Job application for living my life well

There are many ways to look at oneself in order to gain an insight into how you truly think & feel about certain things & situations & to also learn about how your behaviour is shaped by these experiences (or memories). I enjoy the challenge of trying different things because you never know which approach you’ll resonate best with, which method will have the most impact for you or the technique by which you will learn the most about yourself.

I thought it would interesting to do a job application type of self-analysis & pretend I’m applying to living my life well. Nothing will happen if I’m not hired, I’m just using the categories that one tends to use when applying for work. I’m hoping to get a good look at myself & my life & to get an insight on how I think others might see me. I’m hoping through this process I’ll be able to better determine & prioritise what is truly important for me to live a healthy & authentic life: not hide behind fear & be the person I want to be & what I want my children to remember me for.

So without further ado: here’s my job application for living my life well.

Name: Yuz or mummy

Age: Old enough to know better, make better decisions & choices, but will never old enough to think I know everything about everything. I’ll never be that age. That age is full of negativity, loneliness & closed minds.

Education & experience:  I completed high school & went on to gain a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Marketing. I went on to work within the advertising industry for the next ten years working in account management. Deadlines, massaging client & creative team egos was part of the job as well as meeting unrealistic timelines, deadlines & budgets. I worked hard, worked really long hours & wanted to do the best I could every day. I was an extremely loyal employee & conscientious too & this was an interesting combination in the advertising industry full of huge egos, employers who would often take advantage & the clients often reminding us all that we were in fact in a service industry. Some days I wasn’t far off table service in a restaurant without the tips.

My strengths:

* Loyal & conscientious – I still see them as a strength.

* I’m extremely passionate about all sorts of causes & will volunteer my time, experience & skills to helping out when I’m physically & emotionally possible.

* I will stand up for my kids health, welfare & their right to grow up in their own time & at their own pace. No one’s (that I know) has won a Nobel Prize for learning to point at six months or been the first to walk in their playgroup.

* I have the global phenomenon – & often ignored or downplayed characteristic – called ‘mothers instinct’. I might not be the best mother in the world, but I’m striving to be the best I can be, & while I don’t have a medical degree, I know my child: I know when they’re in pain, when something’s wrong & when to speak up when I don’t think I’ve been heard when it comes to their health & wellbeing. If you want to see my mama bear come out, just insult or talk down to my child or disregard, downplay or ignore my pleas for assistance when it comes to their wellbeing.

* Generous – with my time & with our money, but mostly time. I volunteer for many organisations & support groups that I am passionate about & rally up the troops for our annual Relay for Life event.

* Give people the benefit of the doubt – always. No matter how hard this is. The disclaimer here is that everyone gets three chances & depending on how much this person means to me, I either approach them about it or I let the friendship move down a rung on my importance-in-my-life ladder.

My weaknesses:

* Not stepping up to my intrusive thoughts about my worth, my doubts & my fears.

* Not being able to shut my mind down during discussions or an argument already thinking of the next thing I want to say & not hearing or listening to what’s been said.

* Channelling my inner Archaeologist: I dig up shit from the past & am passionate about holding on to it even though it holds no value or will help my contentment & happiness in the long term. And what’s so confronting about this is that I now have an audience to this behaviour & I don’t want my kids learning this trait through my actions & inactions. I want them to learn to deal with stuff & move on, let it go & not to assign any more meaning nor perceived worth to things that don’t deserve it.

* Lying to myself about when I’m not ok & putting on a brave face or mask.

Ok, now to stare down these weaknesses, confront them & make a concerted effort to do something about them. I know there’s no such things as a perfect person, but I know there’s always room for improvement. I can be & can do better.

Now to work out the ‘how’ in doing that…….

 

AvoiDANCE

Allow me to introduce to you to my close friend, protector & social deflector…. Avoidance.

Avoidance has been my fire blanket for as long as I can remember, so much so that I don’t want to fold it up, pack it away, or even consider it not being my ‘go-to’ comforter.

I think I learnt this skill early on in life as growing up we had many people coming in & out of our home due to the job my parents had. We often had people sitting at a dinner table not knowing each other & sometimes not knowing us either. We were ‘briefed’ beforehand & given a rundown on how this person landed up in our home & at our table & were also provided topics to avoid due to it’s sensitivity or inappropriateness towards our visitor. Hence, the dinner dance I grew up with was created – the very essence of avoidance & masking uncomfortableness. There were times I recall my brother & I almost performing for these people to break the silence, encourage conversation & topics of interest or just talking amongst each other in the hope that the deafening silence & awkward social situation would be drowned out by our banter. We actually used to call each other ‘social lubricators’ & it became instinctual when our services were required.

Over the years, I perfected avoidance so much so that performing became a breeze & it also manifested itself into a mask. I hoped as my confidence grew & as my strived to achieve my hopes & dreams socially & professionally, that I would be better confronting people & situations. However, it wasn’t to be. And sadly, as my depression increased in it’s frequency this was just something that I just didn’t have the energy or room to work on. My avoidance isn’t prejudiced either as it involves both situations & individuals so all my bases are covered in terms of any potential conflicts.

