Monday, October 28, 2013

The Falsehoods I (Shouldn't) Believe About Myself

Truth: I can't always trust what my own mind says to me.

I'm human, in that regard. Sometimes the negativity monster is running the show inside my cabesa and I have to take a step back and tell myself I'm downright wrong about stuff. I think there is great value in being able to recognize when your own thought patterns are false. And because I think many of you can relate to this feeling (call it perfectionism, anxiety or whatever you will), I've decided to blog today about some of the falsehoods my head tells me...and why my head can be so dead incorrect.

False: I'm a lazy human being.
I used to have no problem relaxing when I was working full-time. But since I haven't had a full-time job in almost 5 months, the random Netflix shows and lounging and reading sometimes just make me feel like an unmotivated slob. I combatted this feeling by coming up with productive ways to get out of the house (and I think I'll feel better now with Anthro going on), but I still struggle sometimes with some generic guilt about it all.

But the truth is: There is nothing wrong with just hanging out and relaxing. And yes, being lazy. It does not mean I am a lazy no-good. I should enjoy the down time I have right now because I haven't had it in so long and may never again! Laziness is not a sin, even if perfectionism tells you it is.

False: I don't know how to talk to people.
Sometimes in my California social scene I still feel like the awkward new kid. Back in Arizona, I'd reached a point where I knew pretty much everyone and could go to any party and feel confident approaching any group in the crowd. I have had way too many moments lately where I stand on the edge of parties and don't know how to break into things, and then I feel discouraged with myself.

But the truth is: I really AM still new. I can't compare my social ease here to Arizona because I had 4 years there and only 4 months here. The social comfort will come! One friend at a time. And my BFF reminded me a couple days ago that I AM good at being a friend. She told me I always know what's going on in the lives of 700 people and remembering to call or send a card or whatever. It was so good to hear that from her.

False: I'm not good enough for any job to want me.
Like for reals, it can start to feel this way when I apply to full-time writing jobs I know I could rock at and don't even get an interview. Or, I get an interview and then they don't want me...I haven't decided which scenario feels more insulting, haha.

But the truth is: I am good at writing. I AM! All my current freelance/contract clients are more than pleased with my work. My resume proves I've got some chops. I honestly do believe it's a matter of the right fit at this point and not a measure of my ability (or inability).

False: I'm a terrible runner.
Man, one second I'm training for Ragnar and running crazy miles and the next I've let it all slide and only run (maybe) once a week. I feel guilty about doing all that training and then letting it go.

But the truth is: The truth is that it doesn't matter if I'm a runner or not. Five times a week, once a week, once a month, just doesn't matter. It simply doesn't. It's OK not to love it sometimes. Being a runner is not a measure of my worth as a person. And, I can't discredit all the past achievements: three Ragnars, one half marathon....running currently or not, I am a fantastic runner.

False: I suck at dating.
Seriously, what is dating but a succession of failures? When it comes down to it, every experience is a breakup until you get married and stay married. I know that sounds downright negative, but it's true. Dating, in essence, is just a long series of breakups. And I know I know, "You learn something from every experience." OK, maybe, but sometimes it just feels like a series of kicks in the face. I'm not going to sugarcoat that. There is nothing more awful to me than participating in something that too frequently requires hurting other people's feelings or getting my own feelings hurt. It makes me want to crawl in a hole and adopt a cat.

But the truth is: Hope is a powerful thing. And even if I will probably never say that "learning experiences" make the pain (or inflicting pain) feel worth it in the meantime, I can say that HOPE plays a motivating role in my life. I am buoyantly hopeful for a positive outcome, even if I hate the process. And as always, I am still happy with my single life.

False: I'm going to be an awful mother.
I don't like children. I hated babysitting as a teenager. I don't know how to talk to other people's kids, especially in front of them. I'm terrible at playing pretend or being silly with kids. I feel judged when people watch me awkwardly interact with children. I often think children seem more like a burden than a blessing, especially based on the Facebook statuses and blogs of friends of mine who go through rough patches after they have children. (Not saying they shouldn't talk about it; just saying it usually confirms and multiplies my own fears about it.)

