Perhaps it's the hormones raging their nasty, ugly heads. Or perhaps I've been primed for it for a few days. Or perhaps I'm just a normal woman, like everyone else, insecure, with my weak areas an open target.
But I had a breakdown today, and at home on my lunchbreak, in Jason's arms, I just cried and cried, for about 10 minutes. 10 minutes of crying, if you're not a child, can actually be a long time. In fact, I still feel a little like crying. And the reason for my emotional wreckage? I'd gotten my feelings hurt in the area I have weakness in--my insecurities, and the fact that I just can't get everything right (as hard as I try and even though I'd like to!).
Of course nobody's perfect, and Jason said it and I've said it--I don't really even LIKE perfect people. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to be one.
In a work meeting this morning, in an area and with a group I already don't feel the most secure, I misread someone's cues, I interrupted with some exuberance and made an ass of myself, and I got the look. You know it, the "yeah, everybody already knows that, do you know what you just did and who you interrupted, and why are you being so stupid" look. Or at least that's what it felt like. It felt like daggers to my heart's question of "am I good enough?" It made me feel like I didn't belong, I didn't know how to do my job, and like the people on the team were just tolerating me. All in just someone shooting me a look. (Did I mention it was another woman? In every way my senior? Who likes to make sure I know my place? And someone whose approval kind of impacts my employment?)
And then on the drive home, even though I shouldn't have, I rehearsed it. Over and over it played in my mind, along with the message--not good enough, stupid.
So by the time I got home for lunch, I fell on my knees where Jason was sitting and started to cry. He totally let me, and held me, and said all the right and most soothing things, things that I know are true, but things that I needed to hear. He reminded me that it's ok, and even a good thing not to be perfect. Which I love about other people, but hate about myself, but know is true. And that it's just personality conflict, and that there's nothing wrong with me, and that I am NOT stupid, and I DO have what it takes. He listened to my weaknesses as I admitted my fears, and although nothing was resolved, it felt much better to just cry it out with him. I sometimes think I'm not very good at crying because I want to hold back, and when I finally do just let go and cry it feels kind of foreign. But today, I cried it out.
I had been feeling that vulnerability building for a few days now--for some reason building from things at work (do they really need me, or will they notice on maternity leave that I don't do that much and I'm not that special), and even in taking our maternity photographs. Am I normal? Am I okay? Are people just acting like I am? And today the daggers just found their way home. But the truth is, I'm not perfect. I'm not the best at anything. I have my faults, and failings, and quirks the same as anyone. But I'm not stupid either.