Chris Rock once said, “You can only offend me, if you mean something to me.” And I love this. I love the confidence and bravery behind it; I appreciate the perspective he has to only really worry about the opinions of those he cares about. I myself am not there yet, but I wish I was. Sadly, I am infected with a very common label known as, “people-pleaser.” And even though I am a grown woman, a mother, a wife, educated and employed, I am somehow not mature enough to have gotten over my middle-school persona of wanting to make everyone happy.
So daily, that’s what I try to do. I give it all I’ve got, I smile and I encourage and I wear myself out until I am emotionally spent with nothing worth giving left to give. And that, unfortunately, is when I tend to come home.
Did you ever feel like the best part of you is the part everyone “else” gets to see? That when you get to the people that you love best in the entire universe, they are stuck with the leftover-version of you? What a disappointment that I become the tired, worn-down remnant of the perky perfectionist I started out as only hours ago. I swear sometimes I am tempted to take a picture of myself to prove that I actually was presentable! But I know it isn’t my outfit that becomes rumpled and ragged, its my responses. My semi-sweet demeanor turns a little bitter and the patience I exhibited all day long is quickly lost.
I feel like there has to be a better way, but I’m not sure how to get there. How do you tell all of the people who judge your performance all day, that they are no longer going to see the “you” they’ve come to expect, because you’re saving it for those who don’t judge you … those who have been waiting patiently for their turn at the best “you,” you’ve got?
Answer–you don’t. At least I can’t. I can’t let go of the expectation of me I’ve given other people permission to count on.
But … I’ve decided that I can’t live without giving my, “best-self,” to those who’ve earned it. Life is hard. It’s exhausting and, though I’m no meteorologist, its a safe bet to say things aren’t about to slow down; so I think I’m the one who needs to. Recently I watched a great movie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” And in it, there was a scene where he was climbing a mountain and wrote in his travel log, “Conditions testing body and body testing soul.” That’s where I am … but I’m sure with a little practice, I’ll be able to save the best of myself, for the last of my day. No more leftovers for me.