The Ugly Side of Me

I have never had a problem stepping outside of myself and seeing myself as I truly am, whether I like what I see or not. Lately, I’ve been seeing a side of myself that I particularly don’t like, but I don’t seem to be able to change it. To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to get to this point. A lot of God and growing has kept it at bay, but it was bound to surface eventually.

Last night, just after the new year came in, I was sitting at a table with a young lady I attend church with having a conversation I really didn’t want to have. She asked me if MensHealth and I were “finally going to do this thing” in 2015 and about my books sales, etc. These are two of the last things I wanted to discuss at a New Year’s gathering, but I gave non-committal answers as I stuffed eggs into my mouth to stall. “It seems like you’ve just given up,” she said, flipping her hair over her shoulder. “I’m just focused on different things right now,” I answered. “There’s nothing wrong with giving up and realizing that you’re done,” she continued.

Hmm. Am I done?

Here’s the thing: I feel as if I have been a patient person in a lot of ways, a positive person. Life hasn’t always turned out the way that I would have expected or liked, but I feel as if I have rolled with the punches pretty well. I’ve probably committed myself and remained devoted in situations where maybe I should have done something else because I like to be sure about things. But lately, I’ve been seeing what happens when this patience I’ve cultivated erodes, and it isn’t pretty.

I find myself acting out of character and not like the woman I know. I find myself short tempered, irritable, and impatient a lot more often. I find that I take setbacks a little harder than I did before. I was at work yesterday, trying to build up some enthusiasm for the new year. I love new beginnings and I’m usually bursting to get a new year started, but this year I’ve been more reticent. I was feeling hopeful about some work changes to be made in the new year. In 2015, my duties were going to change a bit. Some of the more tedious tasks would be moved to someone else and I would be responsible for more complicated duties. I was toying around with getting licensed and trying to move up. We received emails of recent promotions in another department and a coworker complained about it, but I was happy for those people. Then I got some unexpected news: the coworker taking over tasks for me was leaving. She would be staying home with her small children and not coming back.

Happy new year! Nothing is going to change for the better for you! my circumstances are shouting. It’s the same old thing. Nothing is changing but the date on the calendar. You’re still stuck in the same places you’ve been stuck in for a good five years! Blame it on whatever you would like–the devil, your boyfriend, your too nice nature, an inability to demand what you want–you still aren’t going anywhere!

And that, my friends, makes me feel a little bit crushed, crumpled, and clueless about how to move forward. And to be quite honest, it makes me angry. I’m angry at MensHealth for not proposing or leaving or doing something that isn’t status quo. I’m angry he keeps pressing me to change this or that using this if/when we get married I expect angle that just makes me mad that he’s still not making a decision on where our relationship is going. I’m angry at everyone asking me why I’m still single or telling me I need to cut my losses and start over. I’m angry at people expecting so much of my time and money, trying to dictate so much of my life without truly being invested in me as a person and my growth. I’m angry at the fact that my book isn’t selling as well as it should, that people aren’t leaving reviews one way or another, that I have no idea whether or not it’s worth it to still pursue this writing thing. I’m angry that I don’t seem to be making progress in any area of my life no matter what I change and what I try to do. I’m angry that I have tweaked and polished every area of my life and somehow I’m still not enough.

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