She also is one of several people this summer who made me see that, hey, I'm not such a happy-eyed child after all. I used to think, quite proudly I must confess, that I am the eternal optimist. I always think life is going to go my way. I never question whether I'll get the job, the promotion, the whatever. My mother brought me up with a mantra--if you want something, you'll work hard for it and you'll get it. I believed her. And for a long time it was true. Or so I thought. In fact, one of the major bones of contention between D and me is his predilection for seeing failure looming while I allow myself to envision nothing but utter success.
I'm now beginning to question myself, however. Am I really such a perky Pollyanna? Then why the following:
- Sturdy Girl wrote in yesterday's post that she is now
"very productive in my knitting of late. I am making great strides in the toddler pullover (cardigan) and the socks and working on two scarfs, one classic and one lacy. I am starting to "get the hang of" the yarn shops and I have decided just to pick yarn I like (to make small things like scarves) and in this way learn the way different yarn knits up. I think this in itself is an education in knitting. Besides, I can now understand why knitters have a stash. We love the feeling of security it gives us - all these yarns we have to look forward to knitting."
- Item #2: when reminiscing with my BFF1 a couple of weeks ago, I was struck that our memories of our early years in school were so different. She remembered the teacher she loved, the playground (okay, I'm making this up because I can't remember all the good stuff that she remembered), while I remembered every slight or failure or bad day I had in Elementary School. I remember that I used to come home from school crying every day over some tragedy or other. I remember my mother telling me that I had to get a "shell" and not let people hurt my feelings so much. I remember the teachers who didn't like me, the kids who made fun of me, and the signal traumas that are with me still today.
- Item #3: There is the stuff I know for sure, and the stories I tell myself about the stuff I know for sure. Those stories inevitably posit me as the victim. I became aware of this as I have worked at various times this summer to pull myself back from the brink of whatever. I will stop the story and pull out of it just the stuff I know for sure. When I do that, I see that inevitably I've chose the road not only less travelled, but the one that leads off the cliff.
I don't know the answer, and I'm not sure it's really relevant. What does seem important to my present and future sense of well-being is that I CUT THIS SHIT OUT RIGHT NOW.
Oh, now that's a positive way to begin, Jane....