I started this week a bit fragile.
Late last week, I took a trip down the Spiral of Self-Pity to the Land of Frustration and Impotence. I kept beating myself up for not having exactly the life that I want at this moment in time. (I am beginning to see a bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme happening here. A creepy tunnel that seems like it will never end and a little girl singing “I want it now!”)
Ten years sounds like a long time. Ten years was a long time to me when I was a teenager but now in my 30s I can indulge myself on time. These ten years feel like felt like two and still my anxiety demands to know what I have to show for these 10 years.
Looking at photos, I can see that my face and my body has changed. My personality has changed too but the only empirical evidence I have is I don't still like my ex-husband. I look for faults. Change that hasn’t happened and bad habits that I continue to have.
While at my mom’s house in Texas earlier this year, I came across comments from my grade school teachers. It was reaffirming to see that the same things I struggle with now were important enough to comment on 30 years ago . I still love to read but I also still struggle to complete tasks without external motivation.
I want more life than the one that comes easily to me. There is nothing wrong with my ambition except for when I am cruel to myself. I demand a lot of myself without giving myself favourable conditions. Then when I am unable to reach simple goals, I try to convince myself that my past successes were only flukes. As if I moved back to Europe alone by chance.
When I talk to other people (who appear to be of sound mind) about my frustration they are confused. They tell me that they see me as beyond capable of doing the professional things that I want to do. They say that they see a person that does not match with my own self-description. The things they say didn’t feel untrue but rather hollow. As if they didn’t land.
Recently, my new lady friend joked about how I always fight with her when she tells me that she loves my eyes. Every time she told me "Qué ojos bonitos" I would say "Qué linda sonrisa." I thought that I had to return the compliment with a compliment (she has a great smile so I couldn’t just NOT tell her). But she was right. It feels strange to say something nice (and true) to someone and for them to constantly deflect it. And it feels so good to just accept her compliments.
I am not quite sure where this all gets me. But it doesn't matter. I am capable and unable to complete tasks without a little push.