“…A little piece of that insecure 13 year-old still exists. Sometimes sheâ€™s tucked away in my heart, a memory of learning confidence and understanding sadness. And sometimes sheâ€™s in my underbelly, unprotected. Right now, I am more confident and secure than I have ever been. I live my life how I want to live it, surround myself with people I want to be with. I care less and less how strangers and acquaintances interpret my choices. But, in all honesty, some cool comments and raised eyebrows still sting right in that familiar spot. I still want people to like me.
I get so bored and annoyed with myself. When will I REALLY not care? When will I REALLY trust myself? Because, itâ€™s inevitable that I will write about something that someone judges and itâ€™s inevitable that a woman at a restaurant will shoot daggers out of her eyes when I leave my children unattended to grab a fork. Itâ€™s also inevitable that the insecurity will fade and I will go on a walk with my family or laugh with girlfriends over wine. All that mud will settle to the bottom of my pool and I will be left with clear, energizing water and a crisp understanding of love and purpose and good.
Iâ€™ve heard people talk about the craziness of life like a hamster on a wheel. I think itâ€™s more like a hike. There are rocky sections, smooth paths and false summits. Holy hell is it tiring and wow is it rewarding. I keep thinking about how weâ€™re all on a hike. Some are on a steep bitch of a switch back while others rest on a rock and each a peach. We take turns in those positions, each of us challenged by different things, each of us experiencing triumphs and failures. We all have vulnerabilities and insecurities. There is a point, in each of us, when we want to give up, turn around, sit down and cry. There is a time when each of us are happily skipping, hydrated and rested. There are some who, when doing well, step over a depleted mama and carry on. There are some who, when another is doing well, give a sharp shove hoping sheâ€™ll fall. And, of course, there are many who offer a hand, a hug, an ear no matter their own strength or weakness. Itâ€™s up to me to surround myself by and focus on the kind, unjudging people and let the others come and go.
I am trying like hell to raise good people, demonstrate kind behavior, balance letting go and holding tight. And all that while I am caring for myself, my partner, my friends, my interests, my career. Itâ€™s a lot. Sometimes it is too much. Itâ€™s in the moments I Want To Throw In The Towel, when the underbelly is soft and malleable, thatâ€™s when I am 13 and walking home from school with salty-stained cheeks.
The difference, of course, is that I am 32 and I donâ€™t feel like I have to wipe the tears away and head to my room so nobody knows my pain. Now I admit the sting, self-reflect, embrace the discomfort and roll around in my sensitive brain and honest conversations with good friends. And Iâ€™ll tell you, when someone steps over me when Iâ€™m down or pushes me when Iâ€™m thriving? It hurts. Sometimes my process is messy and I am sure my husband wishes I could let it go in a more streamlined manner. I am getting there.I hear 40 is good for letting otherâ€™s opinions roll off your confident backâ€¦but, first, I embrace this journey.
Just like middle schoolers hoping for an invite to a friendâ€™s house, mamas are hoping for an I am picking up what you are putting down, sister. Weâ€™re in it together.
One thought on “What do we know now? Part II”
I teach 8th grade and thought as I was in the student bathroom, what if these 13 yr olds could read what Kelle Hampton's commenters wrote. I like your spin on it, too. I wrote about beauty here: