Didn’t Turn Out Exactly How (my) Mom And Dad Wanted Me To Be

by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh

I call my blog “Tales of an Underachieving Overachiever”. It’s a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement that the expectations I predicted or were predicted for me as a child have gone largely unfulfilled. Even in my young adult hood, I was carving my path and okay with what I was seeing but I also allowed fear to be more brick wall than persistent wind. I note that my parents aren’t sure what to make of me. I note that my uncles and aunties (friends of my parents) have no idea what to make of me. I’ve been okay with that for the last few years but coming home to restart life with a child in tow and few resources, I’ve had to come to terms with decisions that I’ve made that I’m not proud of. I’m not ashamed of any choice I’ve made, don’t get me wrong but I am ready to admit that I’ve made quite a few poor choices.

Now, it would be easy to blame those choices on my illness and the illness does play a part. Absolutely. It’s kept me paralyzed at times and spinning into a dervish of debilitation and  dysfunction. It’s why I didn’t finish college. I had trouble convincing my mind and body to work in tandem. If I could even make it out of the fog of depression to make it to class, I’d often sit there with words battling for space in my head. Thoughts speeding in loops that would make NASCAR enthusiasts dizzy. I spent most of my twenties trying to figure out how to navigate and negotiate my broken brain. I think I did pretty well but as an “underachieving overachiever”, I feel like I could have done more. But at some point, I do take responsibility for who I am and what I’ve done and I take every day as an opportunity to do and be better than I was yesterday.

That’s just how I feel. I’ve been taking inventory of my personality the last few days/weeks/months and the verdict, thus far is that I’m pretty awesome. I mean really, I love the person that I am. I’m not going to sit here and list my positive attributes, if you know me, you know them. I’ll just go ahead and write “arrogant” in the not so great section of my list. Kidding. But seriously, one thing that I’ve noticed is that as brave as I am and have been in my life, I’ve also let fear rule me. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of being alone. Fear of being unloved or unlovable. Fear of failure. Fear of success I can’t handle. The list goes on and on. I’m working on figuring out how to leap more often and more frequently. Deciding not to perform poetry anymore was a huge step. It’s all I’ve ever done professionally. It’s been my only job and I think I did it as long as I did because I was scared of not having anything. Sure the money was great when it was there but I was tired of living scared that suddenly all the gigs would dry up and I’d be left out in the cold. And things did slow down. I stopped putting myself out there because of tired of constantly having to prove and sell myself to the new batch of college students who hadn’t heard of me or seen my work. It’s not the life I wanted. One of my twitter friends (@speakwritelove) does this amazing service on twitter called #TarotTuesdays. It’s brilliant and I wish there was a way for me to praise, protect and promote her work. Anyway, she read for me about some recent changes I’ve made and marked that “my passion is finally meeting my purpose.” Speaking of course about The Siwe Project.

I know how difficult it’s been for me to live the life I wanted while trying to battle this “thing” I didn’t understand. I wasted a lot of years. I disappointed a lot of people. I broke a lot of hearts, mine included. I hurt a lot of people, myself included. And I feel like I have to pay restitution. To finally get my thoughts and actions in line with my purpose and my expectations of myself. I’m very difficult to love. I’m never emotionally or physically stable enough to hold on to. I turn and I fly and if I do return, I’m never like I was when I left. An ex-boyfriend once told me after a particularly silent car ride that “You left again.” and I was pissed off at the emo nature of the statement but I understood what he meant. I checked out and I wasn’t coming back. I ended the relationship less than a month later. I don’t know why I checked out. Or why I ever check out and never come back but I’m learning to enter things for the right reasons. That’s been the most difficult thing to learn. The “right reasons”.

I remember writing in this space about a year ago that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve never been in love. I’ve loved deeply and I’ve loved loudly. But I’ve never felt that soft, fold and comfort that comes with the “in love.” I’ve joked that I’ve never fallen in love, I’ve flung myself at it. And it’s funny but true. I’m finally at a point where I’m cautious and I’m careful and I’m studied and I’m learned about what I do and how and why. It’s been a slow process and I’ve noticed it slowly occurring over the last year. After some particularly terrible, relationships (both friendship and otherwise) all layered on top of each other, situations that I NEVER should have entered but was too dazed and frantic to see at the time. And then after the last guy, almost a year ago, I realized that I was tired of it all and if I wanted to love and be loved and not “leave for cigs and never come back”, I had to take careful stock of who I am and what I had to offer and why I was offering it. It’s been tough. It’s difficult to hold a mirror to yourself and notice that that hairstyle isn’t as cute on you as you thought. But it’s necessary and though I acknowledge that I still have much work to do, I’m pretty damn happy with were i am now. I have my ups and downs. I woke up a little down this morning. Not sure why. Just felt a heaviness in my belly that I couldn’t target but the difference between now and a few years ago, is that heaviness would have sunk me to the bottom of the ocean. This heaviness just sort of feels like I had too much fufu. I just need to sit a little bit and let it digest.

Which is how this blog happened. It didn’t really do what I wanted it to do. It started one place and ended another. Much like my life. Much like me.

I’m cool with that,

B.

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