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Love or Money

One of the most difficult things about living with other people is understanding their love language. I’ve blogged about it before.

Someone very close to me uses money to communicate and impart their love and affection. It seems strange, cold, heartless and unnatural. That’s what I’ve always thought, at least.

But earlier today, I came to understand it a little bit better.

These things always seem to strike me while I’m driving. Probably because I actually have a few minutes to think of seriously random stuff when I’m driving but I digress.

I realized that it’s going to be easier for me to accept and understand this form of affection from now on. I’ve been bitter, I’ve taken advantage, I’ve been angry, I’ve been apathetic towards it, but it’s getting easier to understand. As much as I’d appreciate a hug, a kiss and a visit or two, this person’s affection speaks most clearly to them in the form of dollars and cents. Bizarre as it is, nothing will change the way they communicate their love and devotion, so perhaps I must adjust my perception and understanding of how to accept and understand that love. I have to be open to receive it and digest it in the most appropriate and respectful way.

Keep the old?

What makes someone a good friend? How does one prove oneself to be of “friendship” calibre?

When I was unwell people used to remind me of how smart I was. How much I loved Byzantium. How many different languages I (kinda) understand. I never heard that I was a good friend, though. I think it was probably implied, but, then again, I’m not really sure.

Am I proud of my education? Yes. I am passionate about Byzantine culture? Most certainly! Do I possess a limited knowledge of a few languages? Sure. I’ve always thought of myself as a relatively good friend, too, though. I help people when I can. I try to “be there” for people. I listen and care.

Perhaps I’m not a good friend. Perhaps all the things that I consider to be traits of a good friend are subjective and apt to change from person to person. I don’t consider using someone’s talents for one’s own gain as an act of friendship, though. Sometimes I feel used. Perhaps when those people reminded me of my educational background they merely mentioned it because that’s what they value most about me. Do they value it only because they want to use it, though? It’s confusing…

I need to practice more boundry setting. I need to get better at saying, “no.” Saying, “no,” does not necessarily make me a “bad” friend, colleague, sister, daughter, or employee. It shores up my backbone and helps engender within me a sense of self and self-worth.

Martha

There’s a story in the Bible about two sisters, Martha and Mary. They are Lazarus’ sisters - the Lazarus who Jesus revived after he’d been dead a few days. Jesus visits them at their house one day and Martha starts flipping out and cleaning everything while Mary (who was later conflated with Mary Magdalene and the pro’ who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair) sits with Jesus and chats with him about various spiritual topics. Finally, Martha is like, “Yo Mary, what gives? Help me out, dude! IDK if you noticed but J-dawg is here…” The age-old debate is whether Mary or Martha were doing the right things. I think that, in theory, Mary is the winner ‘cause she is listening to Jesus and talking about God and stuff, but I always kinda thought Martha was doing a good job, too. I mean, making something presentable for Jesus/God et al is good, right? Making sure He’s comfortable and happy… That’s the right thing to do, no? 

I was thinking about that earlier today when I was helping my mom do some stuff around the house for my brother’s graduation party. I drove a total of eighteen hours and forty-five minutes and spent a total of about twenty-three hours in town with my family for the event. I wanted to help out. I like helping and I know that my help is appreciated in some shape or form. I’m just really weirded out by the whole experience, though.

Two weeks ago, I graduated from a graduate program. My family were down here. Before they all arrived I flipped out and started cleaning and preparing food. I wanted them to be happy. I wanted them to be comfortable. I think they were. They tell me they were. I, however, was stressed out beyond belief. I cried when they all left my apartment because after they left I felt like I could finally breathe and relax. I was terrified my mother would hate everything about my apartment. I was worried about my curtain rods being uneven. I was worried she’d hate my porch, the way I store my dishes, what drawer I put my silverware in. I was worried she’d hate the way I’d decorated everything. When my sister came to visit a few months ago, her response to my apartment was, “it’s not fung shui.” If that was my sister’s feeling, I had no idea how my mother would react. I was terrified. It turned out she liked my place, which was a great relief. I’m sad I literally lost sleep over it, though. The rest of the time they were visiting I continued to feel like I was on pins and needles. The day after the graduation ceremony I planned a little morning get together. I prepared a few food items and was excited everyone would be coming over. It was nice. I was stressed, but it was nice. I enjoyed having everyone over! Later, when it was just me and my family, they demanded food. I thought to myself, what could I give them? They wanted snacks. I didn’t really have any. I could make more food? Or they could eat what I’d already prepared for the party earlier that day? I guess what I had did not appeal to them. They wanted guacamole. They ran to the store to get some of the things I needed to make guacamole. I was afraid they wouldn’t like it. Or that I wasn’t making it fast enough. They wanted to watch the horse race. I prepared more food while they watched the horse race. They’d spent a lot of money coming down for the ceremony. I wanted to make their trip worth it.

