"To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.” E. E. Cummings
Most people think I am strong, that I am smart, that I am confident, my Dad who can hardly see knows when I coming because he says I walk like I have somewhere important to go and do. My Husband says I am strongest woman he knows and can handle anything. Some people say I am as funny as hell, and I try to be, I think it is important to laugh daily, and to make others laugh. I love to make people laugh at something stupid I have said. One never knows when one is having a bad day and this one little laugh makes them change their attitude for a while. Some days I feel confident, and smart, and look good.
Most days, I am not any of these things.
My internal dialogue has never been one of “you can do this” I have never been sure of myself in any shape, manner or form. I am my harshest critique, I am not as confident or as strong as I appear, although I have to admit I have been more confident since I started back to school. I am more readily able to spout my opinion and stand up for myself. Go after what I want to a certain extent. BUT I am overly sensitive; I wear my emotions of my sleeve. If you cry, I will cry. Many people lately have called me sweet...maybe I am. BUT when I look in the mirror and do not like what I see. This 50 thing is coming up quick. OK it is over 2 years away, but I see the wrinkles, my skin is awful and I wish I had at least that. MY body does not respond the way I want. I constantly look at others who are 50, they look awesome, and I know this is not going to happen to me due to my genetics’. I hate it. I am told I am spitting image of my grandmother who aged early. I always said that I would grow old gracefully, but I am certainly off to a lousy start. Although, I do like my looks some days but most days I feel that I am not ready to accept this stage in my life. How does one deal and accept this? I really don’t know.
But I also look in the mirror and see a woman who has not done much with her life, and I am regretting that, way more than the lines and bulging middle. Yes, I have raised or in the process of raising two great kids. That is only one part of me, and it is this other part of me that I am not happy with. I could have done this and that, but didn’t. I think it is part of this age to feel this way. I am sure not liking it. I hate the insecure feelings that seem to be there constantly! Gnawing at me. I think part of this was I was so busy with my life before, that I had no time to think. Now that I do, I am not liking what I see.
Turning 40 was hard on me, but I missed my 30’s trying to have children. It was my sole focus in life. A good Focus but needless to say a focus that took away from self discovery. Maybe I wasn't ready. I finally had Nathan at 37 and gave up on having morechildren. I was so tired after he was born, and the constant care a preemie needs that, I barely had the energy to look after myself which was not good for him. Now I wish I had taken the time for me. To firm up and lose weight got myself back into where I was before this all happened, 7 years of trying to conceive took its toll on me, my body and yes, my mind. A friend of mine has said you should not beat yourself up for the choices you made in the past; they were all you could do at the time, right or wrong. She is right. BUT I am bad at the “what IF” thing or I “should have” thing. I should look to the future but the future is so uncertain for a woman of my age. I guess I feel out of control.
I tried taking my forties and to find out who I was and what I wanted out of life. I knew that it was not painting any more. Although I still love to whip out a brush once and while, being an Artist was a romantic notion I had. Photography though I love it, is just a hobby. I worked in an Elementary school but I felt like all I did was say the same things over and over again, parenting other people kids was not what I had in mind for the rest of my life. I was not excited, passionate about it or about anything I was doing. Who was I? I knew I was a Mom, of the stay at home type, a wife, a daughter, and a friend to many. However, I needed to know within me who I was. I always wanted to get my BA, I applied and was accepted. Best thing I have ever done in my life. I love it. But you who read know all this, so Sharon why are you writing this post?
Well, I have been playing around with taking my masters in English. My marks in some of my English classes are not what I want. It is these classes I feel the most passion for, I can talk about the works forever and love it, BUT part of this is writing about them. I feel I can’t achieve the level I want. Now they are not that bad, but I want to have that A average! I know you are going to say, Sharon your writing is getting so much better. Your grammar is getting better. You are too hard on yourself. Hello? Aren’t we always hard on ourselves? Tell me that you are not hard on yourself in some aspect of your life? I agree with all that but I want to be better NOW. Time is of the essence, 50 is fast approaching and I want to be all that I can be before then. I want to be applying to graduate school and with an A average...I want to be the best or better than I think I can be. Since the looks are leaving (if I ever had any), I want to brain power to take over. I read constantly, and I am told I can tear apart a piece of literary work with no problem, which really excites me, but I cannot write a decent paper in some classes to save my life. I feel that A level is just beyond my capabilities and I may never achieve it. YES I know I have an A average in Art History and an A average in one 3rd year English class, but I just received a B- in the other English class. I know that one Prof is a very easy marker and the one that gave me the B- is what is expected from the English department. My grammar is what is holding me back. You say Sharon do grammar books, and I have, but it still makes abolsutely no sense to me in many aspects. I feel at times I do not understand what the Professors want, and this is what holds me back. I know so many younger people are so much better at this. I compare my papers to my Daughter who is a brilliant and wonderful writer. HOW she does this is beyond me! She has a natural grasp of the language. So I am having a down in the dumps on myself day. I had set a goal of achieving an A average this year. I failed. Just with one class, where I know the Professor wanted me to stretch and achieve that level.
This brings me back to my self Confiedence in my round about way. I never feel I can achieve or ever be satisfied with my writing, which leads to my intelliegence or with my aging, or by any other standard I put up there for me to live up to. Maybe as most say, I am just too hard on myself. Maybe I am letting one mark in a class that I loved get me down. I have to look at the bright side of this year. I made so many new friends, I loved my classes, and I didn't get a C.
Please don’t leave me a comment that says I am wonderful, and doing so well, that you admire me. Because people, I know you believe what you say, I will smile and say that is nice, but only I can change my thought patterns. I am not looking for tea and sympathy, am I just venting my insecurities.
But never fear people, I will keep trying. And my next post will most likely be back to me being postive and not looking in that Mirror again!