I am one of those people who probably spent too much time in therapy. I find myself questioning my intentions on just about every single decision I make. I open up to my friends (and “friends”) and explore my motivations and inspirations. I seek the advice and gentle leadership I get from my mentors. Some of the questions I ponder:
- Why do I want to do this?
- Is this going to improve my life?
- Does this frighten me?
- Or am I running away?
- What am I hoping to accomplish?
- How will this affect my family?
- How will this affect my career?
- Will people laugh at me?
- Can I get people to laugh with me?
- Am I being honest?
- Will this embarrass my family?
- Are other people doing this?
- What will my friends think?
- Should I tell anyone I want to do this?
- If ___ finds out, what will they think?
- Do I care what other people think about this?
- Is this going to change who I am as a person?
- Who am I as a person?
- Does this matter?
- Did anyone else cry when Steve went to college on Blue’s Clues?
- Who cares?
- Do I have the energy and ambition to do this?
- Am I good enough to do this?
- Just who exactly, do I think I am?
- What’s the worst thing that can happen?
- What is the best thing that can happen?
Now, as you must have gathered by now, all of these questions go running through my head ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed by my inner dialogue that I simply give up and stop. Other times I dwell on the potential disaster that I have fabricated in my mind. Now, when it comes to major life decisions, it is entirely appropriate to consider at least some of these questions. It may be a little less appropriate to ponder these points while trying to maneuver through the grocery store. (Embarrassingly enough, the grocery store is fraught with stress for me.)
So, what? What is the point? Come on, Nyki- do we really care about your motivations? Well, probably not. I have to consider that all my angst and social awkwardness is really just making me look like an ass on FB. However, I do have good intentions. I suspect that there are other people out there who are like me. People who want to make a difference in the world, and who are completely unsure of the skills they possess that will allow that to happen. No, I am not seeking fame and glory (Oh, yes. I totally am- that was one of those fake humble things people say.) But, seriously. I am putting myself out there- and I suppose I could be seeking reassurance. Reassurance that my words and thoughts are somehow meaningful. I want to matter.
Why is this important to a girl who would swear on her life that she does not care what people think of her? To be honest, I only do not care about the opinions that are in direct opposition to my opinions. Anyone who claims they believe otherwise is a liar in my book. Now, I do not have strong feelings about a lot of things. I love a good debate. I can usually argue a different view point about most subjects. Wait, I try to avoid the word argue- (because then I am seen as being difficult and obstinate.)
Random question: Do Terrorists call themselves Terrorists? Who can answer that? Should I google it?
See? I am easily distracted. So, it is now time to refocus. Why this? Why now? These questions can be applied to so many parts of my life. Most immediately (because I am actually writing it at this very moment) my blog. Why did I want to start a blog? Well, the most popular answer I can come up with is to be inspiring. However, people seeking to be inspiring freak me out. I mean to wake up every day and tell myself that I need to inspire someone is a lot of pressure. And, it is based on the assumption that I have done something inspirational. Nope. Not yet. I know all the crap that runs through my head. It is usually a mix of snarky judgement coupled with sincere confusion about what on earth is going on. No, this is honestly an exercise to prove to myself that I can actually do anything I set my mind to.
You see, I have spent a very long time defining myself through my career. This was probably not the best choice. Especially when I cannot even really talk about my career in any sort of intelligent, thoughtful, or honest way. And, I finally figured out- and this was a painful realization, it is just a job. It is what I do to make money. No one wants me to talk all about spending my days in the hospital and clinic when they ask me to tell them about myself. Nope, my career does not define me. I honestly thought it would. I thought that by achieving this higher level of education, I could make up for the fact that I punked out in high school. Nope, it did not alleviate my guilt over that. Apparently, nothing will ever erase that shame. I do not identify as a professional with an advanced degree. Nope, I am still a high school dropout.
The mistake I made: I did not allow myself to become a whole person! I had nothing of interest to talk about outside of my career. I had no hobbies. No craft. No skills. For years, I had very few actual relationships outside of my immediate family and my work comrades. This was a mistake, because I had no compass or outlet to grow. I was stagnant. I was bored. I had achieved “the job,” the one that had consumed my every waking thought and dream. Now what?
I decided to start working out. I wanted to be healthy. (Actually, if I am being honest, I wanted to be hot. And get a boyfriend.) This strategy did not start working for me until I realized that I deserved to be healthy. (It does not help that I am still not hot, and still don’t have a boyfriend.) I deserved to take care of my body. That it was 100% okay to go out in public and try something new, and be very bad at it. I am so bad at boxing. SO VERY BAD. But, I love it. It is a challenge. Something that I do for me. Only for me. My poor mother was so confused when I told her about going to a boxing class. She expressed concern for the butchiness of it. (butchiness is not a word, and I do not think that is what she actually said- but, that is what I took away from the conversation.) Then, she saw how much more feminine feeling strong made me. Now, she is completely on board. I know, it seems odd that boxing would make me feel more like a woman. It totally does. I equate the word woman with strength, confidence, and in general- badassery. I really think my mother secretly wishes I had found a more girly physical activity. (I don’t know, maybe dancing?- except I have zero rhythm, and absolutely cannot dance.) And, this whole Tough Mudder thing. Why would a clumsy, still out of shape girl actually want to go crawl around in the mud with a bunch of people she does not know? (Much better than to crawl around in the mud with the people who will see you Monday morning- don’t ya think?) I am doing this to once and for all prove to myself that I can! Now, I have no delusions about how this is going to go. I am sure it is going to be a disaster. But, I am going. I am training for it. More than anything, I am looking forward to the social aspect of it. There is no way I can honestly delude myself that the actual Mudder is going to be fun. The team part is intriguing though.
