Sunday, November 23, 2014

Normal?

I've been contemplating normal again.  I've spent time with the idea of normal before, so it's nothing new, but.... always good for reflection.

Normal can change.  What is normal at one point in your life can change to a new normal years later.  That's ok.  Normal is not something stagnant.  Technically the dictionary defines normal as an adjective that means "conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected."  It's also defined as a noun meaning "the usual, average, or typical state or condition."

Reading both of those definitions makes me cringe...... because neither of them fit.  Not even close.  I struggle to conform to standards, even at school - I do things different enough to make a difference, but not different enough to get noticed.  Who am I kidding.  It's noticed.  It's frequently noted that I do things differently, and for the most part, no one seems to mind.  Except me.

I am not the usual or typical.  I don't dress like most of my peers do.  I don't enjoy the same activities that are typical or expected of my peer group.  I never have.  I am far from average in many areas - sometimes above average, sometimes below average, sometimes on a whole different planet than average.

I am not normal.
But I am me.

My therapist says that being me is a good thing. Normal is not a requirement to be a good person.  You don't need to be normal to care, to grow, to learn, to change.  You don't even need to be normal to make a difference.  In my case, at least, I just need to be me.

But more than that, I really want to like me.  And I don't.  At least not yet.  There are too many things about me that I am embarrassed by, ashamed of, or afraid to acknowledge out in the world.  I'd rather hide.  I'd rather hide my shameful bits, my embarrassing secrets, and fade into the crowd.

I know that's impossible.  I've spent so much of my life trying to hide, trying to blend in, when the reality is that it just makes me stand out even more.  I just choose to ignore that fact.  Cause I still think that I am hiding everything, when really, I'm only hiding it from myself.  And unsuccessfully at that.

It's time to stop striving for normal and instead, strive to just be me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2 + 3?


Day 362 - Friday 11/14/14 - Had a fleeting moment of self-confidence after conferences tonight.  Maybe I'm getting the hang of this, finally.

Day 363 - Saturday 11/15/14 - Loved spending the evening with friends that always make me smile.

Day 364 - Sunday 11/16/14 - Two years ago the Pup rescued me, and I've been grateful beyond words ever since.

Day 365 - Monday 11/17/14 - Cracked through some bricked-up inner chambers in my brain.  Not sure if it's good or not, but it's definitely progress, and I'm nearly always thankful for progress.

365 Days of Giving Thanks becomes Thankful Thursdays in Year 3!

Day 1 - Tuesday 11/18/14 - Three years of daily gratitude?  Now that's something to be grateful for!

Day 2 - Wednesday 11/19/14 - I am grateful that my therapist never bats an eye when the dam that cleans my eyes crashes open.

Day 3 - Thursday 11/20/14 - Feeling rather accomplished today, as my whole class cheered when it was time to start math.  Kids liking math? Mission complete!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Comparisons

I watched the cutest piece the other day showing groups of kids freestyle dancing.  That always makes me smile.  That clip was followed by a commercial showing a design rehabber and construction guru looking fit beyond words, driving a back-hoe.  Changing channels found a home-cook turned tv chef talking about a delicious Thanksgiving dish his family loves.  A few channels later the screen was filled with a DIY-er sharing simple yet beautiful home improvement projects.  Then landscape artists.  Swimmers gliding across the pool filled the screen next.  Then an unplugged concert by a pianist with a beautiful voice.  There were more channels, too, full of talents and gifts and knowledge.

Sounds like a pretty typical weekend morning, right?  Well, at least for me it is.  It's a nice treat to get up and be able to couch it for a little bit before beginning the day, which is vastly different from weekday mornings.

I hadn't realized it before that morning how much I *still* want to be someone I'm not.

I wish I could dance.  It looks like fun, despite the fact that I tend to trip over my own feet.  I wish I knew how to design and build and woodwork - I loved it as a kid, but now?  I value my fingers, thank you very much.  Cooking?  Yeah, right.  Home decorating?  I wish.  My house looks almost exactly the same as it did when I moved in ten years ago.  Landscaping?  Heck, I wish I could keep a plant alive or grow some herbs and veggies, much less put the pond into the yard that I've wanted to do since childhood.  And I still kick myself for quitting music lessons when I was a kid.  I'm envious of those who can play an instrument, it sounds so beautiful.  Throw in singing, too?  You've got me.  I'm turning green on the inside.  And not a day goes by that I don't miss the athletics I used to participate in on a regular basis.

I have my own gifts and talents.  I know that.  My therapist reminds me of them fairly regularly, too, as I often forget that I do have things to offer the world.  I see the talents of others to be much more valuable than my own.  Instead, I see myself as too clumsy to dance, to weak to do anything requiring sustained physical exertion, as far from a homemaker as possible, too lazy to pick up any athletics, and when it comes to music?  I see myself as selfish for quitting lessons as a child.

Sounds pretty grim, I know.  So is the work I'm doing to change that.  Cause you know what?  One of these days, I'm going to feel good enough.

I'm going to feel good enough.

I'm going to feel like my gifts and talents are good enough offerings for the world.  More than that, I'm going to feel like I'm valuable, just as I am.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Complicated

It's been a while since a song made it's way onto the blog, and there's no time like the present to pop one in right now.  Especially this one.  Life, right now, has become so complicated lately.  My mind is even fuller than usual (if that's even possible!) and that makes a lot of tasks more challenging than they need to be.

I know this is an old one, but it's a good one, at least in my mind....



Complicated by Avril Lavigne

 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Bought the Wrong Butter

You probably didn't realize there was a "wrong" butter to buy.

Well, when you're recovering from an eating disorder, there is.  Or, at least for me there is.

For the last as-long-as-I-can-remember years, I've always, always, always bought sticks of butter.  Preferably the quarter sticks.  They're easier to measure, I mean, cut.

Last week, I was in such a rush as I flew through the grocery store, I grabbed the butter my parents usually buy.  With only two ingredients, I was fine with that (the fewer ingredients the better, as always) I grabbed the tub of butter of the shelf and headed to the check out.  For once, I only had the items in my basket that I specifically walked in to get.

Tub.

Of butter.

Me?

Really?

Ooopsie.....

But I survived. 

And I'm actually using the butter-in-a-tub.  It tastes the same, it still works, and it actually spreads easier right out of the fridge.  The only problem is that it's not nearly as easy to measure.  To track how much I used.  To count the exact calories needed.  I mean, sure, I know how much I'm eating, I'm just not able to be as precise as I'd like.  As precise as I'm used to being.

Positive growth?  Step forward in recovery?  Maybe.  Rather fear-inducing?  Yup.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2



Day 361 - Thursday 11/13/14 - I am thinking about thinking about tackling a petrifying task that I've been avoiding for 20 years.... that's a good thing, right?

Day 360 - Wednesday 11/12/14 - Hoping that I one day learn that the conferences I dread are never as bad as I imagine them to be.

Day 359 - Tuesday 11/11/14 - A sense of accomplishment washed over me after work, for the first time in a very long time.

Day 358 - Monday 11/10/14 - That my therapist isn't repulsed by my secrets?  Priceless.

Day 357 - Sunday 11/9/14 - Pleased to announce that I did absolutely nothing all weekend and was not bored for a single moment.

Day 356 - Saturday 11/8/14 - Starting to realize that being an introvert is not necessarily a bad thing.

Day 355 - Friday 11/7/14 - Happy to see my niece, and so so happy to have her fall asleep in my arms.  Bliss, I tell ya, pure bliss.