Perception

You didn’t get voted prom queen. You didn’t get the scholarship. The boy didn’t call you back. Your friends have all dismissed you. You can’t help but think that there is something wrong with you, but what if there wasn’t? I mean, what if you fabricated this illusion that you weren’t worthy? What if all the shit you told yourself was bullshit? Of course it is. We are our own worst critics. I mean, there are certainly an outrageous number of narcissists and sociopaths out there, but most of us save the heaviest judgement for ourselves.

What if the other girl lost her father that year and everyone wanted to make someone else feel special for a night? What if there is another person that experienced one more hardship than you and received the scholarship that was meant for you? What if there is nothing wrong with you at all? What if you have experienced enough assholes in your life that helped persuade you into believing you aren’t shit?

Let’s think for a moment about that? How many times have you felt something so sincerely that you thought it was true only to be blind-sided by something that has absolutely NOTHING to do with YOU?

We do this shit to ourselves all the time. Worry. Stress. Fret. Overthink it all. We always think we have shit figured out and sometimes we do. Sometimes, our experiences help us recognize toxic people quickly and we dodge many bullets. Other times, we struggle with giving people enough room to prove our deepest fears wrong.

Where’s the balance in the freedom of new experiences, blazingly providing the space for creativity and growth, free from years of repeated failures and attempted repairs?

That guy that you felt sure was just as much in love with you as you were with him? Oh, he didn’t call you? You saw him with another girl? So. The. Fuck. What?! You didn’t get the scholarship? So. The. Fuck. What. Whatever the reason, there is a very good chance that it has nothing to do with you.

We live in our own heads, so it’s natural to think the world revolves around ourself. But, if your world revolves around you and his life revolves around him and her life revolves around her, then each experience will be perceived differently. We all have experiences that shape our perception of life. I mean, you can share an experience with another individual and the two of you experience and learn something entirely different.

Perception is a bitch. It’s like we take the sum of our experiences and then make these ridiculous assumptions about the future based on the past. But none of that is living in the moment. None of that is considerate of what is actually happening right NOW, in the present. Perception of how you’re treated by others seems to be more of a reflection of how we view ourselves and less about the reality of the situation.

So, maybe we should try to be easier on ourselves and leave room for an “alternate” ending because our own perceptions can interfere with reality. Perception is the cousin to “assumption” and you know what they say about assuming, “To assume is to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.

Get out of your head. Listen to understand. Be kind to yourself.

My daughter misses the bus almost every single day.

I used to be one of those moms who would try to get her kids to bed at 8:30 every night so they would be well rested and exuberant children in morning, ready to attack the day with a smile (insert sarcastic laugh here), but between the push-and-pull and frustration of kids that simply didn’t want to sleep, somewhere along the line, I gave up. I conceded. I donated my proverbial “Mom of the Year” trophy to all of the judgmental moms that wanted a grab at it or to throw it at my head.

The progression of parenting is an interesting one: the first child will often have first-time parents reading all of the preparing for baby books, filling in all of the blanks for keepsake books, planning and preparing schedules, meals, and naps with such precision that you could practically plan the royal wedding in your sleep.

By the time you have a second child, you find yourself relying less on the books and more on survival. You eat when you can. You sleep when you can. Your perfectly managed scheduled will now be an indefinite status of “tentative”.

At some point, you start to lose your sanity due to sleep deprivation and haven’t showered in days when you start to question what’s really important? If you child eats a snack before dinner, will it matter? Will this snack be THE snack that destroys all of the healthy eating habits you have been working to instill? If you ignore your baby’s cries so you can take five minutes for a hot shower, will it matter? Will your child grow up feeling unloved and rejected? Sounds pretty dramatic, right?

When I was pregnant, my body literally provided all the protection to my children’s environment. As they came into the world, I had to give up the idea that I could protect them and understand not everything is meant to be controlled. My peace-of-mind was more important than being upset daily. I found more value in letting them stay up and read than I did arguing for them stop intentionally prolonging their bedtime ritual. Instead of going to bed frustrated and disconnected, some nights are bursting with laughter and dance sessions and we go to bed with smiles and feel loved.

So, my kids don’t go to bed at a reasonable hour. It took me NINE years to get my youngest daughter to sleep in her own bed. NINE YEARS of getting throat-kicked and bitch-slapped. But for the past couple years, every morning, if she’s not already crawled into my bed throughout the night, I will call her back in for our morning “huggle”, which is simply a five minute super hug cuddle as I slap the snooze button three more times. This is how my daughter misses the bus. We miss the bus almost every day and I have to drive her to school. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

At the point when I gave up trying to mold my children into what is deemed by societal norms to be “appropriate behavior”, the guilt and shame of not being perfect was washed away with it.