Friday, April 06, 2007

Re-conquering Self-esteem

Photosource: Unknown

During those rare but intense conversations I’d have with my dad, he’d share words of wisdom with me. some of which I still retain in memory.
I didn’t always agree with him and it boiled blood when he’d say "One day you’ll know exactly what I mean"
Fortunately and unfortunately, in some cases he eventually made his point.
Moments where I freeze frame in time and feel that wet sinking feeling that begins with "So that’s what he was talking about!..."

No longer single, I finally realized what I loved most about my independent life.
It wasn’t the power of decision, as many may think.
The power of decision is something you forfeit and not something that can be taken away from you.
Deciding with someone is still deciding, only with compromise.
What you really lose on hooking up with someone is:

In the beginning it’s all good, you think to yourself "This is awesome and it’ll be great if it works out but hey I’ll survive if it doesn’t!" - No stress.
You are who you are and tough cookies for those who don’t like it! Your friends are all self chosen, your family goofs are part of the literature and your life moves exactly in the direction you want it to.
"If he wants me, he’ll have to take me as I am - you see dad! It ain’t as complicated as you made it out to be!"

Time passes, days go by and with the passing of amazing moments you lose the capacity to imagine tomorrow without him. Panic!
You suddenly begin to understand the success behind those divas that sing songs like "I can’t live, if living is without you." "There’s no living without loving you."
But drama aside; the real fear comes from realizing that it isn’t that you can’t imagine going back to the single life (after all, it isn’t something you haven’t done before).
The real fear is in the fact that you don’t want to imagine going on without him.
You realize that your heart’s involvement has gone beyond mild attachment to a dependency you’ve spent your whole life avoiding.

Identity crisis!

When before you were happy with whom you were and now suddenly you feel the urge to impress.
You tell yourself to relax but you want to give the best of yourself.
You love that he loves the best of you and then you worry that he’ll be disappointed if you relax.

Meeting people was easy when you didn’t care for others´ opinions;
Then suddenly you find yourself wanting the approval of his family and friends praying that they’ll agree that you’re good for him, knowing that secretly you’re being compared to the bombshell ex.

Your easygoing nature once easily forgave the small and stupid mistakes you made; now suddenly you find yourself in tears for having locked yourself out his house with no cellphone or jacket and a rottweiler that stares at you with a face that says "Now you done it! How we gonna get back in?"

You make a point of drinking more water, eating healthier and choosing your wardrobe more carefully and find that you’ve become stricter, harsher on yourself than ever before.
Your self-confidence begins to dissolve with the added pressure you force upon yourself. because you seek the approval that you imagine will make him happy; to prove that you deserve him and that you belong alongside him.
Because you love him and no, you don’t want to lose him.
He makes you happy and you make yourself miserable.
"Dad had a point! It’s complicated!"

And just when you think you’re on the brink of having on of those female nervous fits that cause you to run away from it all; you convince yourself to trust that look in his eye, believe in his words and find comfort and confidence in his embrace.
You begin to find yourself again when his mother gives you that tight and caring hug that oozes sincerity;
When you can talk to his sister without first thinking about what you’re going to say;
When one of his friends gives you a genuine smile;
When he tells you that you’re with him because he wants you with him.

To be a woman of strong character and confident personality; it is in the least disturbing to wake up one morning and be confronted with self-doubt and insecurities.
You want to make changes but you don’t want to lose yourself completely.
It took a quarter of a century for me to realize that the greatest battle I’ll ever have to fight is with myself; that there will be changes in my life that will force me to question and redefine who I am and that I’m solely responsible for the results.
The real danger isn’t what others see when they look at me, but what I see when I look in the mirror.

My father called me on my birthday and said "If only I was twenty five again! I wouldn’t have made 10% of the mistakes I made!"
I laughed and told him that he’d only make new ones.

Every year I make a point of writing down what is it that I’ve learnt in the past year and the things I want to work on... At twenty five I relearnt to love who I am and live only for the moment knowing that the most important and lifelong challenge you’ll ever have is to be yourself.:
That’s what I learnt and that’s what I’m working on.

PS. Thank-you to the friends that sing back my songs when I forget the words… you’re my angels.

Daddy: I believe you did the best you could. I don’t know if I can do better but I’m going to keep trying - I love you.