Friday, December 06, 2013

Permission to fail

I promise, this entry is more introspective than depressing. Well, I tried to make it that way, but maybe it's not. You be the judge.

I have never been good at anything. I have no medals or trophies to show for any achievements. My grades were okay, but not exceptional. I think I made the honor roll once in high school.

This is fairly easily explained. I didn't participate in many extracurricular activities throughout my entire public education, and if I did, I didn't stick with them. For whatever reason, I never felt like it was okay to fail or be bad at something, so eventually, if something seemed too hard, I would give up. I took ballet classes in elementary school because my sister did, but when she quit, I quit. I don’t think I was any good. My EFD got in the way of being able to memorize the dances and remember to both keep my toes pointed & make the same movements as everybody else. I feel like if I can’t manage that at a rather young and mold-able age, there’s no chance for me getting better at physical activities now.

I took piano lessons for four years from the end of elementary school through middle school, but quit abruptly. Four years is a good stretch, I’d say, but for whatever reason, I got sick of it. Everybody hates practicing, but I used that as my excuse and was allowed (after some begging & crying) to just do soccer. That, also, did not last past middle school. I was the “runt” on the team, never having played before. I think more individual attention might have helped me improve or feel less isolated. The whole “and the star player of this game is…” system was absolute bullshit. The same few people were always praised. I got praised once, for the one time I got a goal. It was complete luck and the game didn't end up counting because we got rained out. There was two years in high school of dance classes, but again, I was way behind everyone else. I was also at the height of a depressed period, so that was no help for my hopes for improvement.

Look, I’m not trying to throw a pity party here. What I’m trying to say is that a small part of me is starting to understand that this isn't my fault. I was raised with the expectation of finding a niche, finding something I am exceptional at. I felt like everyone around me had that. One friend stuck with viola and ended up continuing to play it throughout college (went to a music focused school). My sister excelled at artistic endeavors and studied those things in college too. I befriended people who took on charity work or played on various sports teams in high school. That work may not have continued after school, but it was something impressive to put on the college applications. I felt like a liar putting my participation in drama productions on those. I only helped with plays for a couple of productions until the stress was too much for me. I was too scared to go back, too scared to fail.

This is not how I look at kick-boxing.
So is finding a skill absurd? Is it okay to live my life feeling inadequate? I’d like to think not, but I don’t know where the middle ground is. Is it okay for me to just take six weeks of the kickboxing class, then move on to barre or something else? Am I really a failure if I don’t stick to something, or can I permit myself to be finished? I don’t know if now is the best time for me to be trying to stick to the kick-boxing classes. I feel so hopeless at it and it’s hard to explain to Hulky. Being bad at it (but he is better than me) doesn't bother him at all. He’s won awards and things, but he doesn't keep them, it never mattered to him. We have such interesting contrasts at times. He did offer to be my trophy husband, however.

My therapist says that I focus too much on fixing things. Understanding things can go a long way. Sometimes, I see that. Seeing why I am the way that I am, beyond the depression, can be helpful, but it’s hard to see past the fog most of the time.

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