well, hello there. i guess it's been a while right? i'm really unsure of whether i should even be here right now.
i had planned to write next about our trip to NYC and how amazing it was (it was--click the link and check out rick's post on it, or click here to read all about my spectacular first in-person meeting with my friend elise). or how the kids had a blast visiting my family in virginia (they did!). or how fun-filled thanksgiving was (...).
but there was some family discord, and it has really affected me in ways i didn't expect. i think i didn't expect it because i have worked hard over the last few years to sort of "grow" up in the way i react and respond to things that happen when my family gets together. and i have sensed this on the other end as well. but this time, things said and words exchanged made me feel like i was right back in 1986, struggling with my identity and figuring out who i was apart from my parents.
in short, it really sucked.
so it has led me to seek out a counselor to sort of process things with so i can figure out how to move forward once and for all and stop being so affected by all of this. last night i went for the first time, and i was pleasantly surprised. i have been to see counselors a couple times in my life (for very brief stints), and they have seemed to want to prolong the process by making me start "at the beginning." which i always felt was a total waste of time. i mean, i am trying to move FORWARD, right? not re-process everything that has happened to me in the past?
well, i learned a few things last night, but the thing that really stands out to me is something i already know i struggle with: i need to be true to myself. maybe it's the lit major or english teacher in me, but when the woman was talking about this last night (and she said it in a much less cheesy way), all i could think of was "to thine own self be true."
it's funny, because i've always sort of resented the way people want to sit around discussing this profound meaning in literature. i have no idea why: i have a degree in english. or maybe that's precisely why. maybe i got so sick of people trying to pull meaning out of every little word in college that i have been overreacting to that ever since.
at any rate, i thought it was funny/ironic/odd that i kept saying that to myself last night and then even this morning, thinking that it needs to become my motto.
see, i really define myself by what others think of me. and therein lies my problem: i am my own expert on myself. no one else knows me quite the way i know myself. so when i hear something that is critical, negative, i need to stop and evaluate. is that true? what parts of that do i agree with, and what parts do i need to just let go?
instead, up to this point i tend to internalize EVERYTHING and then just feel overwhelmed or in despair because i feel like suddenly i am a failure and i can't do anything about it.
but it's my choice to believe in myself. to realize the potential, the goodness that is me. and i know to some of you this might sound hokey. i'm not trying to say that i'm a good person and that i'm without flaws. but i honestly do think i focus too much on what's wrong with me instead of trying to see the good things about myself: whether it's my body, my intelligence, my gifts, my personality, my parenting.
and i think i do this because i care what others think of me. by the way, rick is learning/studying a lot about enneagrams, and after reading all the descriptions, i think i'm a 2 (for those of you who know about that sort of thing). that explains a lot. :)
so, for now, i am hopeful. i'm looking forward to learning ways to be a better mother, wife, daughter, without giving up who i truly am.
to thine own self be true.
p.s. now that i've written this i feel better, so be on the lookout for a photo essay of our trip to NYC...