Posts Tagged With: inconsistency

The Not So Great Pretender

I often walk through life thinking someone will find out the truth about me. They’ll find out that I’m all fluff and nonsense, a shell without substance, cotton candy. My nutritional value is exactly zero.

I am just like my yard, the front public view blooms with bright colors and lovely swept walks, while the back yard grass overgrows its bounds, weeds replicate in frightful numbers and a dead Christmas tree in April houses countless spiders.

Oh, look, it’s not a secret anymore. I just blogged the truth right here for all to see. (Bet you didn’t realize the subtitle of this blog is “True Confessions.”)

Seriously, don’t you ever feel like a fake? I do, all the time. I know all my failings, all my shortcomings, all my whininess and nitpickiness. I hear all those thoughts I never actually say out loud. I think those thoughts. I’m not a nice person. I’m not someone anyone should trust with anything precious or private or close to the heart.

This hangs in my kitchen, you'd think it would sink in to my subconscious mind.

This hangs in my kitchen, you’d think it would sink in.

For example, I often say “Yes” with a sincere smile, when my heart, mind and soul all want to scream “NO!!!! Are you crazy? Why would you ask such a thing of me?”

It’s almost as if some other entity has taken over my brain and formed my lips into the “yes” word. It’s automatic, instinctual, mindless. Where logic dictates a “no” answer, i.e. my schedule can’t squeeze another drop into it, I blithely, trippingly, child-without-a-care-in-the-world answer, “sure, I’d be happy to.”

Then I promptly and privately find a brick wall and bash my head against it, repeatedly. What a fool I am.

I end up letting people down because I’m overscheduled, unorganized and undisciplined. Then I really hate myself as the truth about me leaks out. I’m not reliable or consistent or kind or helpful or anything good at all.

I can’t decide if I’m super easy-going, lacking a back bone, or simply bonkers.

There’s also the reverse problem. I finally, blessedly, miraculously say “no” to something or someone. You’d think I’d breathe a huge sigh, pat myself on the back and get on with my life. You’d think wrong. I second-guess myself, feel guilty for saying “no,” feel selfish for standing up for myself and generally berate my decision and my no-ingness.

I can’t say “yes” and I can’t say “no” without repercussions. Oh, brother.

My kids know and recognize the truth. They know that mending projects may never get finished, regardless of my deeply sincere intentions. They know that “I’m going to bed early tonight” actually means I’ll probably be awake until two or three a.m. They know and have sadly lived with the raving lunatic driver who wishes her car came equipped with a bazooka and a bullhorn. They’ve seen this angry rock-hurling, lawnchair-throwing maniac pushed past her limits.

Lucky for them, they escaped and now live elsewhere. Miraculously, they still call and drop by occasionally, bless their hearts.

I also agree to things that I’m deathly afraid of. (Snake handling, spider killing, heights, skydiving. Sorry, no way. I can say no to those obvious things. That’s easy.) But, ask me to talk to a stranger, I about disintegrate. My insides shatter like so much safety glass. Try something new and different? My legs turn to jelly and I all but fall to the floor in a puddle of goo.

I’m sure people exist who are exactly what you see. No smoke, no mirrors. A secret hidden camera in their home would reveal nothing new or surprising. The public person would exactly mirror the private person. At least I hope so. I hope most people aren’t like me. Happy on the outside, roiling and gurgling on the inside.

It's like I'm intentionally bonkers, it just happens.

It’s not like I’m intentionally bonkers, it just happens.

I only have my own inner battle as evidence. I want to be the same inside and outside. I want to be consistent in public and in private. My inconsistency often overwhelms me and a kind of self-loathing takes over. A huge, overpowering self-excoriating  “how can I live in my own skin” kind of muck happens. It’s not pretty.

I can’t blame hormones, grief, sleep deprivation, lack of chocolate or the weather. I’ve been like this my whole flipping life. I want to convince myself that everyone battles inner demons like this, but I don’t have any evidence to support such a lame thesis. All I have are these boxes of depositions against myself, double stacked nearly to the ceiling, of how I’ve failed to live up to my own expectations, stand up for myself, be honest about my life and feelings, say what I’m really thinking, do what I really want to do, be the real me.

