Ask about my weaknesses and I’ll tell you I spend more time plotting the next thing I plan to say and not listening to the ideas you’ve just plopped before me. If I’m doing well, I’ll stop talking at that point. I tend to talk too much and it will cross my mind that it’s a problem because you take too long to spit out what you are thinking and odds are you are not cute enough to entertain me and I will guess repeatedly what you should have said by now because my curiosity isn’t satisfied by your slow self expression. Your point should have arrived and you are now stepping on my time and my interest has flown. In short, I can be really impatient.
At the same time, I can get completely tongue tied. When my words come out a jumbled heap and the words don’t sound like words, that means I’m excited and nervous and feeling intimidated by the person I’m talking to. This is the time when silly confessions and saying more than I should becomes a problem. I will shine with the creepy observations that the average person doesn’t see because that careful observation of everything around me and the imagination that fuels them are normally the perfect breeding medium for what I write, but I’ve turned off that censor and words tumble out and make messes of embarrassment that cover me in bright excitement and the heat rises and my cheeks feel it the most. It’s not as simple as shame or embarrassment. It is a jeweled crown of mortification.
I also have more passive than aggressive in my anger. I may write what I think, but I won’t live it out. I should verbalize my anger. I’m much more careful with the gilded frame in which I situate my words when I have fear my words will hurt another person. I’m always a little too worried about hurting others. It’s usually a strength, but not when it’s only at my expense, and not when my caution is fear based. Being assertive is on my radar but I’m very much into hedonistic exploits right now, and assertive training isn’t part of that. At the same time, I believe joy and happiness are choices, and I haven’t found the balance between happiness and aggression. Let me know if you think of a safe place to express my pissy moods.
Insecurities are a thing, and they’re my thing. I wrap them around me and push through them until they become my strengths for the most part. At times I can’t even see my insecurities until they’ve been twisted into weapons by someone else. That’s the point of this post. If I announce it, I can own it and deal with it.
I have been teased about using $5 words and shamed for trying to sound smart. I like reading and being a bookish broad wasn’t always a strength. Again, it might just be the men I was dating. I find men that can get lost in a book and are able to converse about the ideas bounding from their shifting perspective is a new kind of sexy that I didn’t know how to address before. It still intimidates me. I have spent too long trying to simplify my language so I don’t look like I’m trying to make someone feel bad. I don’t mind explaining myself, I just hate second guessing myself.
I do a lot of reading and much less talking, so I’m sometimes unsure about the words I want to use because I know what they look like and what they mean, but I don’t always know what they sound like. I don’t want to relive reading “melancholy” out loud in junior high. That was bad.
I love too hard, and for much too long. There are patterns we get from our family of origin, so thanks Mom. This inability to quit for the sake of love is what had me holding on to my marriage for so long. Letting go and accepting that some questions are not meant to have answers is difficult for me. Closure sounds so silly in the face of all that was done, but at the end of the day, it matters more that too much happened, and not why it had to. Some things don’t need a reason that I can understand. Earthquakes are natural but not normal and we don’t always know how to predict them with accuracy enough to evacuate cities. Sometimes the shaking is the only point I need to process and grow from.
Some puzzles keep bothering me. People and their motives are fairly easy to grasp for the most part. Every once in awhile I’ll see a puzzling expression or someone will very clearly bite their tongue on a rogue thought that very nearly escaped. A moment kept crossing my mind to the point where I had a dream about it and woke up to keep turning it over like a cat tiring out a field mouse. A month later and it was still crossing my mind. I’ve had random moments where I’ll catch a similar expression on someone else, and that moment is renewed and fresh in my mind for further torment. It’s insidious. I have a hard time letting go of things I want to know that I have no possible way of finding out. It’s the same for riddles and plot lines that are not neatly tied by the author.
Math is a weakness. It started with multiplication tables in the 3rd grade. I couldn’t memorize them and math tends to build on itself. I was solving quadratic equations and slowly counting out the multiplication I should have memorized on tapping fingertips and whispered counting on murmuring lips. I did really well in geometry, but algebra was a challenge. In high school I got through my second year of algebra and believed my counselor when she said I wouldn’t need anymore math. She lied. You need a certain level of math to graduate college, and that class likely has several prerequisites. If you don’t practice it, you will forget it. I wanted to be a geologist until the math required scared me away. I got through college level algebra, but then I was looking at Trigonometry, Calculus, Chemistry and Physics, which are all special names for different math tortures and I decided English sounded a lot easier. It was the practical decision when I looked at mothering and running a home. It was the boring choice to get lost in literature when I could spend a night in a tent and get up with the sun to play in the earth with other scientists. Banging out a paper while half asleep was easier than solving equations and mapping complex equations along the x, y, and z axis. It’s a weakness I’ve made peace with but every so often I entertain the idea of going back to do better in those classes.
I’m messy. I have always been messy. I grew up with too much junk in the house and it was comfortable. As an adult, walking into the home of a hoarder is both familiar and it gives me extreme anxiety. As mom, I tried to keep up but found myself snapping at sensory integration dysfunction meltdowns. When kid1 and kid2 were little, I would piece their wooden puzzles together and neatly stack them. I’d leave the room for laundry, and hear the crash of a box of wooden puzzles being turned upside down and scattered with the Hot Wheels and Thomas the Tank Engine. My kids might not have survived being toddlers if I hadn’t decided the messes weren’t that important. I had to let it go, or risk becoming an abusive parent. Now I will save major cleaning for when they are with their Dad and I even enjoy cleaning up, but to clean while they are actively making messes can make me angry and a bit terrifying. I used to get so angry when I was trying to clean up around the ex that was watching television or laying in bed. The wife I was had to do everything at home on my own and I knew that if I left a mess, it would wait for me to get to it whenever I got around to it. Ideally, they would clean up after themselves, but that first struggle of having to wait for people to talk translates here as well. It’s easier on me mentally if I just do it myself, and one day I would love to hire someone to do it for me. Sometimes they help and from what I understand, they do a lot more at their Dad’s house, but when I’m not exhausted, I find peace in picking up after my natural disasters while they sleep. I put on music and dance through it. There’s balance. If you saw how organized my sewing kit is, you’d see how much I crave the control.
I don’t cry often. It’s a weakness because humans are not meant to hold it all in. At times I’ll have a slow leak of too much emotion. The tears fall silently and I may sniffle a bit, then blame it on allergies. Most people around me might not notice it unless they are super sensitive or over informed about my latest drama. There’s always drama. I have a seething angry cry. That usually comes out when I withhold a beating of angry words for someone else’s sake. I don’t ugly cry though and those cries are the most healing. I don’t even cry chopping onions anymore. I could use a good cry and I’m not even sure how to turn that stuff on. I could have been one of those women that manipulates a relationship with waterworks, but I never figured out how.