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.