It’s not a flaw… it’s a badge of honor.

2c90ccadcccdc1f2d44da322ad0698ff

I’ve been thinking about those little problem areas.  Those little things or areas of ourselves that we don’t like or are insecure about.  For me, there are a few.  I look in the mirror and have trouble just seeing me, because it’s so easy to get lost finding all of the flaws.  But what are those flaws?

My tummy, for example.  I see it as this flabby THING that I carry around with me.  Sometimes, it gets in my way.  I’ll compare it to other people’s tummy’s and start to beat myself up about not being more consistent or dedicated in my work outs or in my diet.  But truthfully – comparing my stomach to someone else’s isn’t a fair comparison.  I don’t know the journey that person has taken, and I’m completely negating my own.  I have grown 3 children in my belly.  It has produced 3 little miracles.  The last pregnancy was so different from the first two, that rather than lose weight, I gained.  Even my doctor’s say it’s unlikely that I’ll get my stomach to ever be flat without some surgical help.  And I refuse to do that – not passing judgement on those who do, but to me, it feels like cheating.  Truthfully – I earned the belly. And instead of cherishing it for the journey that we’ve been through together on, I punish myself over it.  Truly, it’s a messed up way of looking at myself.  And these patterns started when I was young and have been added to over the years by society, relationships, my family, friends, coworkers, etc.

I think it’s easier to ignore the flaws in someone when you know their story intimately.  When you’ve walked with them.  My ex husband never really saw the flaws as I see them.  He looked at stretchmarks as a reminder of the beautiful children he now has.  But when you divorce, and re-enter the world of dating – things get a bit scary.  How do you know if a new person you’re seeing will react to you flaws in an understanding way?

Now, in the best of circumstances, I would hope that a new person would accept you – flaws and all.  But truthfully – that’s not as easy to accomplish in practice, because if those flaws are front and center in the beginning, it might not be easy for them to look past.  And because they didn’t walk the journey with you – they may not understand the stories behind why you have stretch marks, or why your hair got a bit thinner thanks to some crazy hormonal pregnancy woes.  They may not even know or understand that those flaws are a trigger for an emotional turmoil of self doubt.

I realize that ultimately, these insecurities are mine, and only mine to really solve and deal with.  It is not up to anyone but me to know how to work through them and not allow them to be triggered.  That if someone accidentally triggers one, that it’s ok.  It’s certainly not their fault.  It’s on me to work though.  But these are the thoughts I’ve been wondering about today.

behind_the_mask_by_ookami_seaempress

I know that for me, when I meet new people, I try to learn who they are – at their core.  That if I can get a look at what’s behind all the masks that we wear – and understand a person’s story – then, and only then, will I be able to really know them and understand them.  Only then, could you truly begin to love.  Anything else is shallow.  Anything else is just surface level bullshit that ultimately wastes a lot of time.  Life is too short to hide who we really are from everyone.  I refuse to do that – but I also refuse to show who I am to EVERYONE – because truthfully, not everyone cares.  Not everyone even wants to see me for who I really am.  Maybe – this approach will help me in the future.  Maybe this approach will allow me to feel comfortable letting in those coveted few people.  🙂

And maybe, just maybe… that’s enough.

Thanks for letting me ramble today Neverland.  Much love to you all.

lipstick kiss

Insecurities and trust

insecurity

I learned something very interesting about myself this weekend.  Grief brings out my insecurities.  It makes sense when I think about it.  When I’m grieving, I am in a very lost, lonely, sad kind of state.  That is typically when I feel like I need my support system the most.  It’s also when I feel guilt over needing my support system.  It feels needy and clingy and stupid. 

What I learned this weekend wasn’t that I’m insecure.  I already knew that.  🙂  What I learned this weekend is that sometimes, you have to learn to let go, and trust in those you love.  If someone tells you they love you, and they’ve done nothing to really make you doubt or deny that, then trust that they actually do love you as they say they do. 

