Believe in Yourself

Validation. We all need it. But how do we get it?

A lot of us tend to seek it out from other people. It’s hard to value ourselves. It’s hard to be able to see our own self-worth. It’s hard to really trust that we are the best versions of who we can be. So we look to others and if they approve of us, we feel good about ourselves.

But what happens if we do something that people don’t approve of? What if we do something that is a good decision for us but isn’t what others think is the “right” thing to do?

How do we validate our decisions then? How do we feel good about ourselves when the rest of the world tells us we aren’t good?

I honestly don’t know the right answer to these questions.

I know that we should be able to validate ourselves. I know that if we are going to trust others, we should trust the people who have been there for us through everything. Why should we listen to people who don’t know us at our core? Why should we listen to those who don’t understand us or our feelings?

I think that sometimes, we just need to trust ourselves. I didn’t trust my emotions and myself throughout my entire 20s. I thought I was wrong in feeling the way I felt. I tried to change my mindset because I thought that I shouldn’t be feeling the way I did. I thought I wasn’t gracious enough and that I wasn’t good enough. I looked at myself through the lenses of the people around me. I didn’t like what I saw at all. I learned by my late 20s that the problem wasn’t me or the way I felt. My feelings were correct. I needed to change my life around.

So I started doing just that. As I entered my 30s, I learned to trust myself and the way I felt. Once I felt centered, I was able to make friends who really were people that I could really reflect off of. I was able to see myself for who I really was. And they saw me for who I really was.

It isn’t easy to always validate yourself. Once you start believing in yourself and who you are, it gets easier.

What About Your Friends? (Throwback to TLC)

There are some days that it really hits that I don’t have that many friends. I definitely have a few good friends but I’m not getting 800 invites per weekend to do things. People aren’t throwing parties in my honor, I’m not getting a ton of texts a day, and my weekends aren’t crammed with random events.

To be fair, having kids also limits your social life a little bit but I don’t want to blame them since this has spilled over from my life pre-kids.

My friends have now evolved into people who will come running any time of the day if I need them, people who will be there to the best of their ability between their busy lives, people who I can be completely open to about what I feel and think.

And while I love that I do have some really good friends, sometimes, it does hit me that I’m never going to be the popular girl.

I guess I never was. From the second I was in school, I have never been the center of anyone’s crowd. I’ve never been the person that everyone needed at a party. I’m not the person that would up anyone’s social standing (if there is still such a thing). Even my “groups” from college or different dance teams have moved in a different direction. And while I was there though, I was always on the periphery. I was the one person who was good friends with one of the people in the group which is how I was a part of it.

Honestly, I suck at making small talk with people. And to be completely blunt, sometimes, I’d rather be home with a good book or watching tv than be in a social setting full of people I don’t know.

For example, a few years ago I went to a party without my kid for the first time since becoming a mom. I was so excited to be able to be in the party scene again. But when I was there, I spent all my time hanging out with a good friend who I still saw on a monthly basis and talked to all the time anyways. I did small talk with a bunch of other people who I knew but wasn’t really friends with and then just hung out with the person I was most comfortable with and liked being around. It made me wonder what the point was of being at this party.

Recently, I watched someone who has a lot of friends at their social events. I kept trying to figure out if she was just more extroverted than I or maybe nicer than I am. Maybe she is just easy-going enough to be able to accumulate a lot more friends. Maybe she just has more time since she isn’t raising 2 smalls kids. (Although again, I don’t think that is a fair assessment because these personality traits of mine were there before I had kids.)

I also started wondering if sometimes, people just hang out with each other so they have “friends”. Do some of them in the group really even like each other? Or do they just tolerate it because it’s their group?

I don’t really have a conclusion to this. All I know is that this is where I am in life. At this point, I don’t really expect it to change. Maybe between the time I was a teenager to my 20s. Or my 20s to my 30s. But now, on the downside to 40, I doubt that I can change this part of my personality. I don’t even know if I’d want to. I’ve made the effort this far in my life and maybe it’s time for me to just be.

This might just be who I am.

The Other Part of Me

It’s been 2.5 years since we had our first child. It’s been 1 month since we had our second. We have started doing the normal, everyday domestic things like managing our own house, cooking, and cleaning. We have to have a regular schedule throughout the week now since our first child does go to school and classes on a weekly basis. Even when I have a break, I just want to sit and binge watch some laid-back Netflix show. The only other things I think about doing during a break is catching up on sleep.

Let’s put it this way: it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about me. And I don’t mean in the way that I want to do something and haven’t had a chance. I mean in the way where I think about where I am in life.

