07 October 2013
My deeply woven fear of failure is definitely due to the constant failure that surrounded my upbringing . With every disappointing role model in my life I wanted nothing more than to be better than that; to be better than them, to achieve more, to do more, to be more.
I have had my plan for success established since I was young. I would go to college, obtain a degree, have an amazing career, marry a wonderful man, buy a gorgeous suburban home with blue shutters and a white picket fence, have a few beautiful kids and live the "American Dream."
Since having my first child, a little over three years ago, I have been working hard to make something of my life. Being unmarried without a degree and pregnant at 22 years old, made me a failure by my own standards. I have been determined to not become a statistic and have spent the last three years going to school full-time in order to attain a degree so I could better support my family. I am constantly basing my success by the lives and success of others. Feeling disappointed when someone else reaches a milestone I have not (buying a home, getting their degree, etc.)
However, as I travel deeper into this life journey of mine, I have began to see that I have been looking through the wrong eye glass lenses. My vision has been incorrect for so long, cloudy and blurred by this idea of what society deems "successful." I have been spending my life trying not to be a "failure" believing that success is measured in the amount of money you make, the number of vacations you can afford to take and the amount of things you possess.
More recently I have been carrying a heavy load. Juggling more balls than I can handle. I have been desperately grasping at this idea of success, stressing myself out with work, school and homework, not including my home life and all that goes along with it. I have been holding onto this idea that having it all is the only way to truly be happy and that by giving up or quitting anything I start makes me a failure (there it is again, that word I hate so much.)
Well, my acts has finally come to an end this week. As I sat tossing 16 different balls in the air praying that I would be able to catch each one as gravity quickly brought it back to me; I instantly realized that I am no longer having fun. In fact, I am just plain unhappy. I spend so much of my day stressed out, bitter, resentful and angry. There is more work than I can possibly handle sanely and not enough time, energy or outside help to make it worthwhile.
So this past week I exchanged my old pair of glasses for a new prescription and was amazed at how crystal clear everything was. I took as step back and realized that for so many years my vision of success has been skewed. I now see that what I truly value has nothing to do with the amount of money I make or what I can and can not afford. I realized that when I stop comparing my life with others, I am very successful on this road of life that is mine. To be where I am today coming from where I started is an amazing feat in itself. This success is something that can only be truly enjoyed by me because I am the only person who knows what I have overcome.
I just want a humble life; full of joy, love, family, support and good memories. I want to watch my children grow up and bask in their littleness; for they have a life time to be grown and only this small period of time to be little. People keep telling me that this is the perfect time to go to school because my children won't remember that I am gone so much. This doesn't sit well with me. I will remember that I wasn't present and I will never forgive myself.
So this juggling act looses a ball today as I put school on hold. I already have one degree and the rest can wait until the kids are in school. Sitting in front of a computer 4+ hours a day will be more reasonable while my babies are in school, and not affected by my lack of presence. I know I can be successful in school while working and raising my children, and my current 4.0 gpa proves that. I, however, am failing my kids with every "not now honey," "in just a minute sweetheart, mommy is doing homework," "I am too tired to go to the park today love, maybe tomorrow," and "how about cereal for dinner...for the 2nd night in a row." Starting this month mommy and the kids support daddy with his endeavors to become Doctor Tatum, while mommy puts her Bachelors degree aside for awhile. No longer will my success be measured in dollars, but rather the amount of kisses and giggles I can tickle out of the two amazing little people I brought into this world. I am truly resolved in my decision and happy to get this time back with my kids. I look forward to being able to start vlogging and blogging again as I document these precious times in my kids life, and can already feel a huge change in my attitude and temperament. My kids may not remember that I was present during these early years of their life but I will never regret having missed it.
If being a failure means I am forced to live simple, humbly and happy; than I wear my dunce cap with pride!