Monday, March 10, 2014

Believe in me

We all want to be big stars
But we don't know why
And we don't know how.
-Counting Crows

I want my blog to be successful, I say.  I hear myself say it and I realize that I find it incredibly frustrating.  It feels hopeless, out of reach, undefinable.  There's no goal, no benchmark by which I can define this success for which I'm striving.

Because what I really mean is I want my blog to make me feel successful.


Life is disappointing.   That feels like an awful thing for a mother to say.  It feels like I'm saying I don't want to be where I am.  It feels like something I need to apologize for, to justify, to explain.  It feels like something I'm not supposed to say.

But the truth is, life is disappointing.  I'ts unfulfilling a lot of the time.  It's hard and overwhelming and boring.  It's tedious.

I get discouraged easily.  I try to make some big broad gesture, to clean my entire house in one day with both kids underfoot or to bake a pie or to do an elaborate craft or plan an outlandish day trip.  And then it "doesn't work."

Doesn't work.

Because so much of the time, so many of the things I'm doing are really just another way of trying to prove something.  Because I think that if I just get things right, just work hard enough, just find the exact right combination, then everything will go right and I will finally stop feeling like a failure.

But that's not what happens.

Even if I somehow manage to accomplish the benchmark I set before myself, the thing that I thought "if I just do this, it will mean I am a good enough mom/wife/homemaker/writer,"  nothing changes.

Nothing changes.

It doesn't work.

It doesn't make me into something better.

And in the back of my head, I hear Brene Brown's voice, and the voices of my wiser, braver friends, telling me that I should show up because I'm already worthy and not to win my worthiness.  And I think "YOU IDIOT, YOU'RE NOT EVEN GOOD ENOUGH AT THINKING YOU'RE GOOD ENOUGH.  YOU'RE NOT DOING ANY OF THIS RIGHT."

But that's not right either, is it?

I want to raise kids who are healthy and happy and smart and kind.  I want a house that is clean and organized and comfortable and welcoming.  I want a blog that helps people, that speaks to people's hearts, that lets other people know they are not alone.

And I know that other people see all that in me already.  But I don't see it.  I can't.  I don't know how to know when I'm doing it.

I have piles right now.  We've watched a lot of TV.  I haven't been writing.  I've been gorging myself on junk food.

I feel like a failure.

I want to feel like a success.  I want to be a star.  I want to be able to define myself in one way as a winner, to be seen as having it all together.  I want everybody to love me.


  1. I wish I could make you feel how brave, strong, successful and good you already are. I wish I could make you see that you don't have to do more or be more. You're already enough but only you can own that. Give yourself grace. Make a list of what you're doing that's already good and not focus on what isn't being done. I think you'll be surprised at how well you really are doing.

  2. I believe in the power of goals & lists. For me, listing a few goals in all shapes and sizes, in all areas of my life (education, career, family, travel, fun, blogging, relationships, finances, etc), gives me something to focus on and helps me build mastery (and I think we've talked about "building mastery" before, as an emotion regulation skill). You're good at so many things. It sometimes seems to an outsider (me) you might have lost sight of that about yourself. I am resisting the urge to make you a long list right now.

    I just looked up & saw that Rach suggested listing, too. I love her idea. I think you should give it a try.

    Don't forget, soon it will be spring. And I mean that literally and figuratively.

  3. Oh man, do I hear you. I don't have any words of wisdom today. I'm fresh out. But I think you're wonderful.

  4. Your blog speaks to my heart. Every post. It's like you're in my head, writing about MY life and feelings.