I cannot do this.
You do not know how many times I have said this to myself. It has probably been more along the lines of “I don’t THINK I can do this” which leaves me to believe that I cannot.
My parents supported me through my many phases of entering adulthood: when I wanted to be a journalist, then a mechanic, then a makeup sales person, then a business student – the list does on and on. They just stood behind me and let me change my path again and again, trying their best to support whatever decision I had decided to make that day. I changed my mind a lot.
What do I want to do when I grow up? Well, I still don’t know. Do I have to decide one career for the rest of my life? No.
Most of my feeling of inadequacy stem from my believe that my looks depend on many things (see previous blog pots), thanks to the great media attention that looks = success. They don’t.
I have proven more to myself since Kevin died than I probably have in my whole life, but there have been some previous cheers in my life. While I cannot recall things I did in early-mid childhood, my teens years were pretty bouncy.
I had played baritone since 5th grade, when in 10th grade, I missed District Band by 1 chair. I was devastated. So, instead of practicing harder, I switched instruments. I knew that I could make District Band on Tuba. And the next year, I did, even beating a fellow student who had been playing far longer than myself. I played in District Band two years in a row, and graduated with the ‘Outstanding Musician’ award my Senior year.
In my late teens, I got heavily involved in cars. I wanted to drive them, race them, work on them. My life revolved around the car community, specifically, Saturns. I won’t even TRY to explain where this infatuation started, but my first car was a 1994 Saturn SC2, and after that a ’97 Saturn SC2, and my last Saturn was a brand new ’04 Saturn ION (that got lemon lawed, but that’s another story). I even worked for two different Saturn dealerships in early adulthood! Mostly though, I wanted to prove that the underdog (me) Saturn could race (and win). It wasn’t about speed, but about the combination of the driver, and the car. So, one dreary morning in Spring Hill, TN, at the Saturn plant in 2003, behind the wheel of my current boyfriend’s (also Saturn owner) SC2, I ran my first Autocross race. And I beat a Porsche’s, and my boyfriend’s, time! Without hitting a cone. I was pretty darned excited. I did what I didn’t THINK I was able to do. After that, I attended just a few local Autocross events in my own Saturn, but it was too much effort and preparation, and my love of the Saturn was dying.
I moved to Montana in 2006, after leaving the job I hated at Saturn, and determining that I needed to be somewhere else. I didn’t think it’d ever be possible for me to financially and mentally be able to leave Lancaster long term to chase a dream, but I did it. I spent 6 months there, before deciding after becoming engaged to Kevin, that we would be financially more stable back in PA. I was sad, but I still did it.
I worked hard at a lot of things, but my attention span has not always been the best, so finishing things has always been difficult for myself. The past few years though, that has changed. The doors that have opened for me have been immense, and it has been through my hard work, determination, and others belief that I COULD do it, that have let me succeed. There’s a part of me somewhere deep down that feels I can do things, otherwise, why would I start? I just wish I could start things with the pure self-motivation, pursuit and belief that I can do this on my own.
I can do this on my own.
I can do this. It’s not about the number of things I accomplish, to what scale I accomplish them, but in the belief that I am willing and able to do so. What are you willing to do? What are you willing to believe about yourself? That you can’t, or that you can? I want to believe I can.
I struggle with this, too. I have a history similar to yours, except with different activities (except for music, I did that, too, switched intruments, too to up my chances, etc….)
I try to keep thinking I can do what I want, and that I have done things that I never believed I could. Keeping that in mind helps. However, there are always days where I don’t think I can do anything….