I spent the weekend in a rustic location surrounded by trees and women. The campfire was always roaring, the coffee was always on. Three days we spent chatting and laughing and crying and being creative. And dancing and singing. And that was all okay.
Every now and then you need a reminder that there are, in fact, other people like you. Going through struggles, experiencing emotions. Feeling lost.
And I came home feeling tired, thoughtful and woke up this morning feeling peaceful.
Granted, I slept for a good 10 hours, but still. There was a calmness that I don’t remember feeling for a long time. It was family day and Joe left on a business trip, so as I sat calmly I tried to figure out what to do with this kid to keep her entertained.
It turned out it was enough to sit in the sunshine and talk and laugh, sit down for a meal together, play with some paints and listen to music. Just be together talking, laughing, dancing.
Today was nice. Just perfectly nice. The weather was a good reminder that spring is on its way. The activities were a reminder that art and music can make your soul shine. That she and I are good together, and she doesn’t need anything from me but me.
This weekend was a great reminder that sometimes you have to just dive in. Just start. Because if you don’t you never will. All these things I should, should, should, are worthless to me if I don’t.
The weekend chats also told me that there were more things I need to teach my daughter – the only rules are 1) we want to see you happy and 2) you can talk to us about anything.
I kept the kid home from school today. She told me last night that she wasn’t feeling well, and then again this morning. She’s been tired and emotional lately. I thought it was going to be a snow day, so I had anticipated having her home.
But partly I kept her home because I wanted her to be here.
She’s seven now. Seven. I can’t quite understand how the years have stacked up like that, but here we are. She’s seven and my grandfather is still 90 years older than she is, and he’s dying.
He’s dying mostly just because he’s 96, turning 97 in July, but also because his health is failing him. Because he’s 97. He’s 97 and he’s dying and the last two times I’ve tried to go and see him we haven’t been allowed to, so I haven’t actually seen or spoken to him since before Christmas. And I don’t remember what we talked about and I don’t know if I’ll see him again.
And then there’s my dog.
My puppy, who we brought home with us 11 years ago. He picked us and he came home right before Christmas and the two of us are bonded. Hardcore. No two better nap buddies will ever be found.
And now he’s 11, and the last dog my family owned lived to be 11, and Henry has a heart murmur and a paralyzed back leg and even though he acts like a puppy, as much as always, I’m scared to think that someday too soon I won’t have a Henry any more, and there will never be another like him.
And if she’s already seven, then the years are going by too fast, and his time is so short.
So today I kept my kid home from school. Partly because she wasn’t feeling well, and partly because I want to keep my close ones closer. Because there just isn’t enough time.
Hi, my name is Amy. I dream big but I am terrified of my own success. On this day my introversion and my fear of success have combined to make me slightly paralyzed. It’s quite fascinating to experience, really. If I weren’t so afraid to push beyond that barrier, where would I be.
You see, more than anything, I worry that if people see me at my best they will expect that from me always, and the energy and strength it would take to try to demonstrate my best always would drag me down.
This is why I sabotage myself.
I’m so afraid of success sometimes that I fail spectacularly. And I have to wonder, if I weren’t so afraid of success (or the path to it) who would I be?
I may have succeeding in writing something real by now – all those ideas I have that I’ve not yet put to paper. I might be richer. I would be a better wife, almost certainly. I wouldn’t be quite so fat as I am, and definitely more healthy.
Right know there is almost always in the back of my brain that ‘what if.’ What if I fail on the way? What if I succeed and then lose it all? What if someone doesn’t like what I do?
What if I succeed once and then never again?
What if I stop eating all the things that are bad for me and I’m still unhealthy? What if I exercise and hurt myself? What will people think of my and how will they look at me?
Even though I don’t really care. I mean, not really. If I cared that much what other people thought of me I would probably already be dead. All of this – every little bit of it – is fear that I have built up inside my own head.
So now I have to step back and ask myself, if I weren’t so scared who would I be? And what steps can I take (slowly but surely) to be her.
My friend and now former boss told me that I need to stop feeding myself bullshit. This is true. I tell myself a lot of horrible things about myself. I tell myself all the ways things can go terribly wrong. I remind myself daily that people don’t really like me or care about me – which is verifiably false.
I do have people who like me and care about me, who think I’m smart and skilled, and worth something. People who are willing to count on me. Even people who envy me. People who love me and need me.
If I wasn’t scared, if I wasn’t a bullshitter, who would I be?