When I was a kid I was happy and outgoing and oh so hyper. I bet if it would have been a more common diagnosis back then, I would have been considered ADD/ADHD without a doubt. As I hit my teen years, I lost all that hype, or basically my self-confidence. I was tall and skinny and flat-chested and wore big ugly glasses (not that there were many styles to chose from anyway, but still). I rarely wore make-up or did my hair because when I did I was made fun of because I didn't know how to do it "right" nor did I have any sense of style. I fought everything about being a girl at that point and all I wanted to do was be accepted for who I was. That really never happened. To top it off, I had a huge breakout of Psoriasis which covered me pretty much from head to toe. So not only was I "ugly", but I was a freak. Sure I had a couple of girlfriends, but they, just like I, hung out with the guys. We were never popular because we weren't into sports or anything like that. We were in JROTC learning about the military ways; for us it was the Marine Corps. We thought we were "cool", and we were, but only within our own clique. We could shoot rifles and spin them around, even toss them up in the air with such precision that it was amazing! We could march by command and do Judo and run 5 miles with ease. We would proudly carry our Colors (Flags) out to the middle of the gym during each assembly. We would stand and let the cannon "boom" with each TD our football team scored, but even with all of that, we were never accepted. I do remember wanting to be a cheerleader, thinking maybe this would make me feel better about myself, but when I went to try out, I was laughed out before I was even given a chance to try. I remember feeling so badly about myself at that point. All the nerve I had put into just walking in that room, was quickly stomped out by these girls who thought they were so much better than I. And guess what? I believed it.
It wasn't until my mid-20's that I actually gained some self-confidence, and it was all because of a co-worker who quickly became my best friend, and one person who changed me and my life for the better. Her name is Roxanne, and even though we no longer speak, I will never forget her. She was 8 years older than I and what really struck me about her was her amazing confidence. She was tall and skinny just like me and also didn't have much on top. ;) She carried herself like a queen! I admired her from afar and hoped and prayed that one day we would have an opportunity to work together. One day we did and although I remember nothing about that time, I just know that we clicked and were inseparable. She was a party girl and I became one, just a bit on the tamer side. We had fun, and whenever we entered a room, the party began! I blossomed and really came to love the new me! I met Kenny, who is an amazing man, and is someone who I never would have approached if not for meeting Roxanne. I didn't have the best taste in men, always opting for the ones who didn't really help me or make me feel good about myself, but at least I had someone, right? I tell you, after knowing what I know now, I would rather be single than settle.
Kenny and I got married, I quit my job and decided to become a stay-at-home mother to all 6 of the kids. It was a very hard adjustment because I was used to working and being independent. It took about 5 years for me to really accept it and embrace it. I am blessed to have had the opportunity, and I appreciate the full value now. However, I did as many mothers do, I devoted myself 100% to my/our children and for a long time it was OK.
Now it's not. My kids are older and I have no adult conversation, other than with my dh, who works all day cannot relate to my life at home, so we struggle with intelligent conversation at times. I keep up on current events, he can't because of his work hours. I can't relate to the issues he deals with at work, because I am not there and don't know or really remember what it's truly like in the workplace. He doesn't think dishes or vacuuming or laundry tasks are all that exciting, but sometimes that's my entire day. I have regressed and I feel as if I am no smarter or wiser than my 8 year old. I feel inferior to others. I have it stuck in my head that my self-worth is based upon being a mother, not that that's a bad thing, but really, as a mother I am the last one I think of.
I can't say that it has bothered me all that much up until recently. I think that having spent pretty much the last month cooped up at home due to my foot/ankle injury, I have had plenty of time to think. In the past I have filled the gaps with scrapbooking and hanging out on online scrappy message boards. I have met many wonderful women who I consider friends, but I have never connected with them in real life. It hasn't been as easy for me to get downstairs and some days I don't even want to, but I need some type of connection with others and the internet is my source. So I crawl down the stairs to get my "fix". I know, how pathetic, but I do cherish the time I can hang out with my scrappy "friends". All I know anymore is children, so even this interaction that is just on a computer screen helps me feel valued. I don't know what it's like to interact and have adult conversations, other than the occassional "hi, how are you?" from a neighbor.
Somehow I have created this bubble for myself and it seemed to have worked for me, but now? I just don't know. I am not finding the joy in the things I would get so much from in the past. I love scrapbooking, it's such a passion for me and one thing that I feel so good about generally speaking, but I am doubting myself each time I pick up a piece of paper and a photo lately. Is it going to be good enough? Are people going to like it? What if they don't? I really know the answer deep down; who really cares. As long as I am happy with it, than that's all I need. I am not doing this for other people, however I feel as if I need to gain acceptance. I feel as if I have fallen back into my insecure teenage days and have really got to get myself out of this funk. I try to be happy and, and I have really worked to keep negativity outside. I have a beautiful life and I am happy and blessed and wouldn't want to change the foundation. Obviously I need to do some minor repairs, and am hoping that in time that I will discover what they truly are and how to fix them. I want and need myself back. :)