Monday, April 9, 2012
On Developing My Internal Report Card
Thank you, tea bag.
I have a confession. One I hate to admit. But...I kind of care what you think. I kind of live for some sort of approval, even though in the end it never really does anything for me. I know there are a few friends (especially in Colorado) reading this crying, Bullshit. I know, I know. It doesn't sound like me, but what can I say? I always loved an A+.
The last two weeks when I was obsessively shopping for my wedding dress, I realized that despite going to most of my appointments solo, I was showing pictures of the dress to anyone who asked about it. But not only that, I was asking people what they thought! What kind of insane bride welcomes comments and criticisms on the one thing that is totally ALL about the bride?!? Before I knew it, I was getting my feelings hurt by opinions that I asked for. But worse than that, I was getting influenced. So much so, I almost bought the wrong dress. A week ago, when I wrote And then I found my dress (I think!) that should have been my first clue that although I looked great in the dress (and it was a gorgeous Judd Waddell gown remarkably discounted) that it definitely was not the one because I wrote I think! And this is not a blog to my friend who helped me find that Waddell gown. D, thanks for being with me on that day and I really did believe it was the one after we left the store! But after sleeping on it, serious doubt crept in and something was telling me, Nope, nope, nope.
But then I thought, Oh great, is this one of those things where I tell myself I don't want a big stupid wedding dress but really it's because somewhere I don't think I'm worthy of the dress. Like the same way I pretend I don't care about being all girly, when really there is a pair of heels inside me kicking to get out? So then I talked myself back into the dress. I convinced myself that I did in fact want to go big and have a big long dramatic train! So what if I'm getting married in a bookstore, I'm going big, baby! But the truth was, deep down I knew I was a little disappointed because I DID have a vision of what I thought I would be wearing on my wedding day. I just hadn't found anything that I liked myself in besides this gown.
When I called my Maid-of-Honor who had patiently been giving me feedback on a series of pictures and I told her what two other people thought of the dress, she yelled "LINDSEY! STOP SHOWING PEOPLE!!! What are you doing!?" It didn't matter what anyone thought of the dress. It didn't even matter what SHE thought of the dress. (And she was very honest!) "It only matters what YOU think of the dress!" she yelled. And how could I know what I thought when I had shown everyone around me? And on a deeper note, why the hell was it so important for me to get someone else's approval?
I know the answer to that question. And anyone else who has this same problem probably knows their answer, too. (And trust me, I'm working on it) The next appointment I had, I went with one friend and after trying on two dresses that were very beautiful and that a week before I would have been convinced to get, I slipped on another dress and thought I don't give a shit what anyone thinks! This is my dress! All this time when people were saying, you'll just know, they were kind of right and I'm also glad that all of "those people" were not in that dressing room with me on that day. And I don't mean physically, I mean mentally. Maybe I needed a week of indecision to get me to this place, maybe it was the shocking disapproval I got from my friend on how I was going about choosing my wedding dress. Regardless of why, I'm eternally grateful that I have a friend who always knows when to hold up a mirror to me. She always knows when to challenge me, when I just need an ear, and she respects me enough to always be honest with me. And today is her birthday! So, Tara, if you're reading, thank you (again and again and again) and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
As for this characteristic of mine, all I can say is that it is a work in progress but it is an everyday challenge. This blog is in fact a daily reminder to me to post what I feel proud of and not to hide my writing (which I did for years) because I'm afraid other people might not think it is good enough. But occasionally I slip up. It means so much to me when people comment or "like" my link on Facebook and when there is an absence in those digital little approvals, those made-up little grades that I got so used to in school, I have to catch myself from thinking, maybe it was a bad post. I have to ask myself, do I approve of this blog? Do I feel proud? Am I letting all my stars out?
And for today, I can say, Yes!!!