In case it has escaped your notice….it is indeed Friday. And with Friday comes BYOC…Bring Your Own Crazy. Five little questions you can paste into your blog and answer in order to get to know your fellow bloggers better and to give your blog brain a break.
1. How do you handle criticism?
Um.... I internalize it and berate myself for hours/days/years. AND I stuff it tightly in a small compartment that only has an "in" hole and no "out" hole. Outwardly, I say the perfectly appropriate version of "thank you so much for pointing that out to me, I'll make sure I address that at once." Inwardly.. I throw up a little in my mouth - but of course I keep the smile perfectly in tact. You'd never know I'd been beaten to the core. It's one of the things I'm working on - being more honest in my reactions about all manner of things. I'm not sure criticism has made it to the top of that list yet, but hopefully it's moving up. Cuz - I know, I swear I do - it just is what it is. I'm not perfect, and I'm really, really okay with that. I'm good (in theory) with people, well people who I know like me giving me critical feedback. I think it's a natural part of life - 'think' being the important word in that sentence. One day I hope to have my feelings match - or at least meet - what my brain knows.
2. Who had or has had the greatest impact on your life?
OMG. OMG. OMG. This sucks. I don't know how to answer this, much to my own horror. This one sort of clearly points out the biggest problem with me - the one I'm trying to fix. I. Don't. Let. People. In. I don't let people touch me. I'm so afraid of something that I stay off to myself, while doing a damn good job of hiding that fact. At first I couldn't think of a single person I could write - but that's because I stand alone, damn it. But then I thought - okay, don't be stupid (okay people you are walking with me through my deranged mind here) Who are those closest - you are not a frikkin' island. Okay - Brad... He's been here for 20 years and he was the first one with the key to the door in the big wall that protects me and he knows not to use it unless it's an emergency. What's his impact? OMG! He has made me feel wanted and beautiful for the vast majority of those 20 years. And he's been my safety net that has allowed me to try things I might have hidden from. Holy Shit! (you have no idea what this is doing to me). Jen - She's been around almost as long as Brad and she has a key too. She was my first grown up friendship - really my first real friendship. With give and take and honesty. She's taught me that honesty isn't always easy, but it's always important, she's made me a better person. Camille - Camille doesn't have a key, because with Camille the door's wide open. Camille has made it easier for me to open the door a little to the rest of the world. She makes me feel more sane. Because I think my goal is to not need such a big door to hide behind - to be more a part of what's going on around me - that's a pretty damn big impact on me.
Of course, now that I've calmed down some from that freak show I just had there in that last paragraph - I think the real answer - over the long term - has to be my mom. I am her in so many ways. She's a freakin' goofball and I get that right from her. Her mind is wide opened and she's given me that gift as well. I've no doubt gotten all my fears from her as well. She doesn't know about my band and I don't know if I'll ever tell her, but other than that little fact - she'd love this blog - vibrators and all.
3. If you had a friend that spoke to you the way YOU speak to yourself – would you keep them as a friend and for how long?
Draz was in a serious mood today....
I actually don't think I speak to myself too badly. I have this overwhelming belief that if you're not going to solve the problem then don't complain about it. Sort of... put up or shut up. So - there's no sense in telling myself things - there's no sense in complaining. I don't believe in the negative - what's the point. I have to lose weight - I'm not blind, but I've never said or thought - OMG you are such a cow - or whatever is similar. OR You are such a bad mom. I know I'm not perfect at it, but I also know I do okay. Really - I hide any kind of mean self talk in one of those impenetrable boxes in the back of my brain. I don't believe in the negative without a solution so shut the hell up already. I don't tolerate it well from others so I don't tolerate it from myself either. But in the spirit of the question - if someone was mean to me in the way people are mean to themselves - no fucking way would they have access to me for more than those few minutes that it took me to discover that fact. End of story.