I don’t know when I got to be like this.  Maybe they are a side effect of grief, or maybe I’ve always had issues with it in some respects.  I give love to others.  I’m generous (overly so in some cases), I go out of my way to make sure that the people I love KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I love them.  And yet, I sometimes fail to recognize the love that others give to me.  It’s not done intentionally.  I would be devastated if someone I loved didn’t recognize that and feel that from me, and yet, sometimes, I don’t see it.  And I should.  How do you learn to see the love and affection that others give?  Is it because I’m so focused on making sure I don’t screw up that I fail to enjoy what’s given to me?  Ding Ding Ding!  Holy crap what a realization to come to.  Why do I do that?  I think … to be honest, I think it’s somewhat out of guilt.  I don’t feel that I deserve it, or I’m scared it’s going to go away.  I’m done being scared.  I want to love with all my heart.  I want to allow myself to be loved in return.  Because I deserve it.  Because I’m a good, honorable, passionate, smart, sexy woman who sometimes fails to recognize those traits in herself.  I’m worthy.  I swear, I need to write that somewhere I can see it every day. 

I.  Am.  Worthy. 

love

I’ve had some bad recurring nightmares in the last week.  I’ve also had a few good dreams, which is unusual and inspires a bit of hope in me that maybe the nightmares can be made to go away.  I’ve had nightmares since I was a kid.  My mother has very vivid dreams as well, so part of me wonders if dreaming is somehow hereditary.  One dream I’ve had for many many years involves everyone I know and love disappearing before my eyes.  I’ve always thought the meaning of that dream pointed to my insecurities, and my fear of abandonment, and I’m probably right.  This new dream, it involves the death of my children.  And I can point to grief on that, maybe a bit of PTSD after losing Ben, but I could also say that maybe I’m grieving something else too.  My friend R pointed out this weekend that perhaps, besides mourning the loss of my son, I’m also mourning the loss of a dream.  I sometimes look around me and think about how I never planned for this.  I never planned to raise my children alone.  I never planned to be a corporate career woman.  I never planned to be living with a roommate at 32, divorced.  According to R, I need to mourn the change of my vision for myself in the future, and then I may be able to move on and dream new things.  It’s not a bad idea.  I suppose that’s why I’m writing on the subject.  Usually, writing helps me process the things I’m working through in my head. 

What was my vision before?  To have a good job, be a amazing wife, be a good mom.  To be a family.  To be fiercely loved by those closest to me.  To feel inspired and happy.

Where am I now? 

I have a good job.  I’m a good mom.  We are a family.  I am fiercely loved by those closest to me.  I AM inspired and happy.   Well I’ll be…. 🙂  Maybe it’s not mourning that should be happening.  Maybe it’s celebrating.  6/7 items on my vision’s list are happening on a daily basis and I have achieved.  Why am I beating myself up then?  I’ve done it.  Ok so the painting doesn’t look QUITE as I’d imagined it 10 years ago.  But when you really look at it, I did get everything I wanted. 

It’s amazing.  It’s inspiring.  It’s refreshing to look at it in a different perspective.  I really beat myself up this weekend.  It was an emotional rollercoaster of a weekend, that I brought on myself.  And now that it’s over…. I can still say I had an amazingly good weekend, I got a lot of things accomplished that I needed to, AND… somehow, I’m starting a new week clearer.  A bit stronger.  Prouder.  A few years ago, a weekend of tears would have left me feeling pretty mad at myself.  Now?  I feel like maybe it was time.  It was needed.  And now, I can move forward again.  It’s unlike me to have such an emotional moment.  I don’t see it becoming a trend, but I’ll embrace this weekend for what it was.  Me getting much needed “stuff” out of my system in order to process it and learn from it.

Much love to you neverland.  Goodnight.  XXO!

rc

It’s not procrastination, it’s the perspective.

procrastinate

I am a Procrastinator.  It’s a word I’d use to describe myself often.  I am a slave to my calendar and schedule.  And I’ll admit that it has helped me move forward in leaps and bounds when it comes to some aspects of my life.  I was being hard on myself earlier…thinking about the weekend and how little I felt I’d accomplished off my “To-Do” list in my head.  But then I started to think about what I DID do this weekend.  Maybe I’ve been looking at it in the wrong perspective. 