Suddenly, my days were just about getting things done and taking care of my family. Everything started to become a routine. I was just trying to get somewhere on time, cook dinner, get laundry done, and get the kids to sleep so I could spend some time with my husband (that is, if one of us hadn’t already passed out from pure exhaustion). My entire goal for the day is to just get through it.

What about me though? I danced, I read, I wrote, I analyzed my life and tried to be grateful for everything that I’ve been fortunate to have. I stopped doing all of that. When I had a spare moment, I went on Facebook and just read the articles that popped up there. I occasionally danced for a friend’s wedding. I completely stopped writing. And I haven’t even thought about keeping a positive mindset or about what I am grateful for.

With all of the things going on in this world, I decided I needed to take a break and read something else rather than the articles on Facebook. I picked up the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive from my bookshelf and am currently trying to read a couple of stories of it when I have a few spare moments.

It has made me realize that I haven’t thought about myself. My passions have taken a backseat currently. It’s not that I’m not enjoying the things I am doing now. It’s just that there is so much more to me than just being a mom and wife. There are things that make me feel alive in a different kind of way. I don’t want to resent not nurturing my passions. I want to feel more. I want to be aware of more.

Writing this post is a promise that I am making to myself to bring this part of me back to life.

Think for Yourself

One thing that has been bothering me a lot lately is when people don’t think for themselves. I honestly believe that most people are intelligent and really can figure things out but they have to take the time and effort to make it happen. Some people who always look to the next person for the answers instead of working something out for themselves.

On the same note, the word “can’t” really gets to me. There really is no “can’t” in life. There is fear, there is laziness, there is plain ignorance. But there is no “can’t”. This is speaking from my very limited world view. There is always the chance that there are situations where the word “can’t” has a very real application but from my sight, with what I know and have exposure to, the word doesn’t apply.

So why is this? I understand being burnt out which can lead you to a lack of motivation. But, if that’s not the case, why do we assume that we have the right to be given the solutions to problems? Why can’t we try to figure the solutions out for ourselves? Isn’t there some sort of accomplishment when it does happen?

I honestly don’t understand. I know that I get lazy sometimes and want the answers easily then but most of the time, that’s not the case. I don’t want someone else to look at me like I am unable to figure something out. I want to feel empowered, like I have the ability to make things happen. I don’t believe this is a unique situation. I was under the impression that most people felt this way. But recently, it seems like I keep meeting people that want to find the easy path. I’m not saying to make things more difficult for yourself. I’m saying find a way to figure things out for yourself so that you aren’t dependent on someone else for the solution to something.

If anyone can explain this to me, it would be much appreciated.

Do You Follow the Herd?

Most of us are sheep as one of my friend likes to say.  We do what everyone else wants to do whether it’s what we want or not. We do it whether it’s the right thing to do. We do it because if we don’t do it,  we will be judged, or made fun of, or just not as cool. 

I went to a bachelorette party a few years ago. The emails sent to us provided us with instructions on the usual information. One of the things we had to do was book the flight to Las Vegas.  I’m a chicken when it comes to flying even though I will do it if necessary. Vegas, being a 3 hour drive, didn’t seem necessary to me. I’m also stingy (at the time I was unemployed so I was stingier than normal).  So I told the person in charge of planning that I will be driving myself there.  She asked me for weeks if I was sure.  Anyways, so when I finally got there a few hours later than the people who took a plane,  some of those girls told me that if they had known I was driving, they would have come with me. Apparently, the organizer didn’t mention to them I was driving and no one asked. They just assumed everyone was flying. They followed what they were given instructions to do. 

Now I know this isn’t a life or death situation. It doesn’t change the course of history or help our community at all. My point is sometimes it’s just worth challenging what you are being told or what you know. If we don’t raise our hands and ask the question, there is a chance that nobody else will either. 

We all have thoughts. One thing that drives me crazy is when people pretend that they don’t. Something I believe in strongly is that if there are two people or more working on something together, the best product will come out of that partnership because the crap will get questioned,  more ideas will get shared, and only the best stuff will be approved by both. That only works as long as both people share what they are thinking and don’t just agree to everything that one person says.

Trust me.  If you’re thinking something,  there’s a pretty good chance there are others thinking it too.  So speak up. Maybe you will be judged by the masses.  But does that matter? The masses are the people just following what  they were told to do anyways. Maybe you won’t be as cool or people will make fun of you.  I’ve definitely made some decisions in my life that have caused gossip and rumors.  Haven’t we all? 

But maybe,  for once,  you will get what you want instead of what someone else wanted.  Doesn’t that make it worth taking a chance?