Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thoughts on friendships and second chances...

I came across this post while reading my friend Tracy's blog.  I met Tracy while briefly serving on the PTA at our kids school. I call Tracy a friend because although we don't know each other well,  I seem to relate to so much to the things she writes about. She has a way of articulating exactly the things I'm thinking, and she cracks me up with her sense of humor! I recommend visiting her blog sometime, she's one funny and insightful chick!  

I read the following post by Tracy on a day when nothing was going right, I thought everyone was upset with me, my kids were out of control, I was in super-negative mode and all I wanted to do was just shut myself inside the house, avoid the phone and waddle in my own self-pity. Her post struck a chord with me, and to know that I wasn't alone in how I felt put things into perspective and made me feel better.  Everyone who knows me also knows that I suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome. (Chris has said that he thinks I was born without a filter between my mouth and my brain). Though I totally don't mean to, sometimes I accidently hurt someone's feelings because stupid things just fly out of my mouth. I can barely stand it when I think someone is mad at me, especially if it's because of something I unintentionally did or said! 

Other times, I feel like I just don't fit in. Sometimes I feel like I'm not smart enough, hip enough, social enough, or cultured enough, and I always say the wrong things. I often feel like the most awkward person in the room. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know who I am exactly, probably due to the fact that so many times over the years I've based my own likes and dislikes on other people's opinions. How dumb is that?

What I should do is seek out and surround myself with friends that love me for who I am. That can see past my insecurities, mistakes, and the occasional dumb things that accidently get past my "filter". Friends that can listen to me vent without judgement, and actually value some of my opinions. Friends who don't mind coming over and hanging out knowing that the house may be a little loud or messy,  and don't mind an excited dog that might greet them by jumping up and sitting on their feet (she's always over it in about 2 minutes). Friends that make time to call and catch up every now and then. Friends that will let me apologize when I've done something stupid but not hold it against me later, or gossip about all my faults to other people. Most importantly, I need to work harder on being that kind of friend to others.

Anyway, here's a good read, compliments of Tracy!

So I thought I would post about second chances. It seems that there have been a lot of happenings in my life lately that have involved mistakes and opinions and judgments and hurt feelings.

I think it's very easy to be afraid to let people see that we're less than perfect. And it's very easy to be critical of others when they don't completely agree with us. I think I've been on both sides of that coin and I wish I couldn't say that. But it's true. I often feel judged and I judge other people. And I wish I didn't. Because we're all just hanging out - going through pretty much the same trials, just different specifics. I think we have WAY more in common than we think. And I think our commonalities can be found more in our imperfections than anything else. 

I remember, growing up, that I just loved to be ME, with no pretending. When I was young, I didn't care what others thought of me. I loved life and ENJOYED it. And somewhere along the line, I became more concerned about fitting into a mold and trying to be something I'm not. I think, in the process, I've lost some of myself. Why do we do that --- get caught up in what others think we should be instead of who we ARE???

I wish we could all just accept ourselves and others just as we are - with all our failings and idiosyncrasies. That we could just enjoy life and get over the mistakes that we and others make. That we could focus more on the second chances, instead of the mistakes themselves.

Wouldn't that make life way more fun??

I've been trying to be more true to myself. It's not easy. But I'm going to keep on trying. The true me is very forgiving. And fun. I don't dress up my words with frills to make them pretty - I just say what I think. And it's often the WRONG thing. (That's one of my most annoying weaknesses.) I struggle with being a good mom. I struggle with being a good wife. I REALLY struggle with being a good daughter. I get frustrated when things don't go my way. I have great ideas. I'm horrible at keeping house. And some people think I'm organized, but I'm really not. My life isn't perfect. And I need a never ending supply of second chances. 

And I guess that's all that I wanted to say. Don't we all need second chances like that???


Tracy said...

Awwwww! You are so sweet! I haven't had much time to blog lately and I just happened to see this today. I need to find more time to blog. It's therapeutic!

It's really interesting when you read what other people write and what they're thinking and feeling. I rarely see the same thoughts and feelings in others. Everyone else always seems so content to me and the only one I ever see choking on their ankle is me. LOL!

I've always thought you are wonderful and I feel bad that our schedules haven't worked out to hang out more. We'll have to try to get together some time!

The Gutierrez Family said...

I think you are wonderful. You are a great friend, wife and mom. You do so much for others and you smile through it all. Don't be so hard on yourself, perhaps one of the second chance you spoke of should be for yourself! :)

Love you!