Why do I not value myself enough to think that my family will think a trip is worth it just to see me? Why can’t I just think that? I have to, like, bolster myself with treating them and doing everything for them?

My sister said that everyone had a really good time. She hoped that I had had a good time too. All I can remember is the stress and the work. Just sitting with them and chatting? Could I have done that?

Daughterhood

Over Christmas break, I visited my mother and youngest brother for a few days. My mother is experiencing some serious empty-nest anxiety. While there, she articulated some of her anxieties. I found her a little far-fetched and over-the-top and tried to make light of her anxieties, hoping that might assuage them a little bit, but my plan backfired. She was insulted by my not taking her seriously.

Earlier today, I thought about her anxieties. Someone pointed out that her anxieties are a natural life experience. Her being sad is ok. I agree. Thinking about it also made me recall when my sister and I went off to college for the first time. We moved my sister into her dorm room in Indiana and as we left my mother sobbed, “My life is over!” My brothers, standing adjacent to her, took that expression a little harshly, and for good reason. How can my mother think that because my sister and I wouldn’t be home her life had ended? We got her some chocolate afterwards and she seemed to calm down a little bit.

She has always been a dedicated and exuberant mother. She lavishes all her children with affection. She is excessively proud of all of us and takes a deep interest in our welfare and well-being.

I hope that she finds this upcoming change as a good thing. She finally gets to be herself and do the things from which I’d always thought we’d held her back. I wish she would relish the freedom and independence from providing for children day-in and day-out. It is certainly a bittersweet time. I wish she could see it that way

Nothing’s Holding Me Back

Individuals who suffer from depression also suffer the social stigmas which accompany it. Non-sufferers usually have little to no understanding of the various ailments associated with it. They do not comprehend, bless them, the self-doubt and loathing, the loss of appetite, the inability to concentrate or focus on anything, the lack of confidence in those they love and who love them back. They do not understand.

While traveling through JFK airport in New York City, I passed by a poignant and moving poster. It read: “You wouldn’t tell a cancer patient to get over it.” The copy fully explains the realities of depression.

Depression is a serious illness. It requires delicate care and attention. It requires rigorous treatment and prescriptions. It requires habitual therapy and self discipline. It requires tender words and gentle love from non-sufferers around the depressed individual. Depression can lead to death: horrible, unexplainable, painful death. When a depression sufferer commits suicide it’s the exact same as a cancer patient succumbing to their illness.

Depression hurts many people, just like cancer hurts many people. Those who love an ill person, whether depressed or those who suffer from any other terminal illness, are forced to endure heavy emotions.

Depression deserves to be respected and understood. If you don’t understand it and don’t care to, don’t judge sufferers. Love them. Be considerate. Be there.

Post Holiday Rant

I’m not a huge fan of the holidays. They usually involve a fair amount of inconvenience, a healthy dose of stress, financial anxiety, and incredible amounts of ingratiating. Do I love my family? Yes. I love them with every fiber of my being. Do I need them in my life? Undoubtedly. Do they make me laugh and feel happy? Unexplainably true.

However, the self-serving pride my family have in me makes me completely insane. 

Here are the facts: I wrote an abstract. I sent it to a committee in Venice, Italy for their review. They accepted the abstract and invited me to deliver the paper at a conference. It was the most humbling experience of my life. I did not go to show off. I did not go so I could put it on my resume. I went so I could learn something. I went so I could hear other people who share similar interests as me discuss esoteric topics. My paper discusses a fifteenth-century cardinal’s donation of Greek codices (books) to the city of Venice. If you don’t get it, that’s ok. I’m happy to explain it. If you don’t care, don’t ask. I don’t care if you don’t care. It’s ok. One of the perks of my trip was seeing one of the most beautiful churches I have ever entered. I nearly cried.

