And yet, I still struggle sometimes. With so much. How to put “pen” to “paper” (I’m still an old-fashioned writer…with a literal pen and paper the thoughts flow so freely). How to stop myself from snacking. How to not have a panic attack any time I meet with my doc. How to stop self-destructive behaviours.
Let’s pause there…that’s really the root of it all, right?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “who” I am…I hide behind sarcasm and humor way too much. I think I’m tough. I don’t like being called “sweet” or “a princess” (really, really detest that). I revel in the attention of others, which is something I’m not always proud of about myself. I get involved in other people’s drama way too easily. I’m nosy. I’m a notorious eavesdropper. And I proclaim loudly, to anyone who will listen, what a “fucking mess” I am. Why? Why do I do this? Is it so when I share the mistakes I’ve made and the regrets that I have, they aren’t as shocked or disgusted by my actions? Is it so that when they get to know the me below the surface, they’re so pleasantly surprised that I care about people?
I think I label myself as selfish so often, that I forget how deeply I really do care about people. In the past couple of months, I’ve been really having a hard time liking myself, and it’s caused me to shut people out that I shouldn’t. I left a group of friends that I’ve been a part of since we were pregnant with our first babies. I turned a very good friend down when she reached out because she recognized how much I was hurting and offered to come and spend the day with me. I’ve avoided calling my “person”, who lives halfway across the world and understands me almost better than I understand myself some days. I’ve shut out my family, just choosing not to discuss these feelings with anyone. I feel, a lot of times, like I am unworthy of their time, attention, or love.
But then I surprise myself. I have another friend who is really struggling with many things: new motherhood, adjusting to a new normal, having to shoulder more than she expected alone…and I stepped up. She hasn’t needed me yet, but she knows the offer is there, and I’m willing to help.
So I’m still here on this journey. I’ll probably always be a work in progress. But maybe I can let just a little more of the goodness that I recognize deep down inside to bubble up to the surface more often. And maybe I can tamp down a little more of the “proud bitch” shell. And maybe one day I’ll recognize that it’s okay to accept that other people love me, even when they know me, warts and all.
*This post brought to you by the bottom of the pool. I swam laps Wednesday for the first time in over a year. It was not easy. But it felt like home. I hope to make it a weekly occurrence. Also, I’ve lost 12 pounds and I’m carrying a 4.0 this semester. So other things are going OK, too.