4. Do you think crying is a form or weakness or a form of strength?
I think it's both. (I started to type "it's definitely strength" but then thought - fuck that it can be both). I think it can absolutely be a form of weakness. There are absolutely weak minded little nitwits out there that use tears as their method of getting their way. Because they don't have the balls to say what they want or do what they want. (I think question #2 has shored up my kiss ass cloak for the moment). I have no use for people who use their tears for personal gain and I think those people are the epitome of weak.
But that said - in general - I think true, honest tears are a sign of strength. I think it takes balls, the big and hairy kind to be able to cry when you feel it. To be able to be vulnerable in any way - it takes trust and strength. When I was young I was told I was too shy and too emotional so I stopped being both, or rather I covered up both aspects of myself. People have a hard time believing I'm shy (except maybe Brad and Jen) to this day even though I think I do a much better job of being honest with myself and the world about how I'm feeling. I think 35 years or so of masking it has made the physical actions automatic. The words are always true now, but I think I walk into a room sometimes like I own it and couldn't be bothered by anything or anyone, when that isn't remotely true. I imagine someday my actions will match the words and the feelings. For probably 20 years, maybe longer, I wasn't capable of crying. I didn't know how - or maybe I only knew how to stop myself. In a sad movie, for instance, I would closely examine the exit signs if I felt even a little bit... something - I was going to type weepy, but it never, ever got that far - it was an automatic, knee-jerk response. I would just shut the rest of the world out - completely missing that scene of the movie while I slowly traced each letter and light and bit of each exit sign in the room. I had other tricks for other parts of life.
Eventually, sometime after I was married I started allowing myself to cry at hallmark commercials, or maxwell house soldier coming home from the war commercials. And it grew from there - now I cry at ANYTHING passionate (well not sex kind of passionate) but a kid going to kindergarten - that look in their eyes, or in their mom's eyes. I'm a puddle. Any wedding - I don't need to know the people involved. It's the emotion that gets me. The truth of the emotion; the raw, honest, place that it comes from. Maybe it's pure jealously as I never experienced any of those emotions during those moments of my own and now I'm making up for lost time by experiencing them along with every stranger I see. I can't take the kids to school on the first day each year cuz I am just a puddle and I don't want to scare my kids. OMG and then on the last day of the year in elementary school all the adults go outside and clap and cheer for all the students (and even typing that I'm totally tearing up). All the kids are so proud of themselves (the first tears just slid down my cheeks) for being promoted to the next grade - everyone's so happy. If at all possible, Brad goes to this for the same reason I skip the first day of school. Poor Jackson would think his mama's all sad when he's all happy.
I think my kids think I'm a crier and I'm so so so okay with that, I can't stand it. They've seen Brad cry a few times - like when he had to take our dog and put him down. They know crying is just as valid as laughing and smiling. It's just one of the many outlets to emotion that exist. It has it's place. And in my mind - that's just one sign that Brad and I are doing okay with our kids.
5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.
Real life - I'm completely and utterly dragging. I have been all week long. For the second month in a row I'm having something like a mini-period between my real normal periods (I know you don't want to know this, but eh...) It lasts longer and is much, much lighter - but I swear I think it's affecting the iron levels in my body - because the last time I felt like this it was because I was anemic (is that the right word). Anyway, I left work early yesterday and after running some errands I fell unconscious at 7pm (7pm people!!) non of my family was even home yet from various places and I was asleep. I slept straight through till 7am. That's 12 hours. In a row. I'm going to go buy some iron today (assuming you can buy that) and I think I need to make an appt with a doctor. It's probably time anyway. And... the whole cycle thing - I think this must be the first sign of menopause, cuz I'm usually so damn regular. I think I should be unhappy or something about this, but I'm just too tired.
Blog life - hmmmm. People are so delightful in blogland. I continue to feel so lucky to have met all of you. The fact that I got to meet, in person, a bunch of you in NY on Sunday - well.. dude, I'm the bomb! There aren't enough hours in the day to read all the blogs I want to, but I do try.