I said something on my Twitter feed yesterday (or it may have been the day before) about how something very weird had occurred this last weekend. The problem was, I wanted to write about it, but wanted to do so in a way that was all about me, and how I saw the situation. Because, as you will see, that’s the whole thing… it’s about me. And since this is MY blog, and MY space… I figured getting a little egocentric wouldn’t be a problem. So, here we go. And hopefully by starting this post off that way, it will come across the way I want it to, in a more positive light, and not necessarily about “them” but about me.
It is NO secret that I tend to talk about things on the internet that maybe not everyone does. I tend to overshare, and talk about personal struggles, and things that happen in life that some may view as not appropriate for the entire planet to know about. It’s been a subject of contention several times in my life. But it’s also a very REAL picture of my life. I’m not perfect, I don’t pretend to BE perfect. I have drama and issues with people, because believe it or not, not everyone likes me (SHOCKER, I know). And sometimes the best way for me to get that all out is to write about it… and I know what you’re thinking “why not get yourself a journal.” I have one, it’s called a blog, welcome to it.
Anyway. It’s also no secret that I have some friction in my family. I haven’t talked about it in a long while, and mostly that’s because there really isn’t anything left to say. It’s almost to the point where all the feels have been SO hurt that there’s no going back. But I have learned to settle down, not push, and just go with the flow. Because really? It’s not about me. And that’s the one thing that has changed… I’ve learned that all this emotion has nothing to do with me. It goes beyond me, and it’s not really any of my concern.
This journey that I have been on has changed the way I see things. It’s changed the way I prioritize (if you come to my house you will notice), it’s changed the mother that I am, it’s changed the wife that I am, it’s changed me. I used to get REALLY emotionally involved in things. And there are some things that I still DO get emotionally involved in; anything involving my children and the way they’re being treated, anything that threatens them or my little family, or anything that threatens me. I used to lay awake at night and think about how I could solve everyone’s problems, or wonder if so-and-so was still upset from whatever they had going on that week, or worry about what was going to go wrong the next day. I don’t lay awake at night anymore. As a matter of fact, I’m too tired to do that. Because I’ve had to learn that there are things I cannot control, things I cannot fix, and things that just are.
One of those things that just is: the dynamics of family. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you have to like them. It doesn’t mean you have to hang out with them. It doesn’t mean anything really, it just means that you’re related. Being an actual family is so much more than that. And those who appreciate you will make the effort. That’s just a thing. It’s also a thing that sometimes the two collide, and you’re obligated to hang with those you don’t feel like hanging with in order to be around the ones you do. And that’s usually where I struggle.
And it’s not because I feel like everyone should love me. Oh no, believe me, I am a hard person to love sometimes. I have my moments, just like we all do, and even my husband goes “wtf, Meghann, stop it, you’re being ridiculous.” Again, I’m not perfect (I know, I’m feeding you a lot of shocking information here… don’t worry, I’m CPR certified). It’s usually because I try and make an effort to be nice, usually because I want people to see that I’m not the same person I was all those years ago, or because it’s just the right thing to do. And sometimes it’s even because I’m trying to mend fences (see above: fix things), but mostly it’s because I’m human and up until recently, just really care about what people in my family think about me.
Now before I get into my “aha” moment, let me say this, my friends and family mean the world to me. I am, sometimes to my own fault, VERY loyal. So even when I feel hurt or betrayed, it’s not impossible to mend fences. However, I am also very aware (especially in the last year) of how short life is and how I don’t have time for people who aren’t going to put in the same effort. But that’s not to say it isn’t hard to let those people go. It’s very hard for me (see: loyal). I will also say that because I have been a very big advocate of “doing me/you” this last year, I tend to lax on reaching out to people. Which seems very opposite, but it’s served me well in not getting overly involved in things that could potentially harm me. And if I feel shaky about a relationship, I won’t reach out at all. Which I’m working on.
So the whole point of this post was to talk about this “aha” moment that I had this weekend. We attended a family function, one that was pretty important to us. To be honest, I don’t think anyone thought we would go. We’ve been invited to things in the last year, and have talked about going, and decided not to (or couldn’t because of previously planned things) mostly because we have been leaving feeling frustrated, or angry, or upset. And who wants to go to events/dinners/get together with people when you leave feeling like that? No one. And after the last few times of trying, and feeling like we had failed, we just started saying “no thanks.” This was something we wanted to go to, and I’m not going to lie, my husband was not 100% on board. Usually, I have to talk him into attending these things because he’s just given up.
We went, we hung out, we played with our kids, talked to some people, ate some food, enjoyed the sunshine, and we left. People came and went, some we didn’t even speak to, and some we wouldn’t have recognized had they walked up to us at any other place. It was a typical family gathering, but something (at least for me) was different this time; I didn’t care. I was there because it was important to me that the person we were celebrating knew how important he was, and how proud we are. I was there because my kids love going there, and love playing with the big kids. I was there for no other reason, and I didn’t really care what was going on with the rest of everyone else. I was “doing me and mine.”
Sure, I had really great conversations with people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and I was very thankful for that. I was asked about our trip to San Diego, I asked about the wedding we missed due to being in San Diego (insert sad face here, I wanted to go). And I even made a comment at one point to the effect of “doing you and anyone that matters will stick around.” To which I smiled, because I was doing just that. I didn’t go out of my way to talk to those who don’t want to talk to me. I didn’t go out of my way to hang out with people who don’t want to be around me. I said “hi” to my new niece, and other family members, and went about my merry way. Not because they’re not important, but because I need to do me. And sometimes that means letting those relationships go because trying hurts more.
I left there feeling happy that I got to spend time with some pretty amazing people. I left looking forward to the BBQ we will be having together next weekend. But more importantly, I left not feeling angry, or hurt, or like I wanted to cry. I left feeling thankful that my kiddos got to play, and that they had a good time. Sure, there are some not very nice feelings that I have, but they’re not plaguing my thoughts anymore. I left feeling confident instead of torn down. I left not caring about what they were going to say about me (or my husband, or my children) after we left. I left proud at the fact that I left feeling fine.
It was a testament to how far I have come in the last year. Because a year ago, I would have left in pieces. Feeling like a huge failure because we were ignored, or because someone said something offhanded to my kids. Feeling like I had to defend who I am, or what I’m about, to people that, in all honesty? Couldn’t care less. The really funny part about it is that I have changed so much in the last year that those who have seen me now and then don’t recognize me, inside AND out. It’s taken me a long time, but I think I’ve finally figured out that what other people think of me DOESN’T actually matter, as long as I’m doing me and being true to that person.
I’m not perfect. There will be days when what people think of me matters. But I’ve worked too damn hard over the last year to not be proud of who I am, and what I have achieved. Both in fitness, and in life. I came out of this weekend with another milestone under my belt. And a HUGE one if you have been keeping track of the chronicles of my life. Confidence in you, and who you are inside and out, is key. Sure, some days it’s not easy, but it’s necessary to understand what’s about you, and what’s about “them.” Because 99.9% of the time? It’s not about you.