That is my word for the year. I chose it because I wanted to know myself better so I could relate to other people better. I wanted to know how to take better care of myself, know how I could write more, know how I could be a better friend and a more involved family member. I wanted to know it all. I thought it would make me happier to know.
Now it’s the last day of March, and I’m looking back on the goals I set and the hopes I had, and I feel utterly stupid. I’m stupid because I thought knowing myself better would be fun. I took the personality quizzes and signed up for the brain-specific planner on Kickstarter. I’ve read books and bought apps for my phone. I know my enneagram type, y’all, not that that I understand it. That shit is confusing.
Today I’m supposed to sit down with my goal planner to reassess the last three months, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t face the fact that I haven’t written anything outside of paperwork for my job all year. That’s a lie. I face that reality every day when I sit down at my writing desk first thing in the morning and don’t have a damn thing to say. That’s a lie, too. I don’t sit down to write first thing in the morning anymore because I stopped getting up early to write. Like I said—I don’t have a damn thing to say. That’s not a lie. My creative reservoir is empty. Bone dry. Depleted. Parched.
It's not that I haven't learned anything. I know a little more than I did on January 1. Here's what I do know:
1. I know I’m a highly empathetic person. Psst. Look at the word. Do you see the word pathetic in it? Cause I sure do. According to Strenthfinders, empathy is my top strength. Strength??? It feels more like a weakness to me because while being highly empathic means I’m able to assess how a person is feeling with very little information, it also means I’m an emotional sponge. I soak it all in—the good, the bad, the nasty. Then it gets all mixed up in my own emotions, and I can’t tell my own emotions from someone else’s. Then sometimes I end up owning another person’s emotions. I take responsibility for them like they’re my own. It’s exhausting. It’s unfair.
2. I know I have friends who will kick my ass all the way to Austin and back because I haven’t been taking care of myself. I’ve been trying to be stronger than I really am, and my friends have called me on it. My friend Dawn threatened to call my work and tell them I’m on drugs if I don’t ease up on myself. Everyone needs a friend or two like that.
3. I know I like my husband—not all the time, but most of the time. He and I have been married quite a while, and we’ve earned the ease with which we get along. Like earned it. He calls me pretty and I call him a jackass, and it works.
4. I know I can’t wait for the next two months to be over with. I won’t say why; just trust me. I NEED June to come quick. But at the same time, I hate that I’m wishing two months of my life away. Haven’t I wasted enough of my life wishing it away? The answer to that question is yes. I have. I know that I have, and that too is unfair.
5. I know this is the first thing I've written in 3 months, and it feels great to put pen to paper...um...finger to keyboard.
6. I know life is hard, and family is everything and Jesus loves me. I don't think He gets too mad when I say shit and damn on (many) occasion(s), but I'm pretty sure he does't like it when I judge people for things they can't help like bad ponytails and awful taste in nail polish. I think He would tell me...tell us all...to be kind and give grace whenever possible, to others yes, but also to ourselves. That's a lie. I don't think that. I know that.