My Ultimate Truth …. aka My Why

My Why

Because I’m a total glutton for punishment, and am just absorbing information like a freaking sponge lately, I signed up for yet another content challenge, this time for a whopping 30 days. I’m going through it on a daily basis, and doing the stuff that is expected of me, but am finding it difficult to write up all the awesomeness on the same day as I’m supposed to do it.

Wait. That made no sense.

Okay. Today’s blog post was actually written on Day 2 of the challenge….which was on Friday. I’m taking advantage of the fabulous scheduling feature of WP and it’s saving so much stress, it’s unreal.

So today, I want to talk to you about expectations. Societal, familial, whatever….we all have them. We all have this stuff we are “supposed” to do, whether we want to or not. For me, I was “supposed” to go to school and finish high school with amazing results after year 12. Umm…oops. I made it to year 11 and I’d had enough.

I was “supposed” to go to university. I was “supposed” to meet some lovely man and get married and have children and have a house and a lovely car and a lovely holiday every year and blah blah blah…..

That’s not exactly what happened.

I left school. I bummed around a bit not really knowing what I wanted to do. I got pregnant at 18 after being with my boyfriend for 2 months, and left the country to come to Australia a month after that. I was a single mum for two years, then I met my ex, who was anything but the “lovely man” I had envisioned. I was a walking punch bag for 6 years instead. I had two more kids with him, kids who I adore, and will never, ever regret having, but who have had a few hard lessons into family and love and relationships. I was expected to just get out of that relationship. Just like that. The cops told me to move interstate. Funny.

Then I went to uni. I got a bachelor in psychology, followed by an honours degree. I got married to a lovely man (who flew half way around the world to be with me even though all our family and friends said we were insane…again, there’s those familial and societal expectations!). I had two more kids, then returned to uni for the third time to get a graduate diploma in education because, well, society says I have to work for other people, and to do that I have to have lots of pieces of paper to prove that I can sit in a classroom and behave myself and write a fairly good academic paper.

Truth is, I’m not the best counsellor on the planet, but I worked my arse off for my clients. I’m a brand new teacher who wasn’t excelling and left my last school swearing I’d never teach again…..but I adored my students and worked 17 hours a day every day to make sure I could say I at least tried….at the expense of time with my own kids and husband.

Why??

Because society says so.

Society says I have to be this and do that, and have this, and get that….but it has to be done by going to work for people who don’t give a shit about me, or my kids, or my family in general. I have to go to work with tears streaming down my face because I know in my gut that I’m not living MY way, or MY truth.

They don’t care that I don’t want to work 17 hour days, wolfing down whatever snack food I can get my hands on and getting fatter and more miserable by the second.

They don’t care that I’d much rather work in my pyjamas, or be able to say “Nah. Not today. Today is for my kids.”

They certainly don’t care that the only person I want as my employer is me.  

I’m actually thinking of going back to uni but this time to do something in marketing or something similar so that I can put ALL of my time and energy into my own business. I have LOADS of ideas floating around in my  head for both SOHJ and other more business like type stuff. But there’s bills to pay and mouths to feed, and society says I can’t stay like this forever….

I hate being told by society that I’m wrong. I hate being judged by society because I am actively choosing to stay at home with my son while he’s little; he’ll be in transition next year and I’ll never get this time with him back. I love being at home for my beautiful teen daughters who I am teaching to do what they love! I don’t care if they never finish school. They’re not academic and school just isn’t for everyone. Miss 15 wants to be a photographer; Miss 14 wants to dance….and good on them, too! I’m tired of being made to fit in a box that I’ll just never fit in. My kids will never fit into those boxes either.

Why should we? Why should we repeatedly go to jobs we’re qualified for but aren’t enjoying? Why are we forced to only dream about a life that we’ll never really be able to have because 6 weeks annual leave just isn’t enough for all the exploring we want to do? Who the hell made it this way?

This is my why. This is why I stretch myself as an artist and why I’m absorbing business information like a sponge. It’s why I’m doing LIVE videos even though they scare the living daylights out of me. I can go to bed at night knowing that I spent the day doing something that might not mean a whole lot to the world at large but truly makes me a happier, more content person, and a much better mum than I was before.

Release yourself from these bloody societal “norms” and do what makes you happy. Choose to do what makes your soul soar!

With all my love,

Jacqui

 

Photo credit: Marco / Zak via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND

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How I Confronted My Inner Whiny Bitch

 

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I’ve been hearing it for months. Years, actually.

Oh my god, you suck.

You can’t do anything right.

Why can’t you just realise that you’re useless and nobody will ever give a damn about you or your jewellery…like, ever.

We all have an inner whiny bitch. Don’t deny it. She’s there. She might not be as visible or as vocal as my IWB, but she’s there. You might be able to keep your IWB in control, you may be able to get through every single day without her making an appearance. Unfortunately for me, mine has been particularly awful in recent weeks:

You cannot leave the house looking like THAT!

What on earth are you thinking? You can’t do that!

You know, that’s just rude. You can’t be asking for a sale like that. God, what’s wrong with you?!?!?

You do know that they all think you’re utterly stupid, right?

