For all the confidence and bravado of doing everyday business in the world, I am still a little girl easily frightened by the slightest hint of rejection.
I’m writing a book and at present, having a silent meltdown about my ability to finish, my place in the world and as fate would have it, acceptance.
Writing a book means others must read, comment, edit, suggest, and maybe disagree with my point of view. This is the hardest part of the process. I’m open. Vulnerable. Old ghosts make appearances and I’m ready for a good cry.
I do not dabble in food policy, nutrition politics or the origins of beef jerky. I cook. I write. I try to inspire others. Sometimes, I examine the navel.
I never considered myself an intellectual. I’ve never had the patience to take the deep dive necessary to be an expert in scholarly pursuits. I commend those that do (have the patience) for without them we would all be quite uncivilized. But I am uncomfortable around many learned people. Even though my experience and education would suggest otherwise, I have the feeling that I am never enough. The feeling that I am vastly unworthy.
I’m making some observations about myself. They are shared below. If vulnerability is part of this writing process, then I will confront it head on and beat the emotional demons to the punch.
So here it is. (yeah, grammar) The sum of my parts and a confession of my human nature.
- There are things I don’t know. Many things. When I don’t know, I’d like to think it was okay to simply ask, but sometimes embarrassment rules.
- I start books, and (gasp) never finish. I’d rather read Jane Austin than Steinbeck and when I finished Anna Karenina (for the second time), I immediately read all four Twilight books in one week. Drama is drama.
- I fail. Often.
- I speak fluent French, conversational Spanish and understand Italian. Maybe I just understand Italians.
- I have no idea where Vermont rests on a map. I sure do like the syrup.
- I know the Christian commandments but not all the articles of the Constitution. I do know not to bear arms with my neighbor’s wife.
- Documentaries make me nervous.
- History makes me feel stupid. (no one can make you feel stupid but history is not a person)
- I’m an excellent mom, but not always. I need to turn off the computer more often.
- I’m scared of the woods. Not the animals, the people. Okay maybe the animals, too.
- Wearing a bathing suit makes me feel ugly. Anyone?
- I’m an over protective mother and friend and wife. I care about my peeps.
- I go to great lengths to be the smartest person in the room. Leaving the house makes this difficult.
- Drinking an adequate amount of water is not my strong suit. I have no problem with coffee or wine.
- My temperament softened when my mother passed away. I miss her more than I’d miss air.
- Idioms are all Greek to me.
- When I play scrabble against the computer, I ask for help. Against humans, never.
- I hold grudges for far too long and for silly reasons.
- Inane is part of my vocabulary. Hopefully not permanently.
- I honestly believe that I am a good person but I tell myself it doesn’t mean much. And the cycle repeats itself…
My mother was the smartest person I know. (books and street inclusive) She never graduated from college. Children happened. I always imagined she was an unrealized PhD who had slipped into another version of herself. I sometimes wonder if she had these moments of inadequacy and felt like crying alone in her room.
I WILL finish this book.
Dried tears are the soldiers of the determined.
And maybe once it goes to press and I am sharing a good meal with family and friends, I will feel worthy of the love and acceptance I crave.