But the truth is: I like children I know. I love my nieces and nephews. And I actually do inherently love all newborn babies. Not every mom loves all children...and you can still be a good mom without being "a kid person." I don't remember my mom being silly or playing pretend with me and I turned out great; I just played with my siblings/friends and relied on my mom for a different kind of relationship. Not all moms are the same! I highly doubt I will be a neighborhood-preschool-teaching, plastic-horse-pretending, Pinterest-birthday-party-throwing kind of mom, but that doesn't mean I can't still be a good one in my own adult-ish way. (Another trip to the library, kids? More Beatles or Simon & Garfunkel? DID YOU WANT YOGURT SAUCE TO GO WITH YOUR INDIAN LAMB CURRY?)

And there you have it! The falsehoods I too often tell myself and the reasons why I'm dead wrong about so much of it. Got any of your own rolling around in your head?

Thank you for joining this therapy session :)


Jacqueline said...

"I don't like children." Love this, lol. I don't think I naturally relate to children either. And I'm not a blog-worthy "fun" mom - I'm not super creative, I have a hard time getting down on their level and playing with them (dress up, legos, etc.) But having my own children has taught me that you don't have to necessarily like them all the time in order to love them with your whole being! And it's also taught me that while I might not be the coolest or most fun mom, I'm just the kind of mom that the Lord knew my kids needed. You will be a FABULOUS mom one day, katie! I have NO doubt about it. you are awesome! xox

Unknown said...

I always battle with feeling lazy, especially whenever I take a break from my 15 credit workload. I try to relax but am always thinking that I could be doing homework, or practicing my piano, or writing that research paper. But gosh darn it, I need that relaxation time!!

Kristen said...

I love your honesty about the children thing... I definitely don't have the patience with other people's kids like I do for my own kids. I'm not really a get-down-on-the-floor-and-play-for-hours type of mom either. Sometimes I feel guilty about that. But I think of my fondest "playing" memories as a kid... they didn't involve my mom, they involved my friends. Which is great.
Every single family is different, just like every single mom is different.
And my kids have yet to have a birthday party. At all.

Emma Frances said...

Dang, I think I need to combat my falsehoods with the truths. This is good stuff. And guess what, now that I'm a mom I think I like other people's children even less than I did before…haha. It's weird but true. And you are going to be an awesome mom!

Karmin said...

I LOVE this! I have struggled with so many of these. The laziness (also not having a full-time job), the no longer running when I used to, and especially the kids one! I also don't know how to do the kid-voice and feel awkward when I try to have a conversation with them, like I'm just totally boring...but the library? Music? Great food? I could do that. But still, I don't really want any...(at least yet).

Unknown said...

Great post. You ARE a good of my favorites. And you pretty much exactly described my parenting style. Mila may never play with play dough, but girlfriend loves naan and says the Stones are her jam. It works for us.

FWIL Sentimental Blog Content said...

Love this! You are a great writer, worker, runner, and human being! I'm glad you can see the reality, even during some hard trials!

Summary: You da best!

Jenna Foote said...

I have so many false perceptions about myself it's not even funny. Number one right now: I'm the worst YW president ever.

Autumn @ The Unreal Life said...

I just love this whole thing. So, so spot on and so many things I needed to read today.

keep up the wonderful work my dear!

Mandy Ballard said...

This is all wonderful. I love the balance you find between logic and emotion. I want to comment on all of it but the two I will choose right now, the lazy thing helped me a lot right now. I am down for the count with an injury and yet I find myself disgusted with my choice to turn the tv on here and there. What is that? And two - you are actually very brilliant with my kids. They feel validated as people with you because you know they are more than silliness and action figures. :) And also, I would rather read your writing than anyone else's. Just so you know. :)