I don’t remember a time when I was not on the edge of anxiety attack trying to please either my family, friends or co-workers. For me, it was a way of life and I never questioned why I had to go to so much trouble just to make other people happy when there were lots of times they weren’t, or couldn’t see or didn’t appreciate my efforts. I admit feeling bitter about it.
It would usually take a long time for me to get over blunders and forgive myself, specially when the criticisms hurt or were downright nasty and unjust. Sometimes I would lie awake at night wondering if I will ever wise up and cease to care what people think of me and throw their stupid expectations into the garbage can. But i knew i couldn’t because if there is one thing i loathe, it’s hypocrisy–I too, had high expectations about people and was often disappointed with them. Therein lies the rub.
I may prove to be queen of wishful thinking after all because lately , I have found myself more and more indifferent, turning more and more inward, and caring less and less that things don’t work out the way i want them to. It’s like i have turned my back against the world. And the effort to defend myself has become tyrannical, boring, and not worth my time. Also, i find myself shifting hierarchies as far as whose opinion of me matter the most, namely, my husband and kids and to hell with everyone else. I was usually trusting and would easily believe others to be sincere. But i simply stopped using my standards in gauging other people’s motives and actions and have vastly improved in the empathy department. I guess St. Francis must have finally taken my prayers seriously and pleaded my cause to God to “accept the things i could not change”. And what is even stranger about it is the amount of peace it brings me. Mentally shrugging failures and bloopers aside and failing to remember about them the next day is the ultimate vindication, only sweeter for being so satisfying. I have moved on at last, stopped living in the what-ifs and could’ve-beens and reinvented myself; i like myself better now than i did a couple of years ago.
I guess I have grown up finally [better later than never] and have accepted my limitations. I’m not even sure if I am changing for the better or if my new-found attitude is going to help me become a better person. But whatever it is, I’m happier now.