Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not perfect, but not stupid

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.


  1. I love you... You are one of the most amazing people I know!!! I LOVE your heart!!! I love how honest you are about your areas of vulnerability and insecurities... Confession? I have always thought, even though you're only a year older than me, that you have SO much more together than me, have so much more wisdom, understand people and life so well, and are such a brilliant woman... let alone have the most beautiful face, body, etc and carry yourself with so much class and dignity. By the way, you are a GORGEOUS pregnant woman!!!! I mean, wow. I think you know me well enough by now that I do not pontificate or "blow smoke", so please trust me that I admire you and think you are one of the most amazing women I know in our age range... (definitely not stupid) I love you, sweet friend!!!

  2. I completely agree with the above comments by Liz...I love you and believe that you do have what it takes, and that you are so so valued. I miss our weekly meetings, lunches at Moes, and seeing you grow in your pregnancy. You are such a sweet friend, and are definitely, for sure, not stupid. We all make those kind of things happen at work, with friends, family, etc... but your vulnerability in sharing how it made you feel is so good. I admire you too, and miss you friend!

  3. Oh Beth, my heart goes out to yours. I'm so sorry you've been feeling this way. But just as your friends stated - and we really aren't saying this just to make you feel better, honestly - you are an amazing woman who has so much to offer to the world. You have made such a wonderful impact on my life, especially the spiritual one, and even though I am currently in a very strange place with God I still remember our conversations and there have been many times when I wished you were here to have someone to talk to like that. Please don't think you are stupid because you most certainly aren't, and as for that mistake - well we all make them, and I can imagine how difficult it must have been because it happened at work but think about the words from that poem called After A While:

    "And you begin to accept your defeats
    With your head up and your eyes ahead
    With the grace of a woman
    Not the grief of a child
    And you learn
    That you really can endure
    That you are really strong
    And you really do have worth.