Do you ever wonder why you are the way you are? Why you have the strengths you have but more importantly the weaknesses? And as you go about your daily activities, whatever they may be, deep down, what do you say to yourself?
I’ve been climbing up a ridiculous mountain over the past few years. I realize I fall sometime, then recapture that ground and begin my assent once again. Then I slip and fall. Then I go again, and then I fall. It’s the proverbial two steps forward three steps back. It’s easy to accommodate for the big boulders that come crashing your way attempting to knock you clean off your journey. Sometimes you just get an annoying little pebble in your shoe, but it can still keep you at a dead stop until you deal with it and then you are on your way again.
Something I’ve realized of late, more than ever, is the biggest thing that keeps me from ascending my mountain. I’d love to blame something or someone else but I’m learning it’s me. More importantly, what I say to myself deep down inside the farthest reaches of my soul.
Let me say, every one has had trouble in their lifetimes or may have come from a less than stellar upbringing. For the most part I’ve overcome so much of my childhood and any issues that may have resulted from it. But it did affect the decisions I made as an adult.
There’s been a reoccurring negative message from people from time to time in my life. Most I can easily ignore and label them the jackwagons of my life. But a few somehow I allowed to creep in further to a deeper level.
I went to college on a dance scholarship. I had some talent. I definitely had the desire for it. But I wasn’t prepared for a person I had the misfortune of dealing with there. I don’t remember her name. But I remember every last dirty detail of her. She was a modern dance professor and she looked like Janice Joplin crossed with a homeless hippie preaching peace, love and pot. Wait, I guess that’s one in the same.
But she never bathed. That wasn’t hard to forget. And she wore the exact same leotard every single day and the armpits had rotted away. (Sorry to make you gag there.)
And I hated her.
But I had to take the class, it was a requirement. One day our dance class did a performance with the choreography class. I had to perform a dance to a poem called the Magic Egg where I started off in a body bag with a t-shirt tied over my head at which point I emerged and turned in to an alligator. Yep, good money down the toilet. I’ve never been good at faking anything. No dirty jokes please. But it was obvious I hated it. It was stupid. I loved common sense even then and this made absolutely no sense so how could I believe in it?
After the performance she had everyone sit down but me. And that’s when she said it, in front of the class, God and myself.
“You don’t even matter. You shouldn’t even be on a stage. You’re not good enough.”
It shouldn’t have bothered me. I knew I had talent. I had come a very long way. But it did bother me. I changed my major to radio broadcasting and quit dancing forever minus a few classes I taught here and there.
It happened a couple more times over my lifetime. Defining little moments when someone says something to you that rocks your world but not in the good way. One in particular a few years ago that quite literally changed me forever. It’s always there. Deep down like a broken record, playing over and over again.
But I have amazing friends who regularly bust my balls. No I’m not a man, but I don’t think there is a girl equivalent.
I love writing and what I do so much now. Afer all this time I’ve found my life’s work and passion and I actually enjoy getting to say that I think I’m good at it. It at least brings me happiness. But I keep finding out I’m holding myself back from continuing up that mountain. No one ever said mountain climbing was easy anyway. And it’s not. But sometimes I’ll ache to reach out and try something or take a risk and then I don’t. Because somewhere deep down I hear those words, “You’re not good enough. You don’t matter.”
This is the only time you will ever hear me say this but this is when a dictatorship and not a democracy is a good thing. Everyone else does not get a vote on our worth. They are the ones that don’t matter. They are the ones who are not good enough to determine our value. And then here’s the tough part, we can’t let them. As a matter of fact if you are like me you’ve been lugging them up that damned mountain with their dead weight tethered to you.
My friends tell me this all the time. But then somehow it eventually gets through. One friend this week said to me, it’s time you let them go, because….”they were wrong about you”, he said.
I don’t know why all of a sudden that stuck with me so profoundly. THEY were wrong. I’m not the one in the wrong believing I have potential or value or worth. They misjudged. They were the ones with issues who chose to make an attempt to bring me down and pull me off my mountain.
I love having these people in my life that consistently and consciously make daily efforts to pull or push me higher. I feel like for the first time in my life I have this overwhelming cheering section encouraging me along every little step. They all just stand at my side wanting nothing more than for me to see in myself what they see in me now.
They believe in me.
They are just waiting for me to believe in myself.
(I love you all. You know who you are. And my wish is that all you’ve done for me comes back to you a million fold.)