Sunday, March 7, 2010

# coping # failure

Self Reflection Post #1

Last night I did something that makes me very sad in the light of today. I didn't win the challenge at OrgJunkie and my reaction was unacceptable. Instead of being thrilled for someone that I had been rooting for, I fell apart. I sat on my couch, tears streaming down my face, feeling sorry for me. Even as it was happening, part of me was wondering what the heck was going on with me. I know what was happening. I had let myself and others convince me that I was a shoe in to take first prize and when I didn't even get 3rd, I took it personally. It was no longer about the room or the work I had done, it was about me. It wasn't why didn't they like my room. It was what did I do wrong? What did I do to fail? What? How the heck is taking a room filled to the brim and turning it into a wonderful, open space that my entire family can use a failure? It's not. It's a major accomplishment. So, why did I seem to suddenly think I was a failure just because two women thought someone else's room was better? Why did I let not placing in a contest determine my self worth, even if it was for an hour?

I think it goes back a long time, probably back to high school at least. I've felt, for at least that long, that it doesn't matter how hard I try, I'll never be good enough. I worked my tail off for a good high school gpa and still wasn't even nominated for honor society. During parts of my marriage, I tried hard to give us a nice, clean and organized home and while Peter is a really good guy, he often focused on what hadn't gotten done. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and applied to be an officer in an honor group during my BA and was told thanks, but no thanks.

Now, I'm not blaming any of the people involved. I'm only saying that when it happens over and over again, eventually you start thinking it must be something wrong with you and it becomes harder and harder to step outside your comfort zone and to try new things. I know I've let it do that to me.

I used to be an internet dj. If things ever go totally right, I will be again. I think I was pretty good at it. One guy, who was a "real dj", actually suggested to me that I go down to my local station and see if they were hiring. Why didn't I? I was afraid that if I went down and asked, they would listen to me try and tell me I wasn't good enough. I have a constant fear of not being good enough.

Good enough for who? or for what? Well, just about anything. I worry that I'm not going to have this house clean enough or good enough and Peter is going to not want to let the boys come here or he'll call CPS and they'll say the boys can't come. I worry that if I get remarried, I won't be a good enough wife/house keeper/whatever and he'll leave me. I didn't apply for Grad school, in part, because I was afraid they'd reject me. I think maybe I don't have any friends because I'm so scared I won't be good enough for them to want to be my friend.

And yes, I look at the relationships in the blog world and think wow, someone like ____________ could never be my friend. They're way out of my league. Let's face it, that's just defeatist thinking, it's not even funny. That fill in the blank person is just a person, like me. They're not better or worse than me. They're just a person. Yes, their blog gets tons and tons more hits than mine. Yes, they have so many followers that I'm always amazed when they see something I've tweeted or written. But, at the end of the day, they're still people like me.

I know that my fears aren't always rational. I know where most of them stem from. I know the damage a missing or neglectful parent can have on a child and how that can stretch into adulthood. I also know that the only way to stop it is to face it and deal with it. I also know that there are often many more failures before successes happen. I know that if I want my blog to become something that's at the level of or We are THAT family then I have to do that. No one is going to do that for me. I also need to try to build relationships with those people who have done it so that I can learn from them.

The bottom line is: Last night, I indulged myself in some seriously defeatist thinking and all it got me was heartache. Laura at OrgJunkie doesn't know me from Adam so how could it possibly have been about me? It wasn't. My room wasn't to the judges personal taste. That's fine because it's to our personal tastes. Is the room my dream room? Nope. Is it a room that is still undergoing some changes and is it a room that my family already loves? Yes. I wasn't a failure. This room is a huge success and I have a page worth of comments telling me how great it looks now. The opinions that truly matter are the opinions of those who use this room. Just because the judges didn't like it doesn't mean that I am some sort of Organizational Failure.

I am not a failure. I'm not an organizational failure or any other kind of failure. I'm a woman who is finding her way and who isn't going to give up. Will the fear grab me by the neck sometimes? Yes. Will I let it continue to hold me down? No. I can make the changes I need to make and I can be somebody. No, I already am somebody. I am going to make a difference in this world, even if it's only one blog post at a time.



Laura said...

Oh sweetie you are definitely somebody, please please don't take not winning personally. I could totally see how hard you worked, you did such an amazing job and I am just so very proud of you. It was so hard to pick just three winners when everyone was so deserving. That's the only problem with running these types of challenges unfortunately. You worked hard to complete your space and now you have a usable space where before you didn't. That is huge for you and your family and definitely what matters the most. You did it!!

Please don't be defeated but instead rejoice in all you've accomplished and know that we are all right there rejoicing with you :)


Karen said...

{{{{{{{{{Katie}}}}}}}}}} I've been right there where you sat, too many times. I don't know why it's easier to talk ourselves down than to build ourselves up - I really wish I did. You did a great job, and you have a great blog! I don't know how you do it! It takes me forever to type a single blog entry, and you've got at least one every day, with themes! You're a winner in my book!

Kalee said...

I totally understand how you felt! I feel that way a lot. I am trying to have a more positive attitude and think better of myself, but after a lifetime of putting myself down, it is so hard to change!

Your room looks great! And you got a great crafting space out of it!

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