Here’s what did not happen: I have never lived in Orlando, FL. I did not win a prize. 

Here’s what MIGHT happen: I MIGHT become a college art history professor. I need to get hired first. I MIGHT go on to get my PhD. I need to acquire some serious money, though, in order to do so.

I guess the most frustruating thing I’ve had to deal with is that I’ve done a lot in my short life. I’ve achieved a lot of things I’ve always wanted. I lived abroad. I’ve traveled abroad. I have earned one degree and am earning another. I have learned a few different languages. I’ve presented my work to a critical but supportive audience. I’ve acted in plays. I’ve lived on my own. I lived in a big city. I’ve done a lot.

I am troubled by this sudden effusion of pride displayed by my family. It’s like they’re surprised by my success. I don’t understand why it took me going overseas (I’ve done it a few times already…) to actually tell me they’re proud. 

Being resentful isn’t appropriate, I know. I don’t want to be. I want to be proud of myself, too, and I am in many ways. I’m also grateful for the pride my family have in me. I don’t even know how to articulate the way I feel. Bottom line is that it’s very frustrating and confusing.

Hello, my name is…

Nerd, geek, weirdo, brainiac, smarty-pants, etc.

Alright, so I’m a nerd.

I love art. It makes me happy. Sometimes I break out into dance upon seeing a fantastic piece of art. Other times I’m left speechless at the sight of glittering tesserae arranged to inspire religious devotion. I like talking about it and could do so for hours. I know not everyone understands art, but I want to help them try. It’s not difficult. I promise! I’m a pretty ardent feminist and I’m not afraid to say it! Women are groovy and should get more recognition for the wonderful things they do. Men are fantastic people, too. It’s heterosexual capitalist white-supremacist patriarchy I hate, thank you bell hooks. I speak three different languages and can read a tiny bit of a dead one. It’s not impressive, I just have to for school. In pursuit of my career, I’ve had to pick up skills I never thought I’d have to possess. I know big words, because I had to study them for the GRE and if you know me well, you know I’m a receptacle for useless knowledge. I love Jane Austen; her writing is amazing and I love the way she develops characters. I am in awe of the way she was able to capture self-reflection in her characters to develop a sense of electric chemistry between two characters. I have been in plays. It’s hard to be in plays. It can be really embarrassing wearing a burlap sack in a pool of water then climb onto some dude’s back! I work with Girl Scouts. It gives me purpose when, on a normal day, I feel lost and without direction. Those girls make me smile when I’m trying to make them smile. I thrive off of sharing my skills with them. I love crafts and could sit at home crocheting for an entire afternoon. I am proud of the things I’ve made, even though I usually hate them. I draw pictures to help me heal. It helps and I cannot explain why. I like reading, anything. I love to travel and get really geeked out over random stuff carved into walls. Those who know me understand that I’ll calm down after a little bit and move on. I listen to all types of music, including classical. I can listen to a British singer/songwriter for hours on end. I was an Irish dancer for a long time, too. It was one of the most wonderful parts of my life so far. I visited so many interesting places, met so many wonderful people. I danced with a Grammy winning band and to the music of an amazingly accomplished group of female musicians. I love shoes and I have an excessive amount of them. I love my baby brother so much. Apparently he thinks I’m really old. Whatever. He’s the cutest, sweetest boy in the world. I used to rock him to sleep when he was a baby. He told me I’m his best friend and I almost melted. He knows I’m the best girl and he believes in me when no one else does. He hugs me when I need it and he tells me about his day when I’m so tired of thinking about my own I’m about to burst.

I am a good person. I am a sweet person. I am not a morning person. I am fun. I am somewhat pretty. I have a great sense of humor, though decidedly sarcastic. I try to be as honest and open as I can. I try to accept everyone despite their faults and past mistakes. Impressing me is not required.

I love with my whole heart. It’s impossible for me to do otherwise. 

Take me or leave me. Just don’t make me cry.

