All of my life, I have tried to play nice. I tried not to make waves. All I wanted was for people to like me and to make people happy. I have tried to keep relationships going that didn’t really satisfy me. I have bit my lip so hard it bled to help not make waves. I have been a yes person even when I so vehemently wanted to scream NO from the rooftops. I’m now getting closer to 50 than 40 and I find myself asking myself why. Why do I say yes when I don’t want to? Why do I allow mistreatment? Why do I keep begging for crumbs and starving when I know that I deserve to be fed and nourished because that is what I give?
I am coming to the conclusion that I don’t have to continue down the “Yes woman” path. I can say no. I can walk away from things that do not seem to be good for me. Of course, it’s easier said than done. I coach my daughter about boundaries and how she needs to establish them, even with me. Listen to what I say and not what I do, I suppose. Another piece of advice I always give my daughter is to have her look at a situation, flip it as if it was a friend going through it and think about the advice she would give that friend and then use that advice for herself. Another one of those ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ kind of scenarios.
I have begun to put boundaries in place. I walked away from a friendship that was not good for me. I begged for crumbs and starved in hopes that one day, I would get a full meal from that friendship. Instead, it felt like I was constantly catering and serving the meals without a scrap to eat. Maybe she felt the same way, I don’t know. We couldn’t seem to even have a conversation with any depth to discuss it. Red flags started waving and instead of ignoring them like I usually do, I took the advice I would give someone else in the same situation and I walked away.
A lot of times, I seem to live off of the promise that I see in people and in situations instead of seeing reality for what it is. It’s a sort of problem I seem to have and I’m not sure where it stems from but I have always rather look at life with rose colored glasses. I have always had that sense of hope in tomorrow, in others, in life. Funny how that is because I grew up with a lot of pessimistic people around me. I say it’s a problem but is it really? To want to see the best in people? I struggle with that concept. I think I strive to run away from the pessimism that permeates through my family circle. I want to love. I want to trust. I want to smile. I want to daydream. I want to take chances. I think I have allowed the pessimism to discolor my rose colored glasses a bit. And in that, I have lost a sense of who I am and what I stand for.
I live with negative voices in my head. Now, I don’t mean I hear voices. I mean people from my life, past and present, are in the back of my head whenever I try to embrace life. They tell me that I am not good enough. They tell me that I will fail. They tell me that I am a disappointment. These same voices are people who are those pessimistic naysayers that I have strived to run from. Why do they get space in my mind when their opinion and judgment should not mean a thing? Another work in progress for me. Taking the power they have over me away and giving it back to myself. I deserve that.
When I think about who I am and what I stand for, I look at what I teach my daughter. Stand up for what you believe in. Be whoever the hell you want to be. Live out loud. Take that chance! LIVE YOUR TRUTH! Live a life where you would rather say “oh crap” than say “I wonder what would have happened”. Maybe in this time in relearning who I am and preparing for an empty nest, I need to start parenting myself and teaching myself the life lessons that I have been trying to instill in my daughter. I think that will be the mantra I start using to replace those negative voices that pop up when I try and take that chance, whatever it is. What would I tell B to do? And then I do whatever that is.
Until next time,