Friday, December 23, 2011

A Look At Myself

I sold myself short yesterday. And it got me thinking. A lot.
I had coffee with my friend Katie yesterday. As far as friends go, she's new-ish. I met her my first year here, she was the first person I ever let cut my hair. Then she moved away. Through Brian and the magic of the internet and social media we have connected. Our coffee was spontaneous and we both had a time frame, one hour - no more. It felt like we were on a speed date... okay, where did you come from, how long are you here, whats your plans, short and long term, and how are you going to make that happen, whats new, whats not new, hows this, hows that, and done. hug. goodbye.
But a small part of the conversation in that one hour has made me second guess what kind of idea I give people about myself.
See, Katie's husband works away - 2 weeks out, 2 weeks home. She has two kids, a(n almost) 3 year old and an almost one year old. She lives in the north. She has no choice but to make it work. She parents, does some free-lance work, takes care of their home, travels, etc etc etc. By herself, again she has no choice, if it needs to be done, she does it.
Her and I do not have the same life. My husband goes away for 30 hours, then he comes home for 30 hours (give or take both sides). I don't know what its like to have to look after everything, and I mean everything, all the time.
Her husband is working over Christmas this year. My husband will more than likely also be working Christmas this year. I laughingly told her that Brian better be home Christmas Eve because Maizey is getting a bike and I can't put it together. We laughed and she said because she's been alone so long, she had to figure out how to do it all, even put a bike together. I told her I had to put Maizeys car seat back in the truck the other day and I was getting SO frustrated because I didn't know how to do it, and I was getting rammy and cursing louder and louder. It was hard and annoying and I just wanted Brian or Ang to come do it for me. The story was meant to be funny and over dramatic, but it came off a little helpless and needy. Two things that I am not. Still laughing Katie said good thing you aren't alone, you would never survive. Good thing you are not alone, you would never survive. Those words are echoing in my head. Because they are simply not true.... But it was my words, my story, the way I portrayed myself, that led her to think that.
I am independent, a do-er, strong and an adapter.  I would survive. When shit needs to be done, I just do it and if he isn't home Christmas Eve, I will figure out how to put the bike together. It might take awhile, I might throw things, I might curse every stupid thing in the way, but dammit, I would get it put together.
It got me thinking how many other times in my life, in an attempt to be funny or lighthearted, have I come across like this. What impression do I give people? It is honest? Is it really me? After meeting me, or even knowing me as an acquaintance, what type of person do I come across as?
I have often prided myself in being very self aware and honest. There are not a lot of things I could hear about myself that would surprise me. I do try to be honest to who I am. But am I? Why would I say I couldn't do it, when I know I can? Why would I want anyone to think I can't do something? I was not trying to impress her with my helplessness, my humor, or story.
Admittedly, some things come easier than others. This is true for everyone. But the idea that I can't do something makes me twitch, which is why I try to do everything (except change light bulbs. What if it breaks? What if it explodes? What if I get electrocuted? I hate it.).
From now on, I will no longer be telling stories where I seem helpless or needy. Except maybe to my Mom.
I am tasked with raising two kids to be strong, independent, caring, hard-working, loving, compassionate, solid, smart, thriving people. How can I possibly do that, if I am selling myself short? My story from now on, will end with me being awesome. Period. Unless it ends in me sucking. Which is okay too. As long as I tried and wasn't helpless or needy. I now hate those words. helpless. Yuck. needy. Blech.

*This is no way is a dig against Katie. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I should be thanking her. If Katie knows anything, it is how cathartic and necessary a solid self - reflection is. It's good to take a real look at yourself once in awhile. So thank you my friend. 
Now I have to hurry up and hit publish, before I chicken out.


  1. You wanna know something Missy... YOU come across FAR from needy! And have always had a strong presence in my life, even when we first met, You are strong willed, very open (more than you think) and can honestly take on life and laugh at yourself (as we all do). I LOVED our coffee and I learnt a few things too... I need more friends to call for help!!! <3 My moments in life always happen for a reason and this time it was my bbm alerting me to get my ass downtown for coffee. Thank you, and you CAN do it all.. !

  2. I am in awe of you and Ang, and all mothers, everyday! I struggle to get just myself out the door, be on time and look presentable. You guys get yourselves and two little people. Never mind the fact that you don't get to do anything alone anymore.
    You are a remarkable women! I look to you for guidance, even when you don't know I'm looking, and I learn so much from you. I am honored to be your friend.

  3. Sorry I did not know about the light bulb thing just knew that you do not like anything mouse related, i.e. taking out of traps, running around the room mice.
    You have been one fearless female since you were a little little girl, independent I can do it kind of girl. I really think there is nothing that you would not or could not tackle.
    Always interesting what makes us stop and think and reflect. That is good for our soul.

  4. Recognition... Acknowledgement... Vulnerability... STRENGTH...

    That is how I see you!!! Powerful blog Amy...
    Good for you...its so awesome when we can step back and look in from the outside.

    Warm wishes to you,Brian, Maizey and Jace!!!

  5. Thank you friends... not often, but sometimes a little validation is needed. Once again I am reminded of the power of friends!