Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And the tears dried

I have to take a break. This whole NaNoWriMo thing is getting to me tonight. Oh, don't worry I am totally keeping up with my word count. I am way too competitive to not have that happen. I just hope I don't run out of story before I get anywhere near my word count. I can feel a little bit of panicked frustration setting in. Anyway, this is the antidote. I am going to combat writing boredom by writing something. Something different.

I have always been a crier. My mom tells this story about me at when I was around five years old or so. I was sitting in a pile of laundry that I was supposed to be helping my mom fold. I was sitting there in the middle of the clothes bawling. Why? Because I just couldn't do it or maybe because I didn't want to do it which is very likely. But I can almost guarantee that there was this well of frustration bubbling up in that little girl. She was crying because she couldn't get it right. Never mind that this was probably the first time that she had actually tried to fold clothes in her mind she should be able to do it and do it perfectly, the first time.

I have carried that kind of attitude in to my adult life. When things are difficult I cry, when I am frustrated I cry, angry, sad... you get the picture. But these are not tears of some softy these are tears of frustration and disappointment. I am usually frustrated at myself for not being able to do something perfectly the very first time. There is a right and a wrong way to do things and if you don't get it right then you are wrong. That really has been the philosophy of my mind for as long as I can remember. I don't even know why. That is not what I was taught when I was young. I don't ever remember feeling pressured to be perfect at any of the things that have brought the tidal wave of tears.

I also cry when someone is frustrated with me or even if they are someone important in my life and they have a serious discussion with me. I can't help it. It's like the floodgates open up. They aren't floodgates of sadness they are floodgates of self-anger of frustration that I had not foreseen what I was about to be told and avoided it completely. The thing is there always has to be something wrong with me and if I could just figure it out and get it corrected then I would make everyone happy all of the time and I would always do things right.

Wow. I am actually getting tired just writing that. When it is all out there it sounds completely stupid. I might be able to see why a child would think that way but when it moves in to the world of adults it doesn't look quite as "right".

Recently I have been noticing something. My tears are drying up. Maybe it has something to do with getting a little older and (maybe?) gaining some maturity. Maybe it has something to do with being married for a few years now. Maybe it has something to do with having my own child. Suddenly I am finding some grace for myself. Oh, I am not saying that it is coming easily because it isn't, I actually have to trample over loads of guilt, sometimes every day, sometimes I have to get over guilt about not feeling guilty!

I knew something was changing the other day when I had had a few serious discussions with important people in my life and I didn't cry during any of them. As a matter of fact I didn't cry after any of them either. I took everything that was being said and looked at it for what it was, a conversation, an exchange of thoughts and ideas from one adult to another, they weren't doing anything wrong and I wasn't doing anything wrong. We were sharing.

I had an even more emotionally charged discussion tonight. Not once did I feel like crying. At one point I felt the frustration start to rise and settle at the back of my throat, it began to form a lump around which I was having difficulty swallowing. And then I realized how silly I was being. Why would I let something like a discussion dictate my emotions like that? Why would I start passing blame? Why would I blame myself for something that there was no blame in? Who in the hell am I anyway to decide that I am so powerful that I can direct the emotions and/or outcome of other people's lives and emotions. HA. When I look at it that way I actually have to laugh at myself. Which, believe me, is not easy for me to do but it is getting there.

I am leaving the clothing pile to the five year old and I am moving on.

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