I don’t know what my issue with avoidance is & how I’ve become so resistant to confrontation. What am I afraid of? What’s the worst that can happen? Isn’t confrontation just standing up for myself? I’m not a weak person, nor a pushover, so surely this should come easily! Am I just wilfully ignorant?

I want to get to the bottom of this. I really do as I feel it holding me back to the person I want to be for myself & for my family. So, what is my issue exactly? Is it feeling overwhelmed at the time of confrontations & not saying what I want to say? Is it that I think of things to say after the fact & get angry with myself for not thinking of them at the time? Is that my excuse for not even starting the conversation that needs to be had? Am I scared what the other person will think of me? If they’re my good friends I shouldn’t care & the friendship is supposed to strengthen. And If we’re not good friends, then I shouldn’t even bother, so it’s not avoidance rather disinterest. Am I scared about the unknown outcome therefore not even wanting to find out? Is it a control thing – that I can’t control the outcome, my feelings etc?

And then I start thinking: what lesson I am teaching my kids by all this avoidance? Is this the kind of role model I want to be to my children? If I want people or my kids to have respect for me then surely I need to be able to genuinely respect myself & be content with my life’s decisions. Is my avoidance a form of self-respect sabotage?  Is my fear born out of self-preservation? How do I go about & what do I need to do to give myself permission to be vulnerable enough to stop this tango of avoidance? If I want to be the best version of myself, then surely something needs to change in my thinking.

Like my realisation that the word ‘forgiveness’ had the word ‘give’ in it, the word avoidance has the word ‘dance’ in it. This is perfect for me as I actually see myself dancing around topics & hop stepping about in order to deflect from the real issue. In actual fact, I would rather dance instead of facing a confronting, uncomfortable or excruciating event.

At the beginning of this post, I called avoidance my ‘fire’ blanket as opposed to a safety blanket. Is there really going to be a wall of fire thrown at me for standing up for myself? Do I really have to snuff it out before it starts to sting? Is this how I view confrontation – that the consequence is me being told off, questioned or hurt? Are all confrontations going to be an attack on my character? Is that how I see confrontation – as personal attacks? At the end of the day confrontations & arguments are just words. They’re just noises that come out of peoples mouths & form things called words which we use to communicate to each other. It’s all it is. I can make these words bounce off me or go right over me depending on the level of value I hold in the relationship with the person in conversation with. Surely this is nothing to be fearful of!?

I’m sure there are some people that see & view my avoidance as a weakness & an area in which they can exploit & take advantage of. Surely this alone should give me the motivation & impetus to make a change & stop dancing around the real issues. And I need to be honest too & admit that I’m not proud of this personality trait, so this together with my feelings of exploitation just have to be the architects of change.

I really don’t know the answer here, but I hope that exploring my thoughts & feelings in this space will provide me with some insights & in time possible paths of exploration.

Does anyone else have issues with confrontation? Have you managed to overcome your fears? What have been your strategies? I’d love some tips.

Things I’m afraid to tell you

There are a group of bloggers who are all banding together & participating in a series of posts called “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You”. The TIATTY movement was inspired by a post from Jess Constable of Make Under My Life & Ez of Creature Comforts. If you’d like more information on the TIATTY movement, you can read Jess’ interview with Laura Rossi from the Huffington Post. You can also visit Robin at Farewell Stranger to read other TIATTY posts as well. All these women are truly amazing & inspirational & I’m so very honoured to be part of this movement.

So here goes:

* Some people are able to move on from arguments or fights & go about their daily life. I’m not one of those people. I let my feelings impact me to the point that I want to hide away from the world. And I usually do.

* I might be good at confrontation, but will probably never know because I avoid it like the plague.

* I’m really not as confident as I appear. (Depends on the situation of course).

* Sometimes I feel like I’m not a real mother because Seon works from home & often helps out during the day. I feel ashamed of this because I ‘should’ be doing it all.

* I’m pretty sure I don’t believe in God.

* I avoid. Avoidance, as much as it haunts me, provides me with a sense of protection. I consider myself a weak person because of this.

* I’ve mastered how to wear a mask.

* I still have my good days & my bad days with it comes to my depression & anxiety, but no one other than my nuclear family & very close friends will ever know that.

* I find some female relationships hard work & require a lot of energy. I just don’t have a lot of energy.

* Sometimes I don’t feel worthy enough.

* The kids bath & bed time makes me anxious every single night.

* I’m intimidated by strong (& often opinionated) women.

* I’m jealous of babies Flynn’s age that can eat finger food & ‘proper’ foods without choking or vomiting.

* Sometimes I think that I’ve deserved the pain I’ve had in my life & that I’m being punished for something.

* I don’t like the way I look, specifically my weight & my fat rolls. I’ve never been this big/heavy & I lack any motivation to do anything about it.

* I care what other people think of me no matter what I say about the matter or however much I pretend not to.

If you would like to add something that you are afraid to tell, you’re most welcome to post it here or link your blog post to the linky below.