For the longest time, I lived without any real support network. When I lived with my parents, I had few friends and even fewer I can honestly say I could truly trust. I was the “easy mark”. I was gullible, naive, and willing to do quite a bit to keep someone in my life even though they were toxic.
It wasn’t until I met the man I eventually married that I realized that there was something out there other than being used and abused. He helped build shaky supports underneath my weak foundation and began to help me repair it. He saw something lovely in my flaws and found it was worth getting involved and working to see what I could do.
My husband is my biggest supporter, which makes life difficult when we have problems. Yes, like any other married couple, we have our disagreements. Sometimes they get out of control and we end up in fights (vocal, never physical). Others we talk and sort things out like reasonable adults. It’s those out of control ones that frighten me the most, and are the ones I hope to talk to my therapist about so I can get more help at dealing with certain situations. A good majority of the time, those conversations that get out of control are because I’ve reverted back into my “I’m on defense ALL THE TIME” and “he’s angry/I did something wrong/I’m a piece of shit” modes.
This isn’t good. It isn’t healthy. It can tear down a good relationship to the point where nothing seems to go right and, in worst case scenarios, can lead to divorce and bitterness. This is something we’re trying to keep from happening by altering our attitude and ways of thought. He has his own problems; I have mine. We work together and try to be as supportive as possible as we work our way through our tangled thoughts and bad habits to make ourselves into the kinds of people we want to be.
I have a lot of negative aspects to my personality that I’m not proud of and that I am working to change. I also have some positive ones that I’m trying to strengthen. I’ve let my past dictate my present and influence my future. I have to get past that in order to progress.
I’ll be 39 next Wednesday. I’ve been told that it’s absurd for a woman my age to still be trying to find herself and that I should already be the person I want to be. I suppose some people find out who they are when they’re young and hold to that self-image tightly. If that’s what works for them, that’s wonderful. Their lives are their own and if they are happy, I hope they stay that way. But that isn’t how I want to be.
I want to get rid of my negative personality traits and replace them with positive ones. I also want to keep improving my mind. I don’t think a person ever truly stops changing. I think that each event in a life – no matter how small – can change a person. I want to keep changing for the better as my life goes on, finding new talents or thoughts or ideas that improve my knowledge of who I am and what I want in life.
My husband sometimes teases me about how I try to be perfect. I always joke back that “perfection is boring.” The more I think of it, the more I realize I’m right about that. I’ve heard it many times in my life, but never really connected with that statement. Perfection, by definition, means the condition, state, or equality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws and defects. The lack of flaws means there is no chance of improvement. It means that you’ve gone as far as you can go and will never be better.
I am far from perfect. I don’t know anyone who is. I prefer being this way. I am a work in progress, and I will be until the day I die. Only in death will my journey in my mortal life end.
What I’m trying to say here is don’t let your flaws depress you. All of us have them. We are, all of us, works in progress. Embrace what makes you different, find positive ways to address what you see as being your flaws, and enjoy life. And don’t think that everything you think/do/are is a flaw. Pinpoint those things that don’t make you happy and see what you can do about fixing them. If they can’t be changed, and there are some things that can’t (physical flaws are the biggest part of this one), so be it. Accept it and move along with your life.
I’ll be honest. The “move along with your life” part is still extremely hard for me. It’s a daily struggle to remember that some of my flaws make me an interesting person. There are things that I see as flaws that my husband and our friends see as something quirky to be cherished in my personality.
No matter how old or young you are, taking time to learn yourself is something that could benefit everyone. Talk to someone if you’re unsure if what you’re seeing is a problem, or if you’re just being hypercritical of yourself. Someone who loves you will tell you the truth, and may even have suggestions to offer that will help you. Listen to what they say with a grain of salt, think long and hard on what you’re told, and in the end decide if you can live with yourself or if you want to change. Once you’ve made up your mind, go for it with all you have.
Go on. Believe in yourself. Be the person you know you can be. And always, always, ALWAYS keep looking for ways of going beyond your limitations.