A number of things have happened this year so that it's not quite as bad as it's formerly been. One of these things is a shift in mindset that I've taken on recently. I'm trying...despite my personal predispositions...to see the good in things instead of the bad. In other words, I'm trying really hard to choose appreciation over self-doubt, regret, and fearing the worst.
I recently posted a Facebook status about how the big difference between me in my early 20's and me in my late 20's is how I've learned to just focus on me and I don't need to fill my time with empty tasks. I used to try to DO everything and BE everything to everyone, but I've now learned that all I really need to do is channel my energies toward trying to be the best me I can be, for me. It might sound selfish initially, but it's so damn liberating. Before, so much of my behavior was like a performance. Even down to making a show of just how busy and important I was. But all I was really trying to do was mask insecurities in myself. So often when I might have seemed confident, it was just an act because underneath was a whole lot of mental self-flagellation.
I don't know if this is making any sense, but basically, once I stopped worrying so much about who it LOOKED LIKE I was, and actually focused on being me, embracing my strengths and weaknesses, I started to go a little easier on myself and get truly happy. It's counterintuitive when you're 22, but letting go of control/perfection and acknowledging your shortcomings can actually make you feel better about yourself. Or at least, it did for me. I know this is not a universal experience, but I feel like other "type A's" will relate. I had to go through this process of allowing myself to be human. (A process which is on-going, mind you.)
Of course, when I was in a mode of more performance than authenticity, I didn't even realize that's what I was doing...it's only now with some growing and learning that I "get it."
The thing is, we all know that life is not all happiness. Once I began to understand that times will be tough, and forgave myself for my unique struggles through stress, is when I started to actually be much more hopeful, overall. And it allowed me to appreciate what I have going for me and dwell in that appreciation.
Making the choice to change the framework through which you view things is difficult, so obviously I still slip into negativity. So many times this week, I felt guilty that I overlooked a few tasks here or there. I felt disappointed that I had a million blog ideas flow through my brain that I promptly forgot. I feel ashamed that I wasn't able to keep my home clean or eat very well. I felt frustrated that my stress took hold of me and I was short with people a few times. But the difference now...and it's a big difference...is that I am forgiving myself for all this and moving on. I'm understanding that work weeks like I just had are not easy for anyone, and given the circumstances, I did a damn great job.
So, in the interest of appreciation (what a nice theme for this month, after all) here are some things I'm really thankful for right now:
- Amazing coworkers who support one another and compliment each others' strengths.
- A community that rallies behind girls and women.
- A partner that stands at my side any time I need him.
- The ability to learn and grow each day.
- A safe, warm, home full of many comforts.
- Friends who accept, embrace, and entertain me.
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