who I could be.






Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Too Late To Apologize?

For some reason, I am thinking of my Dad (Dad, Father, Bio-Dad?  I am never sure quite what to call him) today.  Well, OK, not 'for some reason', I know why - it's because of this song:



I heard that song shortly after 'finding him' in 2008, and it really hit home for me, because that's exactly how I felt... that it was far too late to apologize.  It came on today in the car, and strangely, I still felt the same.  I often feel like I've forgiven him... I've CHOSEN to forgive him, but my heart feels differently about it.  Deep down, my heart doesn't forgive him, even though I make myself move past it, make myself understand as best I can, and choose not to focus on it.  Deep down, my heart feels like it was too little, too late.

It's so confusing to feel so blessed for the opportunity I DID get, and at the same time feel so angry about all that I didn't get.  I got to see my Dad again after 28 years... I got to talk to him, got to hear him apologize, got to know him a little bit... and then he passed away a year later.  I could have easily been too late... too late to 'meet' him, too late to talk, too late to attend his funeral.  I was lucky, so very lucky, that it wasn't too late for that.

But did it all come too late for me to ever really forgive him, deep down in my heart?

I don't know, but I keep trying.  I believe it was all for the best in the long run, but inside a little girl still misses her Daddy, and is very very angry with him.  Angry with him for leaving, angry with him for never contacting me, angry with him for being an alcoholic, angry with him for pretending we didn't exist, and last of all, angry with him for dying so soon.

He may have been doing 'the right thing', but it changed me forever.

Now I struggle to forgive, and to tell myself that it's NEVER too late to apologize.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Pastafarian In The Parking Lot

So, today I'm sitting in my car in a store parking lot, answering a text before I go in, and a car pulls in beside me.

Nothing unusual about that, right?
Right.

Well, after a minute the driver still hasn't gotten out, so I kind of peer over there into the next car and what I see makes me briefly toy with the idea that my morning Diet Coke was spiked, or that my Cheerios (instead of being coated with honey-nut goodness), were rolled in LSD.  (General Mills?  You got some 'splainin to do.)

Because seriously?  There were no flying unicorns, but you just don't see this sort of thing every day.  "This sort of thing" being someone who just pulled into a parking lot with an uncovered paper plate of SPAGHETTI somewhere upon their person.  Seriously weird.

And?  The plate was nearly empty when I looked over there, leading me to believe that she had not just (as any rational person would assume) uncovered it from it's safe place on the passenger seat, and began to eat once she parked.

No, I think this woman was freaking EATING SPAGHETTI while she drove down the street.

How?
I mean, what are the logistics?
Was the plate in her lap?  Center console?  Dash? 
WHERE WAS THE PLATE?

Oh, and did I mention that it was 8:55am?  (Yes, I looked.)
She was driving down the road at 8-something am eating a paper plate of spaghetti in her car.

I shouldn't have gawked. 
I should have done the right thing and performed an intervention.  I should have driven to Dunkin' Donuts down the street, got her a bagel, and introduced her to a true portable breakfast item.

But I gawked.
And now I mock her in writing.

The only thing that would have made this more out of place as a mobile breakfast choice would have been a full (open) gallon of milk in the passenger seat.

Is she Pastafarian, and this is some bizarre weekend worship ritual?
The world will never know.