1.  Finished most of the house and my personal laundry washed, folded and put away. 
2.  Prepped all of the mini-me’s school registration paperwork and things she’d need for sign up.
3. Went for a walk with my 3 year old son
4. Finished the last episodes from a great show series and then managed to even watch the movie that followed.
5. Went and had an amazing pancake breakfast this morning. My son enjoyed the blueberry pancakes and bacon and grapes from my plate.  🙂  Was nice that he behaved well in the restaurant today.
6. Enjoyed a snuggly sunday morning.
7. Enjoyed bath time with the son twice – although I swear he gets me wetter than him sometimes. 🙂
8. I baked cookies, and tried out a funky chipotle ancho chili chicken recipe
9. I mopped and swept the kitchen floor and downstairs hall areas
10. I sorted through a couple of bags and boxes in my office
11.  I read a couple of books to the little man, played tons of dinosaurs and cars and merrily chased each other through the house on multiple occasions throughout the weekend.
12.  I wrote in my blog and got a little more done on the piece of art I’m working on.
13. I booked the flights for my vacation in November.  Can I just say, sooo excited for this.  I can’t believe it.  I don’t know how I’ve pulled it off, but it really looks like I’m going to get a good vacation.  To turn a negative time of year into such an incredible positive.  To get to unwind and get away from all the pressures of work and kids for a week.  BLISS!!
14.  Got all my grocery shopping for the next couple of weeks completed.
15.  Helped the mini-me look at planning her cosplay outfit.
16. Had a long chat with the bro.

When I really start to list out all that I did do this weekend.  Yea, ok, so I didn’t get to run the vacuum a I’d planned.  And I didn’t get to the oil change I need to do.  I had high expectations of myself, but what I did have was just as valuable.  I had some wonderful experiences with my family and loved ones. Perhaps it’s time to admit that sometimes, we get so focused on the doing, that we forget to look at the living.  I have to remind myself that yes, I’ve got to work on all those things on my to-do list, but at the same time, I also need to work on me.  And the only way to work on me, is to find the time to do the things that make me and those I love happy.

I look at that list and suddenly don’t feel like a procrastinator anymore.

192

The absolution of aging

aging

When we’re young and looking for love, we hide our flaws and imperfections.  Hoping that they will be overlooked, or better yet, somehow found to be an asset rather than a hindrance to the overall package we have to offer to a significant other.  Then when you find that person, you can embrace the idea of aging together.  Lovingly pointing out the new grey hairs that come in, the wrinkles that deepen, the hair loss, the weird moles that suddenly start to sprout hair… all of that fun jazz (please note the sarcasm there).  Aging together WITH someone, is almost charming, because at least you’re both falling apart together.  The new love handles your significant other suddenly has becomes a new endearing quality that just makes you love them that much more.

But what happens when you’re aging and in the dating world?  Do you try and hide these imperfections?  Even knowing that we are ALL going through them?  Do you use bottles of just for men, or shimmy your body into a tightly fitting girdle in order to appear younger or fresher?  Why?  If we’re all going through it, age is something we can’t turn away from, our bodies slowly give away and reveal their weaknesses to others around us as we grow old.  This is something we, none of us, can escape from; and yet, you’d likely be hard pressed to find anyone in the dating scene over 30 who doesn’t still try.

I have a few greys.  Not many, I’m only 31 after all, but I’ve noticed 3 of them coming in.  I could pull them.  Yank them by their roots and try and pretend I never saw them. They’d grow back.  Instead, I’m embracing their presence.  Perhaps the silvery strands are there as little badges of honor, to remind me that life is rich and full and I’ve truly LIVED it.  And there’s a hell of a lot more to go!

I’m going to make an attempt in the next few months to embrace my flaws.  A little thinning hair – meh – who cares, it’s finally filling in.  I blame pregnancy.  Crows feet… yup – and I blame SMILING all the time.  The occasional blemish – hello Stress!! I am human.  I have faults, I have flaws.  And rather than hide these and pretend they don’t exist.  I’m going to simply embrace that they are me.  A part of me, whether I like them or not.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to grow old with the people I love and laugh about them all.  My friends and loved ones .. be warned.  I may just lovingly point out your flaws and adorable imperfections and encourage you to start embracing them too.  Hehe.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.