I’m always wary of airing any dirty laundry here. I’ve been called out on it before and it felt like an ugly accusation; it’s my podium, after all.
It’s astonishing to me the number of things I regularly note that should require change on an annual basis, but with which I have yet to take action. Life stuff, habits, and errors so frequent, they should have a brass name plate in front of a bar stool in my brain space.
- Living paycheck to paycheck
- IPAs and Hefeweizens on school nights
- Self deprecating humor
- Getting by with the bare minimum in preparation
- Temper loss
- Washing face before bed so as to prevent unsightly black stains on all my pillow cases
- Waiting until the last can of cat food to buy more, and on a Sunday, when the store is closed.
I always seem to find comfort in the fact that everyone has these, most often when I’m reading The Wink and thinking, “She’s that whole and together, but still feels this way?” She’s a sort of real life hero of mine, so in a roundabout way I’m cool with the pillow case thing.
Less subsidiary faults include: driving when one should not, manipulation of others’ emotions, admissions of others’ truths (in vino veritas), quitting when it was the easy way out, and allowing others’ negative assumptions of me to become validated.
Perhaps, that last one? The worst of all. And after face planting on that issue, it’s not as viable anymore. Lesson learned. I hope.
If I had to trace back to where it started (belligerent inertia giving way), it’d be almost 5 and a half years ago. When, in some Days of Our Lives-ish twist of fate and error, my relatively carefree life sort of imploded. It was a culmination. I was the fulcrum, and everything tipped the wrong way. Even in my relative innocence, a lifetime of errors leading up to it sort of stripped me of any credibility in the situation. All of a sudden, I felt like a tabloid piece in my hometown, some sick self-fulfilling prophecy. With that one thing, I turned tail and ran—humiliated, but steeled; angry, but sad; directionless, but blindly determined. First to the French countryside, where the search of self kicked off, and then to upstate New York—a place where I knew no one and nothing, and could start over.
Right now, I’m dealing with resenting that day in 2006, how it toppled my self esteem, and the subsequent decisions. It’s like a living hologram, and it’s taken a lot of energy from me—when I could be focusing on giving myself more credit. Maybe it was less about the foible, more about my taking the bull by the horns. Even if that meant getting the hell out of dodge.
At some point, you have to differentiate between good and bad in your life. Am I still running from that terrible thing? Or should I thank it, and thank the universe for the fact it was only as bad as it was (no one died, my criminal record remains clean, and most seem to have forgotten that smudge), and that it allowed me this paradigm shift? To stop thinking of myself as subordinate to others’ opinions, but that who I am will only ever be as good as I believe I am?
What’s a weakness, or a character flaw? And what is just plain who you are, and the squiggly snail trail of your life as you’ve lived it? As I struggle to see the inherent value in/recognize the potential for wasted time in analyzing near misses and chances for greatness in my past, the thing I want to work the hardest at changing is being impossibly hard on myself.
Perhaps with the energy that will free up, I can get on to more important things, like taking multivitamins, being less judicious with giving affection, and calling my Granny Marge.