Self Assessment

I have a great deal of difficulty allowing myself to create a sense of self. This probably doesn’t make much sense, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve allowed other people create my self-identity.

My mother has (most likely unconsciously) made me feel fat, selfish, gluttonous, insufficient, co-dependent, incapable, undeserving, and poorly complected with bad hair.

Other people have made me feel, inadequate, ugly, unintelligent, undesirable, ill-equipped, and like a pain-in-the-ass.

Other times, I hear my family members call me grumpy, teary, petulant, and mean.

Then, people who have once defined me as wonderful make me feel like I’m actually annoying, which is probably my biggest fear EVER!

My inner voice tells me that, for the most part, none of these traits make-up my personality, and yet their voices are so much louder and resounding. I cannot even take a compliment to heart. There’s such an embroiled conflict in my inner dialogue and i can’t hear anything at all. It’s all garbled.

My WONDERFUL psychologist, Dr. B., once shared a way of thinking about this: he compared this mode of thinking like a radio in between stations. Turn the dial one way, and one station becomes more clear; turn it another way, and the other becomes more clear. I’m stuck in the middle, though. I need to define identity myself. It’s just really hard when I’m so good at defining myself via the definitions attributed to me by others.

Trust

One of the things I find myself grappling with the most these days is trust. I want to trust people implicitly. I want to believe the best. Naively, I often do. 

I think I know someone and so I trust them. Then, suddenly, something is amiss. The things these people have told me have somehow been denatured. My heart sinks to learn I do not truly know these individuals with whom I previously shared so many wonderful times and memories. Then I remind myself of the things stated in the past and I wonder what I can or cannot believe. Was it all a lie? How do I filter out the truth from the lies?

I’ve always been a strong proponent of following my heart, yet my heart often leads me towards heartache. How do I know when people actually possess a tendency to dupe those people around them? Is the only way to continue running into trouble? I’m sure people don’t set out with the intent of being cruel… I’m sure they don’t truly mean to cause pain and lie but I want to avoid their unintention.

Love or Money

One of the most difficult things about living with other people is understanding their love language. I’ve blogged about it before.

Someone very close to me uses money to communicate and impart their love and affection. It seems strange, cold, heartless and unnatural. That’s what I’ve always thought, at least.

But earlier today, I came to understand it a little bit better.

These things always seem to strike me while I’m driving. Probably because I actually have a few minutes to think of seriously random stuff when I’m driving but I digress.

I realized that it’s going to be easier for me to accept and understand this form of affection from now on. I’ve been bitter, I’ve taken advantage, I’ve been angry, I’ve been apathetic towards it, but it’s getting easier to understand. As much as I’d appreciate a hug, a kiss and a visit or two, this person’s affection speaks most clearly to them in the form of dollars and cents. Bizarre as it is, nothing will change the way they communicate their love and devotion, so perhaps I must adjust my perception and understanding of how to accept and understand that love. I have to be open to receive it and digest it in the most appropriate and respectful way.

Keep the old?

What makes someone a good friend? How does one prove oneself to be of “friendship” calibre?

When I was unwell people used to remind me of how smart I was. How much I loved Byzantium. How many different languages I (kinda) understand. I never heard that I was a good friend, though. I think it was probably implied, but, then again, I’m not really sure.

Am I proud of my education? Yes. I am passionate about Byzantine culture? Most certainly! Do I possess a limited knowledge of a few languages? Sure. I’ve always thought of myself as a relatively good friend, too, though. I help people when I can. I try to “be there” for people. I listen and care.

Perhaps I’m not a good friend. Perhaps all the things that I consider to be traits of a good friend are subjective and apt to change from person to person. I don’t consider using someone’s talents for one’s own gain as an act of friendship, though. Sometimes I feel used. Perhaps when those people reminded me of my educational background they merely mentioned it because that’s what they value most about me. Do they value it only because they want to use it, though? It’s confusing…

I need to practice more boundry setting. I need to get better at saying, “no.” Saying, “no,” does not necessarily make me a “bad” friend, colleague, sister, daughter, or employee. It shores up my backbone and helps engender within me a sense of self and self-worth.

