When I was a kid, my mom and siblings would tell me that I complained a lot.
"Is that all you ever do? Complain?"
And I swear that made me complain even more.
But here's the thing: it's the only thing I was able to do that would get a response out of them. So I kept doing it. I know and understand all this now, but I didn't back then- and neither did they, apparently.
I'm not saying I don't still complain today, but I don't think I'm a Complainer. No, that would be my dad whom I really do love oh so dearly and who I, apparently, take after (according to mom who divorced him 30 years ago).
I spent many many years alone in my life. (Keep in mind, I'll be 40 this year, eh.) In my pre-teen years, I had very few friends (we moved a lot, I changed schools a lot). During my adolescent years that number was even less. I'm not exaggerating either. I was a loner, the Wallflower. Even during my 4 years at college (commuter college so I still lived at home) getting my Bachelor's, I still had very few friends. And no love life (not even close).
During those years, I spent a lot of time inside my head. Yes, I had a friend or two. Yes, I did things like go out to movies, dinner, concerts. With a friend or two. I even went to a party or two and a bar or a hundred in my time. But at the end of the day, until I met my now husband in 2000, my best friend was in my head. And on my plate, but that's a whole other story.
I think spending so much time alone, truly alone, has allowed me to really grasp some things about life... my life. And I've learned a fuck of a lot, I think.
I'm not a perfect person in any way, shape, or form. I have so many faults it's ridiculous. But it's part of who I am. All of me. And while I don't love the size I am on the outside especially since it's getting harder to get down to Lovie's level to play, I do love who I am as a person on the inside. And at the end of the day, that's what matters the most because if I'm not in love with myself, then how can I fully love others around me and they me?
That's how I see it at least.
And I also see that I'm incredibly blessed. Life is far from perfect, but my little world is pretty damn near perfect. And I do my damndest to think about this every.single.day.
Of course there are some not-so-great moments, days, weeks... hell even years (fuck you most of the 1990's and 2008, specifically), but all those years I spent alone has really helped me move past the bad and focus on the good, focus on being grateful for what I do have.
Which is so stinkin much.
But how do I teach this to my kid?
I know she's gonna complain because we all do. But I just hope she's not one to bitch and moan all the time. "Life's so unfair!" "Wah wah oh woe is me."
Again, I know we all do it. All of us. But how do I teach her that there's so much more than that? How do I teach her to focus on the good? To be grateful for what she does have?
I learned it a hard way, I think, and I have no fucking desire in this world for my daughter to repeat my life. I don't wish that kind of loneliness and emptiness on anyone (and I'm bloody well sure there's deeper and darker loneliness and emptiness out there today, sadly!). Yes, in retrospect I am grateful for all those lonely days- because it's really helped me gain perspective today- but, nevertheless, I need for Lovie to learn another way. A better way.
I know part of it is to lead by example so I guess that's a great place to start... right?