To begin my very first actual blog post, you know the kind where I attempt to use a non-academic, non-poetic tone and voice, which I probably already screwed up on, I would like to discuss my inadequacies, or inadequacies in general and I encourage you to chime in.
Here’s what I know. I did not feel inadequate from the time I was sixteen until the time I was thirty. I did not suffer with anxiety, and I did not worry that every choice I was making whether it be food-related or related to how I might be perceived by others might in fact be ugly. I definitely didn’t care because well, Whatev., I look hot.
I can not include middle school in this reflection as it is a miracle any of us come out of middle school with any shred of integrity and confidence at all, but I will conclude that I felt very alive and happy at the wonderfully averaged age of twenty.
So why not now? Why is there a knot in my stomach? Why do I wonder if I suck at life? Why am I constantly trying to live up to an ideal and be so politically correct at times? These are the questions that I am searching to answer. I’m hoping that they don’t add up to, “You are just becoming your mother, dear.” I love my mother, but I don’t want her anxiety. Uh-oh. If I’m worried about that, I think I have the answer.
So where does my own inadequacies come from…
- I blame youth! No one ever tells you that when your money is play-money and you sleep through the night how glorious you have it. My apartment was silent and my friends always nearby even if they lived far. They too did not have as many responsibilities and more importantly, they too did not suffer with a pit of self-doubt. It was at this time in my life where I very much without a second thought loved everyone and believed they at least liked me on most days. Once time and space and insecurities peeked in adulthood, well distrust began to show its face even in relationships that I thought were unbreakable.
- I blame my career! I love teaching. Love it!! I teach English to Sophomores and am fortunate enough to instruct students to analyze how people treat one another, how author’s show their views about the world through character development and writing techniques, and how to write clearly and thoroughly as one aims to prove a quality thesis statement about literature. Why would this make me insecure? Passion. I am passionate about what I do and in the last ten years, I have developed an extreme dislike for incompetence when we are talking about public education and what students most deserve, qualified teachers. My high expectations that I have for myself (and sadly, I will say others) to make sure that all students are progressing their skills and feel safe and able to contribute can very much be a stress. I want to be effective and I spend a lot of time doing all I can to be better. Some how this constant drive makes me feel… you guessed it, inadequate. I’m not even sure myself how, but there it is.
- I blame parenting! Let me begin this one by stating, I feel I am a very good mom. I admitted that I feel inadequate a lot, so I hope you spare me this moment of pride, but teaching my children (In my teacher voice) comes very natural. I have had to have patience in the classroom, thoroughly explain why it is we do what we do, and I can’t think of a better profession that sets you up for raising your own kids. So my kids NEVER make me feel inadequate. We do what we can do, and they are the best people I know. However, trying to manage my ten month-old’s post-surgery care (He’s fine thank you) and my three year old’s stomach bug amidst wet beds, puked on sheets, tears, and being woken up almost every night at least twice since oh September, that makes me feel inadequate. They don’t, but my tiredness from it all does. Being behind on laundry, shopping, cooking, etc. does.
- I blame a lack of sleep. I don’t think this one needs explaining. Faking being awake for so many months does things to the brain. Ya know.
- I blame an inability to take care of myself. I’m already waking up to take care of others in the night. I don’t know how I would begin an exercise routine and begin my day even earlier. After work there is the conflict of cooking for my children or spending time with my children that I will add to this category because it highlights the fact that once more, I don’t have time to think about myself, my teeth, my eye appointment, my dieting needs, or sleeping needs. If you are thinking, “You need to make time.” Trust me, I hear that voice and that is why I feel so inadequate.
I thank you for reading my first post and welcome your thoughts on this. I hope if you are feeling inadequate in areas of your life that you realize you are not alone. If only each of us could gain like four secret additional hours a day where we could recharge, exercise, cook, and talk to our loved ones more. It seems some times that putting the world on pause is the only way to alleviate the unbelievable standards we set for ourselves and the exhaustion and demands that follow.