Martha

There’s a story in the Bible about two sisters, Martha and Mary. They are Lazarus’ sisters - the Lazarus who Jesus revived after he’d been dead a few days. Jesus visits them at their house one day and Martha starts flipping out and cleaning everything while Mary (who was later conflated with Mary Magdalene and the pro’ who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair) sits with Jesus and chats with him about various spiritual topics. Finally, Martha is like, “Yo Mary, what gives? Help me out, dude! IDK if you noticed but J-dawg is here…” The age-old debate is whether Mary or Martha were doing the right things. I think that, in theory, Mary is the winner ‘cause she is listening to Jesus and talking about God and stuff, but I always kinda thought Martha was doing a good job, too. I mean, making something presentable for Jesus/God et al is good, right? Making sure He’s comfortable and happy… That’s the right thing to do, no? 

I was thinking about that earlier today when I was helping my mom do some stuff around the house for my brother’s graduation party. I drove a total of eighteen hours and forty-five minutes and spent a total of about twenty-three hours in town with my family for the event. I wanted to help out. I like helping and I know that my help is appreciated in some shape or form. I’m just really weirded out by the whole experience, though.

Two weeks ago, I graduated from a graduate program. My family were down here. Before they all arrived I flipped out and started cleaning and preparing food. I wanted them to be happy. I wanted them to be comfortable. I think they were. They tell me they were. I, however, was stressed out beyond belief. I cried when they all left my apartment because after they left I felt like I could finally breathe and relax. I was terrified my mother would hate everything about my apartment. I was worried about my curtain rods being uneven. I was worried she’d hate my porch, the way I store my dishes, what drawer I put my silverware in. I was worried she’d hate the way I’d decorated everything. When my sister came to visit a few months ago, her response to my apartment was, “it’s not fung shui.” If that was my sister’s feeling, I had no idea how my mother would react. I was terrified. It turned out she liked my place, which was a great relief. I’m sad I literally lost sleep over it, though. The rest of the time they were visiting I continued to feel like I was on pins and needles. The day after the graduation ceremony I planned a little morning get together. I prepared a few food items and was excited everyone would be coming over. It was nice. I was stressed, but it was nice. I enjoyed having everyone over! Later, when it was just me and my family, they demanded food. I thought to myself, what could I give them? They wanted snacks. I didn’t really have any. I could make more food? Or they could eat what I’d already prepared for the party earlier that day? I guess what I had did not appeal to them. They wanted guacamole. They ran to the store to get some of the things I needed to make guacamole. I was afraid they wouldn’t like it. Or that I wasn’t making it fast enough. They wanted to watch the horse race. I prepared more food while they watched the horse race. They’d spent a lot of money coming down for the ceremony. I wanted to make their trip worth it.

Why do I not value myself enough to think that my family will think a trip is worth it just to see me? Why can’t I just think that? I have to, like, bolster myself with treating them and doing everything for them?

My sister said that everyone had a really good time. She hoped that I had had a good time too. All I can remember is the stress and the work. Just sitting with them and chatting? Could I have done that?

Daughterhood

Over Christmas break, I visited my mother and youngest brother for a few days. My mother is experiencing some serious empty-nest anxiety. While there, she articulated some of her anxieties. I found her a little far-fetched and over-the-top and tried to make light of her anxieties, hoping that might assuage them a little bit, but my plan backfired. She was insulted by my not taking her seriously.

Earlier today, I thought about her anxieties. Someone pointed out that her anxieties are a natural life experience. Her being sad is ok. I agree. Thinking about it also made me recall when my sister and I went off to college for the first time. We moved my sister into her dorm room in Indiana and as we left my mother sobbed, “My life is over!” My brothers, standing adjacent to her, took that expression a little harshly, and for good reason. How can my mother think that because my sister and I wouldn’t be home her life had ended? We got her some chocolate afterwards and she seemed to calm down a little bit.

She has always been a dedicated and exuberant mother. She lavishes all her children with affection. She is excessively proud of all of us and takes a deep interest in our welfare and well-being.

