Friday, October 9, 2009

When I grow up...

When I was younger, around 12-13, I couldn't wait to grow up.  I just knew that life would be grand, and  I would have it ALL figured out... Wouldn't it be great if that really were the case... Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone had themselves, their lives, it ALL figured out?

I don't know if it would be better, worse, or about the same (as my eye doctor says), but what I do know is that 'having it all figured out' isn't case.  Not for me, at least.  Do you have it ALL figured out?  If so, please contact me and tell me how to receive the enlightening you have received!

Anyway, growing up, I had so many insecurities.  Insecurities that I just knew would be gone once I got out of high school and went to college.  But that wasn't quite the case.  Yes, most of those insecurities went away, but they were replaced with new insecurities.  Ones that seemed to be slightly darker and more evil.  Insecurities that I tried every way a smart college girl could think of to overcome.  And, as life would have it, I did overcome some of them.  Granted, I think that I shopped a lot of them away, drank a few more away, but exercised most of them away.  And, when the others crept to the surface and those 3 activities didn't help, well, I call my friends, put on a new attitude (and a new outfit), and went out to pretend that they didn't exist until I either truly believed that or I crashed.  And, let me tell you, crashing didn't always come first!

So, as I continued on through college and my 'friends' began to get married, I came to the conclusion that my insecurities would be gone once I got married.  Notice that friends is in quotes?  Well, that's because those 'friends' were some of the main ones feeding those insecurities.  Those 'friends' who kept feeding me full of the crap that their life was perfect (their words word not mine), and that I would understand someday... when I got married.  Oh, by the way, some of those 'friends' have anything BUT a perfect life now.  And, I am pretty sure that it wasn't perfect then either.  However, I couldn't be convinced of that at that time.

So, I trudged along, waiting to grow up and out-grow my insecurities, which I was sure would happen once I got married... Yeah, right.

Present day...

I am currently married and a stay-at-home mom of the most wonderfully perfect 9 month old baby girl.  Oh, and yes, I still have insecurities... Lots, and LOTS of them.  (Obviously, how amazing and perfect my child is, is not one of them!)

I thought that they were supposed to be gone by now and that I would have it all figured out and life would be perfect!  Call me a dreamer, because that is what I am.  (I prefer the term dreamer over the phrase dumb ass, I mean, stupid idiot.)  And though it could be listed under both the 'strengths' and 'weaknesses' categories of my personality profile, it is ultimately a characteristic that I would keep.  You see, even though it allows me to keep hoping for a perfect life, one where insecurities are not; it is one that does allow me to keep hoping.  So I guess that it isn't so bad, at least not when your hopes are well placed.  Which, I sometimes have trouble with that... like, when I was younger and I had the highest of hopes that I would get to go to a New Kids on the Block concert, get to go back stage and Joey, or was it Jordan, or maybe Jonathan... I can't remember... would fall madly in love with me.  Or, that the sausage balls I cooked burned would blend in with the ones that weren't.  You get my drift...

I guess what I am getting at is that now, I totally get that my hope for no insecurities is a stretch.  But is it a stretch to think hope that your insecurities won't be directly caused by the people you love the most.  And, if the people you love the most do cause those insecurities, can you ever get past them?

This is something that I am struggling with lately.  I have an insecurity that was cause by the people I love the most.  It is one that effects my life almost daily and I'm not really sure how to deal with it.  How is it that the people you love the most can be the very people that build you up the highest, but also the very people that bring you to your lowest?

I worry about how this insecurity effects my ability to be a good mother.  Although Emma can't truly understand the insecurity now; one day she will.  And, if I continue to live with it, how will I be able to teach her not to let people cause this same insecurity in her life.  But, if I deal with it in the only way I really can figure out, then how will I teach her to stick through the hard things in life and not take the 'easy' way out by running away.

If the people I love the most are the root of the insecurities, is it possible for them to love me as much as I love them?  Because, if they love me as much as I love them, then they wouldn't do what they have done, would they? ... I mean, I haven't... because I love them.  So, is it wrong, per say, to cut them out of your life?  And, how do you really know if/when it is time to cut your loses and move forward?

Part of the time my heart says I love them and can't imagine the rest of my life or my child's life without them there.  But there is also a part of my heart that is tired of living with the questions, the doubts, the feelings of inadequacy, the isolation I have taken on to protect myself and others, the shame, the humiliation, the feelings of it being my fault.

How can I possibly teach my child to be a strong woman when I don't feel like I am one myself.  I need to model the behavior, and I don't feel like I am doing a very good job. So what to do?

For me, at least, that is the burning question.  It is the one that haunts my dreams, intrudes on my quiet times, and interrupts my time with my precious child.  And, the longer I live with it, the more not okay I become.  And, though it has been only 28 short (usually) years, I have come to realize that being not okay in one area of life tends to overflow into other areas of your life.  Which, has ill-effects on those areas.  And, these are areas that I really have a problem with being negatively affected.  So, I ask again, what to do?

And, you know what the worst part of it is?  The worst part is that I have an infinite number of reason to not be insecure.  For the most part, I do have the world on a silver platter.  Or, at the very least, enough of the world to make many people scoff at my insecurities and tell me to get over it.  But, these few things have happened, they have shattered my shell and seeped into my skin, and slowly found their way to my heart where they are being pumped out with my blood through every inch of my being... Therefore, taking over.  And with every beat of my heart, they grow.  So much so, that they sometimes choke away the words I want to say, numb the touches I want to feel, and even deafen my ears to the words I want to hear.

Why is it that the 12 insecurities that you face get to to take over, yet the infinite number of reasons you have not to be insecure get lost?  Why is negativity so powerful?  Or is it only as powerful as we let it be?  And if it is a matter of what we allow, how do we change?  How do we overpower the negativity that comes from these insecurities?  And, if it is something that we learn how to deal with through age and experience, why does it seem that the older I get, the worse the I seem to deal with insecurities?

Know what else?  You know how the Golden Rule says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?  I really think that is a bunch of crap.  I have treated the people that have hurt me most the way I want to be treated.  I have loved, given, given up, considered them and their thoughts and feelings, and it hasn't gotten me very far.  Well, actually, let me re-phrase... it hasn't gotten me very far from heartache.  And that has always been a goal in my life... move away from the heartache.  You know the lady you hear just before you go on certain rides at amusement parks... "Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times..."  Well, apparently there is one for life.  She says, "Please keep your heart inside your chest cavity at all times.  Hanging it out on your sleeve can result in injury and even death."

However, I am the kid who doesn't listen and thinks I am invincible.  I am the woman who thinks that I should sacrifice myself for the cause.  But, I have to wonder if I am not sacrificing the cause for myself sometimes.  My heart has been hanging out on my sleeve for so long now that it is tattered almost beyond the point of recognition.  What is left are pieces that I must somehow pick up and mend... stitch, nail, mold, bind, glue, weld... maybe even force... back into something recognizable,  something that looks like the shape I used to cut out of construction paper.  Because there is someone so sweet and innocent, that I can hear alternately laughing and crying as she dreams, that deserves for me to do just what Mommy's do, which is make it all better.

And, however realistically or not, I still am hoping for a life without insecurities... when I grow up.