What I have in common with feudal Japan.
Some things are really fun to own. Like my favorite pair of boots or all of the Lizzie McGuire series on DVD. Owning mistakes, however, isn't as fun. So instead, I've made a habit of committing seppuku, ritual samurai suicide. (Tell my AP World History teacher I've finally learned something.)
I've been doing really well with the whole "no insecurity," Miss Independent thing. But much to my dismay, it turns out I'm human. Ugh. Gross. And when you're human, success must be tempered with a smattering of mistakes. How else could we see what we've done well?
You're just going along, minding your business, feeling pretty good about the whole thing and yourself until a little voice comes into your head and says, You know what would be really fun? I urge you to run from that voice. That voice is why I ended up with a boot on my foot for graduation and it's also why I've pushed several relationships beyond the point of repair.
I understand my anxiety now. I understand my insecurity. I understand the driving forces behind them. And I think, if only for a second, I thought that meant I had mastered them. That was until I fell on my sword.
It's a pesky thing. Because you want to enjoy and relish the times when things are going well. You want to bask in the fall light and the leaves changing and you want to carve pumpkins and talk about the holidays. So it sneaks up on you, the self-doubt. The old stuff, iOS 8. The autumn weddings that require you fit into small dresses and suddenly you're not feeling so great anymore. Self-sabotage. Seppuku.
And when you cut yourself open like that, the blood and guts are going to spill out. And it's easy to forget the progress and the process and the love you have for yourself. So you look outside of yourself as you give up on shoving it all back inside. And then it's as if you're back where you started: alone, hemorrhaging misguided emotions, falling on your sword. And it's nobody's fault but your own.
Old me would self-flaggelate and sit in shame and depression for the times I dropped the ball. One conversation in which I screwed up and said the wrong thing could mean the end of a relationship. One misstep could mean days and weeks of apologies and boohooing and guilt-tripping and straight up drama.
I'm not proud of this, but junior year I met a trumpet player from the school of music at a party when I was truly drunk beyond belief. I was in an incredibly emotionally fragile state so I let the Jack Daniels flow instead of dealing with my feelings. We were introduced and the rest of the night I kept walking up to him asking him how he liked playing the trombone. That was, until I blacked out. I spent the entirety of senior year apologizing to him each and every time I saw him. Which was three times a week in basic conducting class. I wasn't able to forgive myself for the way I dealt (or didn't deal) with my emotions that night, so instead of handling that, I decided that if he could forgive me, I could forgive myself. Obviously he thought it was funny and said it didn't bother him at all. But that offered no relief. And no relief came until I was able to forgive myself.
I would love to learn from that hammered girl wearing a sombrero and sobbing in the corner. I have most certainly been my own worst enemy. But, I must say, from what limited experience I have with it, it feels good to move on. It feels good to forgive myself. It feels good to stand up, dust myself off, and say, Not your best, kid. But not worth dragging behind you like a ball and chain until the next mistake happens.
I'm tired of falling on my sword. I'm tired of ripping my guts out to die with "honor." I'm tired of pretending like guilt will sustain me.
Loving yourself and giving yourself grace can be a beautiful thing. Because shit happens. And unless you're a nanny like I am, you don't need to spend all day cleaning it up.
Arigato, but no arigato. I think I'll move forward.