I hope that she finds this upcoming change as a good thing. She finally gets to be herself and do the things from which I’d always thought we’d held her back. I wish she would relish the freedom and independence from providing for children day-in and day-out. It is certainly a bittersweet time. I wish she could see it that way

Nothing’s Holding Me Back

Individuals who suffer from depression also suffer the social stigmas which accompany it. Non-sufferers usually have little to no understanding of the various ailments associated with it. They do not comprehend, bless them, the self-doubt and loathing, the loss of appetite, the inability to concentrate or focus on anything, the lack of confidence in those they love and who love them back. They do not understand.

While traveling through JFK airport in New York City, I passed by a poignant and moving poster. It read: “You wouldn’t tell a cancer patient to get over it.” The copy fully explains the realities of depression.

Depression is a serious illness. It requires delicate care and attention. It requires rigorous treatment and prescriptions. It requires habitual therapy and self discipline. It requires tender words and gentle love from non-sufferers around the depressed individual. Depression can lead to death: horrible, unexplainable, painful death. When a depression sufferer commits suicide it’s the exact same as a cancer patient succumbing to their illness.

Depression hurts many people, just like cancer hurts many people. Those who love an ill person, whether depressed or those who suffer from any other terminal illness, are forced to endure heavy emotions.

Depression deserves to be respected and understood. If you don’t understand it and don’t care to, don’t judge sufferers. Love them. Be considerate. Be there.

Post Holiday Rant

I’m not a huge fan of the holidays. They usually involve a fair amount of inconvenience, a healthy dose of stress, financial anxiety, and incredible amounts of ingratiating. Do I love my family? Yes. I love them with every fiber of my being. Do I need them in my life? Undoubtedly. Do they make me laugh and feel happy? Unexplainably true.

However, the self-serving pride my family have in me makes me completely insane. 

Here are the facts: I wrote an abstract. I sent it to a committee in Venice, Italy for their review. They accepted the abstract and invited me to deliver the paper at a conference. It was the most humbling experience of my life. I did not go to show off. I did not go so I could put it on my resume. I went so I could learn something. I went so I could hear other people who share similar interests as me discuss esoteric topics. My paper discusses a fifteenth-century cardinal’s donation of Greek codices (books) to the city of Venice. If you don’t get it, that’s ok. I’m happy to explain it. If you don’t care, don’t ask. I don’t care if you don’t care. It’s ok. One of the perks of my trip was seeing one of the most beautiful churches I have ever entered. I nearly cried.

Here’s what did not happen: I have never lived in Orlando, FL. I did not win a prize. 

Here’s what MIGHT happen: I MIGHT become a college art history professor. I need to get hired first. I MIGHT go on to get my PhD. I need to acquire some serious money, though, in order to do so.

I guess the most frustruating thing I’ve had to deal with is that I’ve done a lot in my short life. I’ve achieved a lot of things I’ve always wanted. I lived abroad. I’ve traveled abroad. I have earned one degree and am earning another. I have learned a few different languages. I’ve presented my work to a critical but supportive audience. I’ve acted in plays. I’ve lived on my own. I lived in a big city. I’ve done a lot.

I am troubled by this sudden effusion of pride displayed by my family. It’s like they’re surprised by my success. I don’t understand why it took me going overseas (I’ve done it a few times already…) to actually tell me they’re proud. 

Being resentful isn’t appropriate, I know. I don’t want to be. I want to be proud of myself, too, and I am in many ways. I’m also grateful for the pride my family have in me. I don’t even know how to articulate the way I feel. Bottom line is that it’s very frustrating and confusing.

Hello, my name is…

Nerd, geek, weirdo, brainiac, smarty-pants, etc.

Alright, so I’m a nerd.