I’m sure some psychologist or talk show host would have a heyday with this scenario.

Even my computer understands my lack of back bone.

Even my computer understands my lack of back bone.

I’m a mess. I admit it. I’m the first to admit it. Well, MSH would also admit it, maybe. Although he says he still loves me. I’m not sure how he manages to do that. Pity or desperation, perhaps. Maybe he’s a little nuts, too. I don’t love me, so how can he?

Life makes me so tired.

Can I just crawl back into bed today and stay there until Saturday?

Does anyone have any chocolate?

How about a spare life-long around the world cruise ticket? I could use one of those. I’m sure it would help.












Categories: Communication, Humor, Mental Health, self-image | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Excuse Me, Do You Have Change for a Dollar?

Occasionally, we really want some change.

When the soda machine isn’t accepting bills and you’re due for a serious caffeine fix. All that stands between you and that Diet Coke is a thin piece of glass and a few quarters. Makes you crazy if you can’t scrounge some coins.

Our change jar.

Our change jar.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve raided my change jar, or MSH’s change jar because his has more quarters in it than mine. Usually it’s cause I’m headed to the car wash. Sometimes it’s for the lemonade stand some kid has set up across the street at the park. Rare occasions it’s for the laundromat. Unfortunately, sometimes I’ve raided the coin jar just to buy a gallon of milk. That’s a bit awkward at the checkout stand, but hey, real life happens, right?

The change I’m thinking about runs with a different crowd. We don’t often want or go looking for this kind of change.

Today I’m talking the change we often get when things have been running along nice and smooth. Then BAM! some new twist propels itself into our lives. An illness, a job loss, new responsibilities at work, a child moves out, a relative moves in, a new school year begins, we go back to college, a death in the family or a close friend,  an accident, mental illness, aging.

This favorite saying of MSH used to drive me crazy.

“The only constant in life…is change.” ~ Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher

(Lately, I’ve added and gravity. And the sun rising and setting, unless you live in Alaska. But that’s off the topic.)

Why did this quote drive me bonkers? Lots of reasons. The main one? Because we moved almost as often as those herds of water buffalo that populate nature shows. Seventeen moves in thirty years. One was across the street, literally. Four were within one mile of each other. From one coast to another coast once. We did stay put for about four years in several places. Almost enough time to feel secure and settled. Mostly I resisted putting up curtains, making the rental place feel like my own, because it wasn’t going to last. Nope, we weren’t in the military, just migratory.

Only thing, it wasn’t predictable like the annual migrations of bovines. Add a couple kids to the mix and predictability and a schedule seemed impossible. Add a couple more and you learn to roll, and weave and ride the waves of whatever comes your way.

Spontaneous and flexible became my new middle names. Easygoing rode shotgun everywhere we went. It had to, or I’d have lost my mind. Oh wait, I guess I did once or twice, early on.

Wouldn’t I love to own a home and live in the same house for the next thirty or forty years? Absolutely!

I envy anyone with roots like that like you wouldn’t believe. But I don’t let it bother me, or I’d go bonkers.

That’s the key to survival. Not letting things bother me.

The winds of change?

The winds of change?

Whether you’ve lived in the same place your entire adult life, or you move often, change catches up to you and happens anyway. Big changes, little changes, it doesn’t matter, life will change and whether you like it or not it will change you along the way.

Sometimes I’ve whined and cried about changes I’ve had to deal with. Honestly, a lot of times I’ve wailed and complained. Did it change the change? No. Did I feel better? Maybe for a second, but continuing to feel whiney only made things miserable.

Sometimes the change excites and tantalizes and I tentatively embrace it. Even then, the change can still pinch or sting a bit.

Do I have any great wisdom to share about change and how to deal with it? Not really. I’ve had some experience with it. It happens. I can initiate changes, I can accept them, I can roll with them, I can stomp around and yell about changes. In the end it’s simply me dealing with life.

I hope I’m changing for the better. I’d like to think others are, too.

What and when the next change waiting on the horizon happens I hope I’m ready. Eye on the ball, alert, attentive, awake, and definitely with my game face on.

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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