Progress, not perfection 

I grew up thinking perfection was possible. If you weren’t perfect, you weren’t trying hard enough.

That thinking can literally kill you. I tried it, it doesn’t work and more importantly, it’s exhausting. There is a horrible let down when you fall short of that mark. Shame, self loathing, you name it, I’ve felt it.

There were a lot of times where I heard, “if you would have just tried a little harder.” Today, I’m still trying to break it. I try so hard that I collapse into tears. Not just crying, shaking in the corner sobbing. 

I know I can play victim, it’s super easy! Look at what I’ve been through, I say. Look how life has kicked me when I was down. Oh poor me. But that just gets me stuck. Not progressing, just sitting in the sorrow and helplessness of self pity.

But really, I’ve come out of all that junk stronger. I actually am proud of myself and like who I am. I’m finally getting it together. Letting go of what life has handed me and looking forward to the amazing things to come.

It’s easy to look at people and think, it must be nice, they’ve had it so easy. But no one escapes life and death. Everyone looses, everyone triumphs. There’s no hard or easy, just life. No winners, no losers, just everyone trying to make it through.

I’ve got scars, I’ve had struggles. I make that very public. But today I embrace my progress. From victim to warrior, from endless pain to contentment in any situation. Not always perfect but always progressing. 

Most importantly, surrounded by smart strong people, that have been through the ringer too, who encourage and remind me, keep moving forward and making progress in each and every day regardless of circumstance or struggles. 

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Confidence Hit After Hit

Confidence is a funny thing. I can easily feel confident, completely genuine and killing it. Then a few things happen, maybe in one day, maybe over time, and I feel worthless. 

In yoga, in work, in life in general, things can get very personal. It’s easy to feel it is specifically just me, but maybe these little hits happen to everyone. I can’t help but think who I am is not good enough. 

Relationships end, friends fade away, I am pushed out so things are handled by someone more competent. When I feel judged, I feel like there is something wrong with who I am.

I try to remember, others own their behavior. When negativity is directed towards me, it’s not about me. It is just so hard to not feel like I don’t measure up. It seems like when I’m most myself, when I feel I’m being authentic and accepting and loving the person I am; I am pushed away. Left in the cold, how can I think any different than I’m not okay the way I am. 

I just want to be me. I don’t want to be judged or be pushed out of what I am doing. I want to be accepted for who I am. Not just accepted but lifted up and affirmed for the effort. For my success and for my openness. 

The things that are who I am at the purest and deepest level are unacceptable. I feel like I’m winning and it’s like the universe says, not so fast. As soon as confidence comes, everything falls apart. 

I’m never cocky, at least I don’t think I am. I’m more often not confident at all. But days like today knock me down to size. 

I know some of my posts are encouraging, some are sad, but they are real. Whether you like me or not. If you think I’m honest or full of it. I hope you find something that strikes you as true and raw. I hope you see the ups and downs in my life and know you aren’t alone. 

Facebook and Instagram frequently just shows the best parts, but life isn’t like that. We are all just trying to figure it out as we go. There’s no manual on how to deal with the bad and accepting those big hits that just don’t feel fair. 

We all just move on to the next. Taking each day as one day at a time. Breathe in, breathe out. And just keep going, what other choice do we have? 

I love me. I wish everyone else did, but they don’t and they won’t. Acceptance of that and who I am, is where I can start and where I can rest.

Why I cancel coffee and say no to lunch 

I’ve talked a lot about my introversion. Is that the right word? Anyways, I always wonder if I’m the only introvert in the world. 

It’s probably more likely that introverts can’t find each other because we both want to hide in our car and never talk to each other.

My car is my safety zone. It’s like a little bubble of aloneness. I don’t have to talk to people. Maybe a little wave. 

For some reason, I do really well in business meetings. I can talk with confidence and give my pitch or ideas with no sign of my anxiety. But person to person, with no idea of what to say, or might come up. It’s scary. 

So I avoid, I cancel. I avoid “lunch” like the plague. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but when it comes close, the anxiety builds and it’s the last thing I want to do.

So why do I do this? Maybe it’s the unknown. Maybe it’s those variables that hold me back. I know why I hate chit chat, mingling and small talk. Even typing it makes me cringe.   I believe this is because it’s not real connection. It’s surface talk. No one gets real, just shallow talk. But when it has a chance to actually get real and deep, I avoid.

You might question why I can do this, type my feelings and be completely real and open with every aspect. Writing is a whole different way of communication. That happens to be how I connect with my feelings and organize my thoughts. I don’t know why I share it publicly. Always hoping that I connect with someone who feels the same way and help them feel okay. Or maybe letting you feel okay with what you are going through.