I love art. It makes me happy. Sometimes I break out into dance upon seeing a fantastic piece of art. Other times I’m left speechless at the sight of glittering tesserae arranged to inspire religious devotion. I like talking about it and could do so for hours. I know not everyone understands art, but I want to help them try. It’s not difficult. I promise! I’m a pretty ardent feminist and I’m not afraid to say it! Women are groovy and should get more recognition for the wonderful things they do. Men are fantastic people, too. It’s heterosexual capitalist white-supremacist patriarchy I hate, thank you bell hooks. I speak three different languages and can read a tiny bit of a dead one. It’s not impressive, I just have to for school. In pursuit of my career, I’ve had to pick up skills I never thought I’d have to possess. I know big words, because I had to study them for the GRE and if you know me well, you know I’m a receptacle for useless knowledge. I love Jane Austen; her writing is amazing and I love the way she develops characters. I am in awe of the way she was able to capture self-reflection in her characters to develop a sense of electric chemistry between two characters. I have been in plays. It’s hard to be in plays. It can be really embarrassing wearing a burlap sack in a pool of water then climb onto some dude’s back! I work with Girl Scouts. It gives me purpose when, on a normal day, I feel lost and without direction. Those girls make me smile when I’m trying to make them smile. I thrive off of sharing my skills with them. I love crafts and could sit at home crocheting for an entire afternoon. I am proud of the things I’ve made, even though I usually hate them. I draw pictures to help me heal. It helps and I cannot explain why. I like reading, anything. I love to travel and get really geeked out over random stuff carved into walls. Those who know me understand that I’ll calm down after a little bit and move on. I listen to all types of music, including classical. I can listen to a British singer/songwriter for hours on end. I was an Irish dancer for a long time, too. It was one of the most wonderful parts of my life so far. I visited so many interesting places, met so many wonderful people. I danced with a Grammy winning band and to the music of an amazingly accomplished group of female musicians. I love shoes and I have an excessive amount of them. I love my baby brother so much. Apparently he thinks I’m really old. Whatever. He’s the cutest, sweetest boy in the world. I used to rock him to sleep when he was a baby. He told me I’m his best friend and I almost melted. He knows I’m the best girl and he believes in me when no one else does. He hugs me when I need it and he tells me about his day when I’m so tired of thinking about my own I’m about to burst.

I am a good person. I am a sweet person. I am not a morning person. I am fun. I am somewhat pretty. I have a great sense of humor, though decidedly sarcastic. I try to be as honest and open as I can. I try to accept everyone despite their faults and past mistakes. Impressing me is not required.

I love with my whole heart. It’s impossible for me to do otherwise. 

Take me or leave me. Just don’t make me cry.

Self Assessment

I have a great deal of difficulty allowing myself to create a sense of self. This probably doesn’t make much sense, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve allowed other people create my self-identity.

My mother has (most likely unconsciously) made me feel fat, selfish, gluttonous, insufficient, co-dependent, incapable, undeserving, and poorly complected with bad hair.

Other people have made me feel, inadequate, ugly, unintelligent, undesirable, ill-equipped, and like a pain-in-the-ass.

Other times, I hear my family members call me grumpy, teary, petulant, and mean.

Then, people who have once defined me as wonderful make me feel like I’m actually annoying, which is probably my biggest fear EVER!

My inner voice tells me that, for the most part, none of these traits make-up my personality, and yet their voices are so much louder and resounding. I cannot even take a compliment to heart. There’s such an embroiled conflict in my inner dialogue and i can’t hear anything at all. It’s all garbled.

My WONDERFUL psychologist, Dr. B., once shared a way of thinking about this: he compared this mode of thinking like a radio in between stations. Turn the dial one way, and one station becomes more clear; turn it another way, and the other becomes more clear. I’m stuck in the middle, though. I need to define identity myself. It’s just really hard when I’m so good at defining myself via the definitions attributed to me by others.

Trust

One of the things I find myself grappling with the most these days is trust. I want to trust people implicitly. I want to believe the best. Naively, I often do. 

I think I know someone and so I trust them. Then, suddenly, something is amiss. The things these people have told me have somehow been denatured. My heart sinks to learn I do not truly know these individuals with whom I previously shared so many wonderful times and memories. Then I remind myself of the things stated in the past and I wonder what I can or cannot believe. Was it all a lie? How do I filter out the truth from the lies?

I’ve always been a strong proponent of following my heart, yet my heart often leads me towards heartache. How do I know when people actually possess a tendency to dupe those people around them? Is the only way to continue running into trouble? I’m sure people don’t set out with the intent of being cruel… I’m sure they don’t truly mean to cause pain and lie but I want to avoid their unintention.

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Keep the old?
Martha
Daughterhood
Nothing’s Holding Me Back
Post Holiday Rant
Hello, my name is…
Self Assessment
Trust

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