Last night, it hit me hard: I am a role model.
And… Holy Shit.
Ada is watching every single thing I do. And her scrutiny is only going to get more intense. I lay in the bed for almost an hour thinking about the implications of this. Because that is what I do – I over analyze everything. Back-and-forth. Perseverate. Restlessly fret. Pick, pick, pick…It’s just my way, never to change, I suppose. “Do I want her to experience me doing this?” I wondered in the dark. I am afraid to show her, this among other terrible behaviors, lest she thinks that imitating them is good.
Then it started. The floodgates opened and the litany of in-my-own-head criticism over personal flaws came pouring out unexpected, uninvited, and unwelcome. Ooh, and that voice in my head is meeeeean. It echos every negative comment I’ve ever heard and it comes up with brand new ones. My Mom always told me, “You are your own worst critic.” As far as I can tell, she was right.
Maybe we don’t all do this – have this biting internal dialogue late at night, but I think most of us have let our inner-critic fly out of control at least once. No? Then, just as that voice was really catching some wind, I realized that somehow I have to teach Ada all about self-love and confidence. Can I be myself while still minding my own behavior? Is it hopeless?
I drifted off to sleep ratcheting these thoughts around. Somewhere in the night I did what I always somehow manage to do: I rallied. By the light of the morning and the coffee steaming up from my cup I had re-established my precarious, slippery grip on the life-raft of optimism. But after that brief visit from my own “dark traveler” my awareness remains. I just have to figure out what to do with it and I haven’t put my finger on it yet. Becoming the woman I hope my daughter will want to grow up to be like has to be an organic process. I just hope it all unfolds in time for her to benefit. I suppose that awareness of your hearts desire is the first step in creating it.
Feel free to comment, please. I'd love to know what you think about this.