It never started out that way, it was a place to record my story. Mostly for my daughter and those going through a prophylactic mastectomy. But somewhere along the line, I’ve shared everything. It’s been my therapy and my art. I found a place and a way to incorporate writing into my problems and what is going on in my life.

I’m sorry if you’ve been someone I’ve avoided, canceled, not answer the phone, or return your calls. Or purely saying no to “lunch” or anything that involves small talk. It’s not you. It’s me. My insecurities, my fears. Everything in me avoids face to face, small groups, large groups. It doesn’t differentiate, it just is my reality. 

A day in the life of an introvert 

I’m an introvert. To some who really know me, it is not a surprise. To others, it might be. I can completely fake being social, but when ever I’m forced to chit chat, I want to run.

I avoid all social situations. I don’t talk to my neighbors. I dodge my family. I hate going to lunch with coworkers.

I have a few close friends, like I always have. I feel like I can open up after a bit of time, but only with small groups.  Really just 1-2 at a time.  The larger the group, the quieter I will become. 

Sometimes it feels like the world is social. It seems like it is glorified, and antisocial behavior is looked down on like some sort of defect. 

Maybe it only feels that way because the social outgoing people get farther in life by making those connections. Or they do high profile jobs better.

I feel like I run into outgoing, extroverted people every where but seldom talk to other introverts. Maybe it’s because neither of us make that first move. We avoid each other.

For a moment consider that antisocial isn’t a disease. It’s not a social defect of character. It’s just different. Celebrate the introverts in your life for being who they are. Introverts may be quiet, but we are thinking, observing. We might take a while to warm to, but when we do, it means you mean that much to us.

Friendship for the introvert is all in. It’s deep. Nothing is ever shallow. It’s true and real. Introverts love deeply, we are considerate and thoughtful. We avoid the surface to open up to what really matters. 

If you see an antisocial person, don’t judge them for avoiding small talk, just give them a little wave and let them be.

The fear and the pain

When you constantly question yourself and then have no one that supports you, it compounds. The pain of feeling invaluable or unlinked is devastating. 

I try so hard, be the best version of me. Be everything to everyone. Trying to just get by in my head while constantly feeling like I’m drowning in the expectations that I can never get a breath.

I don’t feel like enough. There’s always more that someone wants. It’s never enough, there’s never a chance to breath and be who I am. 

I know in my head that a lot of the anxiety but when I’m in it there’s nothing I can do but keep trying harder until I break.

Tonight I broke. Maybe just for a little while but the expectations from all directions broke me down. I spend the last hour in my bed crying until my pillow was wet everywhere from the tears. My heart hurts in every way. Emotionally, physically drained. Yet tomorrow I’ve got to get up again and do it all over. 

Another day, another pound of flesh to give when I’m spent. Is there a point where you have nothing left to give? Then I can rest. My heart will beat and that is enough.

Who is the real me?

Online for some strange reason I feel more like me than I feel like me when I’m in person with pretty much any social interaction.

Maybe a couple place or people get the real me, teaching/practicing/ doing yoga. I’m the same me as I am here. But get me having a conversation and somehow someone different takes over. And with two very close friends, my daughter and my husband, and my dogs. Okay okay, and I kinda dig this one cat.

Anyways, I’m me. The shell goes away, the conversation can happen. And I let the stress, the anxiety, the attempt at a facade of strength in a trembling body that I’m sure fools no one. 

But I’m myself one other place. Here. Online. I write these alone. Relaxed. (Usually)  I’m completely drawn out. Guard down. You have to wonder why that is, I know I do. But for me, something about knowing someone may be listening, reading. And this helps them think about things. 

Maybe I have social anxiety. But this helps me be honest, and confident. It helps the real me grow. All things coming, my hope is someday I’m all me everywhere.  

 

Cold sores 

One of the side effects of stress for me is cold sores. Not like normal people cold sores, intense super cold sores. I get flu symptoms, sore throat, swollen painful glands in my neck. 

Yesterday, my upper lip exploded. One of my worst ever, which I guess says something about the stress I’m under. I’m spending time in bed because I feel awful. But also because I look awful. 

The worst part is that I look like a horrible monster. I don’t feel like going anywhere but at the same time, the cold bites at it. I want to curl into a little ball and cry under the covers.

When you are struggling to go through each day, this is not helping. I had to push a new job off, miss parties, and hide in bed.

Little could be worse when I’m in the thick of it. The good news is within a week, it should be gone. You may think, could it really be that bad. You decide… 

 It’s extremely hard to post a picture. But I know, my heart is beautiful, and that doesn’t fade or get hidden by the outside. My heart loves deeply, fully and forever.

When beauty is taken away you realize how unimportant it is. The people who love you continue to love you. Beauty and cold sores are temporary. Find people who love you regardless and your life will be full. Your beauty is always within, at any time, at any age. Even through the pain and dark parts, a true and loving heart stays beautiful always.