Remarkable Forward Motion

I’m having a mini-crisis.  You know the kind I’m talking about: the kind where you felt like you had everything under control for a little while, and now, you’ve slept through your alarm every morning for two weeks straight.  Where every single little thing that could go wrong did go wrong, and now, no one seems to respect you.  Where you don’t know HOW to command respect, and this makes you realise that you’ve been in crisis mode for longer than you thought.

Where you wind up losing your temper and screaming: You are not being helpful!

(That, by the way, is not how to command respect.  That is also something I used to scream at my ex-husband.  Those are the kinds of fighting words that WASPs use.  It was like how I told him I was leaving him by buying a sofa.)

I feel stuck

Have you ever felt stuck?  How does one get get unstuck?  How does one regain focus after the last few years of rattling heartaches?  Is there a magic pill that will make me want to put on clothes other than running clothes, and leave the house after dark to do something other than go to Bikram?

I am more shocked lately when people are nice rather than when they are horrible.  Yesterday morning, as I walked the dog, Roo picked up a branch as big as his entire body.  That boy loves sticks.  A woman passed by and giggled.  I said: I know I should take it away from him, but watching him makes me laugh.  And she thanked me for making her day with a chuckle.

But more typical of my interaction with people is that a Rebekah Brooks look-alike will scream at me not to let Roo pee on a tree.  Or a woman will shout obscenities at me when I tug on the dog’s leash when I don’t notice that he had a false stop to being done with his business.  He isn’t finished going, you bitch! How can you do that to your sweet dog?!

Look, lady.  I’m sorry you had a bad day.  I did too.  When I last looked down, he was done.

These kinds of things, in addition to the cheating ex-boyfriend, and the hit-and-run driver, and the streets piled with garbage, and the constant attitude and snark from people who are supposed to be helping me make me never want to put on mascara or wear anything other than leggings ever again.

So I feel a little stuck.  I feel stuck because my cheating ex-boyfriend told (tells?) people I wouldn’t go out with his friends because I was jealous of anyone younger and prettier than me (when I’d been routinely told he was out with his male friends from work, who approximated the cast of Jersey Shore.  And while they were very well maintained, they were, in fact, all older than me.)  I feel like I’m moving in place because I can’t move past having had people lie about me, and I couldn’t (can’t?) control it.

I feel like I am spinning my wheels because I was taken advantage of, and even a year later, I blame myself for not having noticed it sooner.

I feel like less of a woman because I don’t always know how to strike a balance in an industry that isn’t known for being kind to women.

So, how does one regain the respect of others, and respect for herself, after on-off weeks of feeling like this for a year?  How does one decide to put on something other than running tights when she feels like a woman who looks like someone who wears nothing other than running tights?  (Granted, I have really nice running clothes.)  I really don’t know.  I suppose, if I did, I’d have done it already.

I surround myself with generous, kind people.  I didn’t know that I could have women friends who were not mean girls.  I found them, and they are the best thing that ever happened to me.  I have great mentors in life and in business.  For the most part, I have terrible relationships with men, but oddly enough, I have a great relationshp with my father, and always have (yes, this confounds every therapist I’ve ever had.)

I go to yoga.  I talk about my feelings.  I make mistakes.  I generally own up to them.

I think I’m doing as much right as I can do.

I think this funk is not extraordinary.  I think it’s unremarkable; circumstantial; transient; environmental.  I think I am in a sticky place — a place I am unaccustomed to being, because my life has always been one of remarkable forward motion.  And I am having difficultly expressing the most basic of human needs, which are that I just want someone to be nice to me; to tell me that I’m not crazy; to remind me that I’m doing a good job; that I am making the right choices; that I’m a great dog owner.  I need someone who is not related to me by blood or marriage or similar obligatory status to shake me by the shoulders and say: THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT these people who hurt you were rude, mean, uncool, impolite, probably from New Jersey anyway, and can just go suck it

(Whatever “it” is.)

And remind me that everything will be okay.

4 Comments

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  1. You’ve been through a pretty rough patch (to put it mildly) and it’s clear your confidence has been shaken. How we interpret so much of our day to day lives depends upon some deeply rooted, core of confidence. You know the saying about clothes: wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you. I’ll sometimes buy something a little quirky and that’s the one question I ask myself before I walk out of the store with them – can I WEAR this? Because the difference in me feeling like a douche vs rocking a pair of orange pants is how confident I am in them. The pants are no less orange, it’s all about whether or not I’m confident in my ability to pull that look off – and here’s the key – regardless of what others may think. I think this is true of damn near everything we do.

    The a’holes you meet on a daily basis? Know that what they’re doing/saying, says more about them than it does about you. Give them a big smile and thank them for their helpful suggestions. (people hate when you respond to their venom with a smile). Don’t take that garbage to heart though! What the hell do they know about you? They’re miserable and are looking for an outlet for their misery and you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Work? Confidence inspires confidence: own your job – and remember that it’s a career, not your life (even when the hours and travel sometimes blur those lines). Are you good at what you do? Do you *enjoy* your work? Haters gunna hate but it doesn’t mean you need to buy into their garbage. I’m in the middle of a pretty major career transition and it happened because I got to a point that I loathed going to work each day and eventually that had a ripple affect throughout my entire life. I loved what I did and I had an incredible staff but that was no longer enough for me.

    Listen, you’ve said it yourself – this is transient. My 2nd favourite line to trot out (besides the clothes one 🙂 ) is “this too shall pass.” I know you probably want to punch me in the head for that one but it’s true. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Having said that, I think you need to rediscover your mojo. What makes you happy? What are you doing today that does NOT add to that happiness? Simplify, find your mojo and that rediscovered confidence will cure everything.

    • Brad, thank you so much for this comment. I feel bad because I’ve not had a chance to reply. But it means so much to me. I printed it, and tacked it to my bulletin board this week. You’re a gem, and I think I am going to start back up with the orange pants. 🙂

  2. The visual of Roo with that stick slays me.

    I’m going to pull a page out of the book of Sarah’s aunt and go with Own Your Truth. But, quite honestly, in the here and now we all have those moments where we need someone to speak words of truth to us. So, here goes.

    You are not crazy. Happy girls are the prettiest. Following the Golden Rule to Love One Another is the most important of all. There are a lot of people walking this planet that the karmic balance cannot explain. Sometimes the act of survival is the biggest act of defiance. You are worthy. You are strong.

    xo

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