I have never really been part of a team. I thought I had found a team to be on in my work. No, that was not actually what it turned out to be. I am not bitter, I am just realistic. I have to seek that fulfillment somewhere else. Now, don’t forget, I love my job. It is my dream job, but, I am having to alter my expectations and see it for what it is. A part of my life. If I fall into the trap and make it my whole life- I am doing both the job and myself a disservice.
Now, about the blog. Wait. Let me finish the health part. I cannot make just being healthy and trying to improve my body my entire life either. That would be a slap in the face to the whole balance thing I am striving for. My history with the whole eating disorder- and my neuroses, has taught me that no one thing can be my entire life. I need more. This is where the blog came in. I have always loved writing. I kept journals- doodles- and have a serious love of words. I had never really spent any time learning the proper way to write. (I have this weird fantasy of being published- perhaps this is the closest I can get?) I thought maybe I could find something professional to research and write about, however, that is not really the voice I am craving to use. There must be a format for writing the way I think, you know, my inner dialogue. (I am really hoping this is the appropriate format for this style.)
My voice. I wanted to be able to speak my truth as it is at that moment. I did not want to be forever locked into a specific theory. I wanted something fluid- where you can see the vacillating nature of my thoughts. (Vacillating is an interesting word for me- one day, IN COLLEGE (sheez) someone accused me of being “a stuck up bitch” because I was using “big words”- ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? I was unaware that VACILATE was a big word!!!! Besides, I did not know another way to describe how I process big decisions.)
I strive to be better. I want to be:
- A better mother
- A better Tiki Nyk (that’s nephew code for auntie)
- A better daughter
- A better sister
- A better granddaughter
- A better friend
- A better nurse practitioner
- A better employee (mentee? I wonder what the word is for that?) (guess I could look it up- naw)
- A better leader
- A better follower
- A much better writer
- A better boxer
- A runner (I am not one yet- so, not better)
So, how do I define better? I don’t. This is another one of those things that there are too many answers for. I am constantly learning more about all of these roles. That is the best way I know of to become better. I would like to say I strive for excellence. My only concern about this term is this; it seems to be a terminal condition. What is better than excellent? When I stop trying to improve, then I am complacent and stop taking care of the relationships I have the good fortune to be in.
My quest for constant improvement puts me at danger for never achieving fulfillment. This is another reason that focusing solely on my career was detrimental for my well- being. You see, while my career is intimately fulfilling- as many healthcare careers are, it still will not keep me warm at night. My career cannot give me a hug, or tell me good job. There are a few people (those mentors I mentioned earlier) who can do that, however, I need to believe that even if I were to be doing something different with my life, those particular people would still be interested in my development. (Even if this is not true, please don’t tell me. I desperately need to believe this. Even if it is a delusion.)
The simple fact that my job is not always fun, and somedays I absolutely do not want to be there, left me feeling disoriented and without an anchor. I did not have a way to define myself. I felt like I was a failure. This was so hard to overcome. I had to find outside interests. I had to find people who were not comfortable reaching INTO other people’s bodies. (I know, gross.) I needed friends who did something different. I needed another level to relate to people. Working out gave me that outlet. More importantly, sharing my funny selfies- making ridiculous car dancing videos- and cheering for other people gave me that outlet. I had this group of people (I hope no one finds this insulting, because I am saying it with all the fond and loving feelings I have, but, this Tribe of Misfits) who found me funny. For some strange reason they found my disdain of the gym inspiring. Some have said they found my honesty refreshing. Seriously, why can’t more people find me refreshing?
I do not honestly think I can change the world. For one thing… I simply fail to see how I am all that important. I do think that I have the potential to be happy though. I believe I can do whatever I want to do. I am extremely lucky to have a whole slew of people in my life who support whatever crazy endeavor I find myself on. So, to answer the question- Why This? Why Now? I want to be better. I want to be more. I want to find my limits and push them.
*It is important to note: My family and friends are extremely important to me.
**I will still strive to be the absolute best that I can be in my career.
***I will seek new adventures, and hopefully be able to write about them in a meaningful way.
****If somehow I manage to make a mark on the world, I would totally have a lot of people to thank. After all, we are a product of the people who love and support us. Nothing wonderful is created in a vacuum. I certainly hope that I am able to express my love and appreciation to everyone who has helped me through my journey.
*****Most of all, I hope I have fun- and if you are reading whatever nonsense I manage to come up with- I hope it is fun for you.
******For those of you who don’t like what I have to say- sorry. Nope. Not sorry. But, I certainly mean no offense. I never seek to offend anyone. Just sharing my thoughts on whatever topic it is at that particular moment. I am sure my feelings will change. Remember, I am striving to be fluid. hmmm. Perhaps I should leave this part out. eh, no. It popped into my head for some reason. So, it can stay.