I've never been a very confident person. I've made many choices in life based on what those around me are doing, or at least what I think they're doing. I remember has a pre-teen asking neighbors and cousins how to be "cool", convinced there was some magic way to fix all my little social foibles and general awkwardness. It was quite the paradox because I so often proclaimed that I didn't care what "they" thought of me. I didn't want to be like "them", yet I really struggled to have confidence and find out who I was regardless of what everyone else was doing.
I wish I could say I grew out of this, but I think in the end I grew around it. I still look at other peoples lives with longing for their families, their clothes, their attitudes. I still find myself falling into the trap of look at this counter-cultural thing everyone is doing, surely I must do that too! And then I find I can't. I don't have the natural eye for style, I don't have the business sense, I don't the have the calm or the trust and there's that drop in your stomach. It tells you that you've failed and what a disastrous feeling that is.
Except, I haven't actually failed because I haven't been living my life. I've been trying to live someone else's life, so what I've failed at is being someone else.
I'm working on this right now, but it's hard. There are so many things I can list that my life doesn't allow me to do and won't allow me to do for a long time. Things other people get to do and ways they get to live. When I start thinking about all these things I get attacked; thoughts of doubt about the self-donative and sacrificial nature of life and parenthood pour in. Wouldn't it be easier to work just for more money to do those thing? Wouldn't it be easier to have fewer children so I don't have make those sacrifices for longer?
I know when I start asking myself "Wouldn't it be easier" that it's not me who is asking those questions. I've let a little doubt open a door.
I need to start refocusing on what I have and like the tag line says, making the best of what I've been given. I know it's all temporary, and I know how quickly a few years pass and change, but it looks so daunting. We're looking at a few big changes within the next year; ones that mean I still need to keep working, but money will be just as tight as it was a few years ago if not more so. It's scary and daunting, and a big part of me wants to take it all back or have a tantrum about all the nice things I can't have.
I know that despite whatever magazine, tv show and celebrity wants me to believe, this world is not for my comfort and in the end it's not about the things I have or the places I'll go.
I know everyone goes through tight times and makes big sacrifices for the important things. I know that eventually those times end and you have a little more or life starts to look a little more like you wish it could. It's just hard to see sometimes.
I need to realize that I am meant for something great, even if it's not the same as someone else. If I'm meant to be a working mother I need to be the best working mother I can be, not a sad sap mourning over my situation. If I'm only meant to be the mother of one or two children I need to love what I've been given and not spend these precious years wishing for someone elses family. If I'm meant to send my children off to school, we'll make it the best experience we can. If I'm not meant to travel to far off places, I need to find the beauty in the world around me. If I'm not meant to be someone else, I need to make the best of me.