Let me start off by saying, I had no intention of writing the following blog post. When I started this post I wanted to share a quote by Charles Swindoll, then at the end write a line about how I am going to work on my own attitude. What I actually ended up writing below has been in my draft box for months. But it is time to bring this post out of the draft box, with a few updated revisions and move forward.
I am making a few changes in our home. A lot of changes, but not in the way I typically would. Normally, changes take place when we move, or when I start decorating/organizing our things but this time it is more of an inner change for myself.
The old saying of, If Mama ain’t happy then nobody is happy, is ringing true here. I am not unhappy with Hubs, I am unhappy with where I am inside and out. So I am taking some baby steps towards changing. I will be the first person, besides my Mama, to tell you that I do not like changes. Though, it is time and these changes are starting with myself and my attitude towards everything.
Most people who have spent time with me, would probably describe me as a very happy, outgoing and joyful person who collects people and those people become family to me. Positive towards life, friendship, and Hubs. I would guess they would also say that I try to embrace the changes in life positively, more often than not. Now, do they think I am always happy and outgoing? I am not sure, but I do my best to put a positive outlook on life when it comes to expressing it with others.
Of course, I have my crazy days but even when venting about chaos to my friends I do my best to make everyone laugh at the situation.
What most people do not know, is I am faking it. Not the friendships, heavens no! My friends mean the world to me, and they truly are my family. But I really struggle with the happy/outgoing/joyful part. I feel like some days, a lot of days I am wearing a Jessi Mask, and that eventually that mask is going to crumble and everyone will see the real me. The one that snaps at Hubs for no good reason (this happens a lot, far more than it should, and Hubs is an amazing man that just shrugs it off like no big deal), that doubts every single choice I make 1,000 times before I can decide, the person who can cry at the drop of a hat for no reason, and eats her feelings rather than expressing them.
I have a fear of change, new places, and large groups of people I do not know. At times, this fear can be so overwhelming that just going into a new grocery store can send me into a panic. A panic, overwhelming dread that can lead me to drive out of a parking lot and back home without ever making it into a store. Then there are days when I meet a group of complete strangers for lunch, at a new restaurant, and have no worries about it at all but that is far less often than the first scenario.
I know the fear is irrational, and I would say about 50% of the time I can talk myself through it. Or make a phone call to distract myself as I walk into a store, or an uncomfortable situation. But sometimes I can’t even get myself into the parking lot. I am ready to let go of fear!
As of today, I am done faking it. If I am having a great day, then I am going to share it. If I am having a terrible mood day, and someone asks I am going to share that as well, rather than sugarcoating my feelings. If I call someone to distract me from the fear of a new place, I am going to tell them why I am calling, rather than just saying nothing about it. I am human, and it’s ok to not be ok sometimes. Which is exactly what I would tell one of my friends, but somehow I have not been telling it to myself.
This all started earlier this fall when I read a book called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. It was a very good book but there was a single question in the book that stuck with me. One chapter started off with this; “What would you do if you were not afraid?”, and with that question I realized that I am afraid a lot. I started noticing more and more choices and decisions I made based on fears and what-if’s than what I actually wanted.
I am hoping, that by sharing my fears and struggles rather than hiding them I can take the control back. By not bottling it all up, until it comes flailing out towards Hubs for no good reason or until I end up just eating my feelings with a pound of cake, I can be more me. The me I want to be. The one that friends would describe to you today.
By sharing these fears, feelings and experiences I am hoping that I can let go of them sparkle just a little bit more. Because that IS what I want to do, I want to shine and tackle new projects outside of our home. I want to work and have my work noticed for being great. I want to try new restaurants and adventures with Hubs. I want to sparkle!
*Update* Jan 2014 – I still do not have all the answers to getting past the fear of new places and people. There is no simple fix there, but I am working outside our home, YAY! I am loving my new job, and the people I am working with. Although, I do fear that every day they will realize that I am not as smart or productive or whatever…as they thought I would be and that will be the end. Maybe everyone feels that way with a new job? Not a clue!
I am still short tempered with Hubs, I really need to work on that more but I am much quicker to notice when I have crossed that line and to apologize for it. Still not where I want to be, but headed in that direction. and lastly, even though, I still have not published this post just writing it has helped me. Which is why I am publishing it tonight.