There is a woman in my life who judges everything. She’s always drawing conclusions about my worth as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, workmate, human being, pet owner, runner, cleaner, lover, radio announcer, comedian and any other box she can think of to stick me in. She’s fucking relentless. And so mean. No one could possibly live up to her lofty standards, and she only applies them to me. She’s quite forgiving of other people’s foibles. Although she does think a foible sounds like something a cat from Brooklyn coughed up.
You might be onto me here. It’s me. Of course. I would never tolerate someone like that in my circle of friends. I would find her too exhausting to spend time with and pity her for wasting so much time in negative space. She’s not alone in there though. There’s another lady who quite likes me. She loves my baby and my husband and thinks I do pretty good being their mum and wife and do good work in my chosen fields. I’m trying to promote her to CEO of my thinking processes and demote that other bitch to the Washington office. New York is full*.
I see an expensive shrink who explains to me why the negative voice is loud and gives me ways of turning the volume down, and it takes time and effort. I earn my living questioning, observing and analysing. If you’re into Myers Briggs, I’m an INFJ. More plainly, that’s a control freak. Its in my nature to worry, to over think, to be a perfectionist and to be confused when other people don’t follow what I consider to be incontrovertible rules of human behaviour.
For someone who likes routine, who needs time to process, can’t stand to fail and takes her effect on others very very seriously, motherhood is tricky. Incredible, and rewarding and all that, but tricky as hell. The best way to drive yourself insane inside a week as a mum is to try to control the outcome of anything involving your child. She is a whirling dervish of awesome. Raising her means we make a million different decisions along the way and its a mathematical certainty that many of those decisions will be the wrong ones. We just have to add enough love to the equation that it balances out somewhat.
I hate not stepping up to the plate. Any plate. I’ve never been good at saying no. To anything, which made my youth quite the adventure. But I hope I get better at socking that whiny bitch in the chops. Because she deserves it. And because chops is a great word and I’m glad I’ve had a chance to use it. I also like the term moral turpitude. Also serendipitous. Lovely word, that.
*Yep, I just watched the last episode of Season 2 of The Newsroom. It was literally awesome. And I mean ‘literally’ in its proper sense. Not the ridiculous change the Mirriam-Webster dictionary just made to make it mean ‘in effect, virtually’. How can a word no longer mean itself?