It seems like I repeat this phrase a lot but I suppose that is OK. It’s “another late night ramble”.
I was thinking today about the way I present myself to others. I wear this facade. I don’t think that is altogether abnormal. It is probably quite common.
I have a good job. One I’ve busted my ass for. I’ve climbed “The Man’s” ladder for the last 20.5 years of my life. And, DAMN, I am proud of it. I haven’t made it as far as others, but I’m good. I don’t have to have a prestigous title to feel like I’ve accomplished something.
I have fought my way up that ladder though- through hard work, determination, solid work ethic, passion, and many times a hard exterior.
When I was young I went through some things that convinced me to make a decison. I wouldn’t let anything get me down. I wouldn’t cry. I wouldn’t FEEL my feelings. You just charge through. That is how you’ll make it.
I believed that with all of my heart.
I don’t think I was entirely wrong. But, there is a time and a place. What I didn’t realize then was the necessity of balance. And, at the age of 40, I’m starting to get the gist of it.
I still get angry when I cry, because I feel weak and I should be able to conquer ANYTHING that I am up against. What I sometimes forget is that I can still do it – even with the feelings – sometimes because you NEED the feelings. But, it takes that balance to get there. To win that fight in a more healthy way. I am in no way perfect with that, but I’ve certainly given it my best.
What people often don’t see is what I consider the weak side. The moments when I feel like I can’t keep going. When the weight of the world comes down on my shoulders and I just DON’T know what to do. The nights when I either lay in bed sleepless because my mind won’t shut down – thinking of all of the things that need to be done or resolved – or I put myself to sleep with tears that I won’t let anyone else see because realistically things can be overwhelming.
You will see a little softer side of me when it comes to my kids. It’s a Momma thing, I’m sure. Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been times I’ve been hard on them. There are lessons in life that are best learned young before you find yourself in a situation you aren’t prepared for.
I feel like I have raised some damned good kids! I can’t take all the credit – it does take a village sometimes. I’m thankful for all of the help I received over the years. Their father, step parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousin’s, best friends parents even! It was certainly a joint effort.
Respect, humbleness, work ethic, responsibility, forgiveness, love, diversity. All of these things I have tried very hard to teach my kids – and lead by example.
I do have times that I cry when my babies are hurting. Those are cries that I couldn’t even stop if I tried. I know deep down inside that is the love that I feel – never wanting them to hurt. It’s just the crying part that I struggle with. That is improving. It’s becoming easier to accept that those tears are Momma tears and they are well earned and cleansing. But, damn it – sure is still a struggle to accept that I don’t have the answers for everything.
There is the side that is self-critical. I am certainly my own worst critic. I will throw myself under the bus before anyone else will. Ask my closest friends or my boss…or my Momma. You could see that one, I guess, as soft or strong. I see it as both I think. It takes a feeling of defeat for me to get there – and I still struggle with the feeling that defeat represents weakness. But, at the same time, it certainly takes some strength to admit a failure. So, let’s say 50/50 – or convince me otherwise.
I also have the side that ACTUALLY laughs! Imagine that. I lost that for a long time. I’m finding it again and I LOVE IT! I mean, I know I suffer from Resting Bitch Face (dealt with that my entire life – was born with it!). But, I can proudly say that I am finding my smile again. And it fucking feels good!
I could go on and on for hours and go way deeper. But, basically, I’m a complex creature. Just like each and every other person out there. All of this to say….please don’t look at just the surface when you try to get to know someone. There is so much more in there. You never know when you’ll find that diamond in the rough.