Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Accepting Me

It seems like the last couple of years I have been gradually having to face up to who I really am. I feel like I have always struggled to feel that I am acceptable, lovable and okay just as me. Because of this I have continually aspired to be a different version of myself, a version that I thought would be more palatable and would fit in when I should and stand out when I wanted to. In the past I have really struggled with some aspects of my personality, my strengths and weaknesses and wished I was different. As a result I don't think I truly know who I am cause I have never let myself just be and got comfortable with that. I have always been simultaneously annoyed by and in awe of people who say things like "I hate..." or "I would never..." or "if that happened to me I would feel/do/think". That sense of self and knowledge of self is so foreign to me because I have been so quick to try to be what I think others wanted that I haven't even acknowledged my own feelings and thoughts.

During my teenage years I was just a ball of self loathing and self consciousness. My twenties was the discovery of a whole new world of confidence and wonderful friends, meeting and marrying my hubby and realising life could be more than I had ever hoped. Now in my thirties I feel like I am having to face who I truly am, whether I like it or not. The rubber is hitting the road and the stresses and choices of daily life as a mother don't allow me to entertain many fantasies about myself because I am daily faced with the reality of me, whether I like it or not. I might wish I was different but I don't have the energy or the time to be able to pretend for long, if at all. And I care a lot less about what other people might think of me, mainly cause my mind is too busy just coping with each day. Navel gazing just doesn't squeeze into my life that well anymore, compared to the almost constant internal monologing I used to do.

So here are some things I am learning about me and am in the process of accepting:

  • I am not that organised. I like to plan and write lists but I have no memory any more and am not great with details. I do most things on the fly and off the cuff. This usually works for me but if something requires more then I am not your girl.
  • I can be opinionated about issues and ideas but ask me what I want and how I feel and I will need to let you know, maybe in a few days cause I am still trying to work myself out.
  • I used to think I coped well under pressure and was quite laid back. That is something I has wished I was. I just try not to be a problem to anyone else but in reality I find lots of things stressful and often am unaware of being anxious and tense until I experience pretty severe symptoms.
  • I used to think I could cope with being really busy. I can't. I need lots of sleep and good food. I like to have things to do but I can't deal with too many things on my plate and I am not able to do all the things I would like to do. I want to be the solution to all the problems around me but a lot of the time dealing with my own problems feels like a lot. I probably give people the impression that I am very together. I am not. Its a lie and is more that I am a bit disconnected from myself and my own feelings and needs. I am working on that.
  • I always pictured myself as a stay at home Mum. That doesn't actually suit me. I continually struggle with balancing the expectations I have of what I should be able to do as a mother and the reality of working and all the other things I am interested in. I also love being away from Ella while I work. I love the adult conversation, being productive in a more measurable way and having a break from full time mothering. I feel conflicted about this but am trying to accept it. I am also trying to see how this does not mean I couldn't cope with another child, it just means I need to do it in a way that works for me, and our family. The extremes of Martha Stewart SAHM or career driven mother who farms out her children are not helpful or real. I need to develop my own working understanding of my identity as it evolves and incorporates all of the aspects of me.
  • I can be very focussed on doing things "right" but should focus more on having fun and enjoying life.
  • I am pretty pragmatic. I like to get things done. I am task orientated rather than process.
  • I hate injustice and get really upset when I see people behaving unethically or mistreating those who are vulnerable.
  • I am suspicious of those in authority and can spot a dodgy or manipulative person a mile off.
  • I enjoy meetings cause I like talking about things. But there should always be food.
  • I really enjoy public speaking.
  • I love writing. I am not a crafty person but I love to cook. 
  • As long as the house is tidy I don't mind a bit of dirt. 
  • I love reading non-fiction and if I read fiction it has to be pretty true to life. I am not that into poetry or art. But love film and music. 
  • I can't be bothered trying to be cool but I like to look nice. Shopping is awesome.
  • I am impulsive and hate decisions being unmade. I would rather make a choice and it be wrong than wait till the right decision becomes apparent.
  • I am heaps more relaxed about my daughter's development and behaviour than I thought I would be. I also find her confidence and quirkiness quite confronting at times. But it inspires me to keep on learning to accept who I am because she is so herself!

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