24 February, 2008

11 December 07 - Repeating themes of life

In my life, I've been through a lot. Spending a childhood parenting my alcoholic parent, parenting my very sick and disabled grandparent. Striving to do well in spite of a lack of support. Motivating myself to learn when no one else cared. Marrying young, losing the husband I knew, learning the husband I've got. Supporting a family as the sole bread-winner. Giving everything I've got to building my employer's business without much success.

These experiences have armed me with plenty more life experience than I sometimes feel I deserve, and enough emotional baggage to require those little orange extra-bag tickets everywhere I go.

While I've done my best over the years, I've found myself failing consistently in a few areas. As my friends, I trust your advice in helping me understand how to improve myself. So feel free to chime in...

Somehow, people always feel like I have an ulterior motive. I feel like I should be transparent - my mistakes are honest ones, my apologies are always sincere, and my triumphs are hard-won. I do my best to be clear and honest, stand up for myself (this is *HARD*) and reflect on who I am and how I need to change to improve.

Yet, I find these recurring themes in my life. For some reason, it is very easy for people to believe me guilty of being intentionally mean... I'm scary. They believe that I lie. They believe I'm fine cheating to get ahead. They find me intimidating, condescending, or worse.

Patience is NOT a virtue of mine, but I'm trying. I'm a control freak. My tolerance for lack of personal responsibility in adults is non-existent. Anyone who knows me realizes this - it is a great weakness. At the same time, fairness is extremely important to me. Fairness to others is even more important to me than fairness to myself.

So how do I reconcile what is important to me with being more approachable, more friendly, more easily understood? I have plenty to apologize for in my life. I'd like to have less to apologize for, and would like even more for people to be able to believe my apologies.

I've been going through a phase where I feel like I'm the crazy one and the majority really is normal. While I wonder how healthy this is, I also wonder if I should just embrace and accept it?

I can not change other people, I can only change myself. My feelings are my own, and not the fault of any other person. I'm not here to blame other people, I'm here to try and learn to change myself so others aren't angry at me all the time.

So I'm doing what is hardest for me: asking for help. Help!! Your comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks for listening.

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