Quotes from Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch:
Always be yourself. That way no one will ever be able to ask, “What happened to the nice girl I first met?”
“I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story, I will.” – Amy Schumer
Growing up, I worried a lot about looking stupid and who was watching … sort of like a cat who tries to be nonchalant after a missed leap. This began around the age of 11. I admit to always wanting people to like and praise me. You can’t get those things if you always stay in the background, so I was generous and affectionate around family and friends. Adults liked me and I liked them. They were more comprehensible.
As I got older, I realized that everyone was comparing and judging themselves and others. Competition morphed into winning and loosing, a winner and many losers. This let me to be an extremely cautious adolescent and unusually shy in social settings. Around me junior year in high school, I realized that I had to change something if I wanted the full experience, especially as a senior.
Based on that, I forced myself to participate and gradually became more comfortable doing it. I went away to college as a freshman, but came home after a single year. I met my ex-husband and became sexually active. Still, it took years for me to have the biggest epiphany: I am just not important enough for the people who might see a stupid mistake to care about … with a corollary that I probably will never cross paths with most of them again.
On the other hand, I will have to live forever with the choices that I make and the changes I make to “fit it.” I try not to do too many things I hate. (Some are unavoidable, like getting up before the sun all winter to make it to work on time.) I contextualize my own life. Instead of explaining things later and justifying what someone else sees as a change, I am upfront who I am and what is important to me. I warn those who ask for advice that I can listen to them and synthesize what they’ve told them to help them clarify OR I can synthesize and offer my opinion and advice. If they ask for that advice, I will try to be tactful but I will be truthful. And I try to tell at least a certain level of truth about myself (in context) to others.
I’ve found this streamlines my life and is a lot less exhausting emotionally. Of course, I am not perfect at it. I am a work in progress and that does mean change. Since I’m trying to be honest, those changes are a lot less likely to be shocking.