You may recognise this as negative self talk and you’re absolutely right. It is. I just happen to prefer the term, Inner Whiny Bitch. Here’s the thing. I have social anxiety, and it’s bad. It’s now at the point where I can’t make phone calls to the electric company, phone company, housing people, or any other authority figure. If I do, I have to mentally rehearse what I’ll say beforehand, and try to anticipate what they will say, so I can rehearse what I’ll say in response to their response. It’s exhausting. I avoid meetings with my kids schools because they intimidate me so much. I really want to go to playgroups and stuff with my son but that damn IWB just won’t shut up long enough for me to talk myself into just having a go and doing it, so I end up staying at home, only interacting online because that’s not so scary. Real life doesn’t have a backspace button and I tend to put foot in mouth a lot. People actually scare me. That’s a horrible thing to experience for a 38 year old woman who should be a lot more confident than she is.

Today though, I gave my IWB the ass whooping she deserved.

I’m doing an awesome facebook engagement challenge at the moment, which is working superbly well, and every day the challenge developer Sherri-Lee makes us do a task that will help us to increase reach and engagement on our business pages.

Day one and day two were easy, basically stuff I was already doing on my page but not quite doing the right way. Now that I have the right way under my belt, I’m noticing some huge differences and that is truly awesome.

Day three was like a slap in the face. It made me freeze. I got chills. I got panicky. I couldn’t breathe. I had a moment where I thought, “Well that’s as far as I’ll go in this one, then!”

Yep, she wanted us to do a Facebook Live video. 

Me. In all my weird accented, chubby faced, lispy “gorgeousness”….and she wants me to do a video.

No. No, no, no.

I thought about it all night. It went around and around in my head. I got dizzy. And my IWB freaking LOVED IT.

See?? I told you this was a stupid waste of time.

People will think you’re fat.

You don’t have enough makeup to cover all your ugly.

This is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done.

You do remember how the videos of your counselling sessions at university went, yes? You sucked then, and you’ll suck now.

I tried everything I could to block her out. I took long, deep, cleansing breaths. I listened to calming music. I grounded myself as best as I could so I didn’t spiral into a full blown panic attack. I went to bed, and didn’t think of it again until morning.

I knew I had a webinar I wanted to listen to this morning. I also knew that the best time for me to do this (if it was ever going to happen!) was 8am. But my kids were sick and my son just wanted to snuggle with me and the whole time, she was there…whispering.

Excuses, excuses. You’ll never do it. You’re too scared. You’re……

I drowned her out by busying myself with my son and his needs. The next thing I knew I was getting dressed, and putting on my makeup.

“Mum, what are you doing?” asked my daughter.

“Umm…I have to do a live video for my page.” I stammered.

“Oh. Wear this wig, mum. I like this one!” It’s lovely to be supported. It’s lovely to know that she knows that a wig was most definitely necessary to help me to step into that zone…

So…I was dressed, face on, hair on and ready to go. I got all comfy and positioned on my daughter’s bed (her room has great lighting), figured out how to set my phone up on a bunch of books, leaning against a glass (probably not the best set up, but it’ll do for now).I put the title of the live video in….and froze.  I sat there for 15 minutes, staring out the window with my IWB whispering her words of doubt and self loathing into my head.

This was my next facebook post. IWB at her finest:

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Great. At that point, I was ready to pack it all up and retreat to bed for snuggles with my boy, but then I remembered something. A Year 5 student I worked with while I was on prac for my education diploma asked me once, “Miss, did you ever get anything wrong when you were a kid?” My answer was simple. “Oh yes. All the time, but that’s how we learn, isn’t it? You can’t let fear of getting it wrong stop you from trying.” 

IWB didn’t know how to deal with that.

But I told you! You SUCK and you’ll fail at this!! I….I….know you will! What the hell?

Oi!! Listen to me! Why aren’t you listening?!?

All of a sudden, her voice became smaller, quieter, more distant, and my Inner Queen Diva came out to play instead:

Honey, you look great. You’re out of your comfort zone and that’s scary, I know. But this is for something you’re passionate about, something that defines who you are. You can do this. Talk about what you love. You’ll be okay. I’m with you every step of the way. Now go. Do it!

So, I did. I hit that “Go Live” button with the shakiest, most terrified hands, but I hit the button and spoke. There were screw ups, and technical issues. I actually had to do it twice because I stuffed up the first one when I instincively swiped a notification away on my phone…oops! But now I know…don’t touch any part of the screen when on FB Live! I stumbled over a few words and lost track a little bit, but I did it. It feels so good to have just gone with it. It wasn’t perfect and I’m never, ever going to be a star of the screen, but it’s done.

My people didn’t laugh at me. They celebrated with me. They didn’t tell me I looked fat or that my skin was awful. They didn’t tell me how much I sucked or that I should “get a real job” like my IWB has told me so many times lately.  I did get a friendly ribbing  about my bizarre accent but that I can handle because it’s true and it came from someone I adore.

I feel so good. My IWB is in hiding somewhere, licking her wounds…and she needs to stay there. She has no place in my head anymore.

Have you overcome your IWB lately? Tell me how in the comments.

Sending you much love and high fives,

Jacqui

xxx

PS For those who’d like to witness this whooping of the IWB…you can watch my FB Live video here. 

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA