SoCS – I Guess I’ve Moved On

I feel like a broken record here on the blog sometimes.  Life seems to take hold of me (and when I say “life”, I guess I probably mean “depression”) and I end up not really posting anything.  But I always seem to notice the lack of writing.  I have more vivid, intense and not-so-nice dreams, and I find myself “in my head” a whole lot more.

I had some rough news on Thursday, and yesterday I pretty much wallowed in self pity.  I was planning to do the same today, but as I was laying in bed this morning, I suddenly realized that I have a choice.  I could be pissed off and dread the possibly upcoming surgery (the third one in less than a year), or I could live my life right this moment and enjoy it.

This has nothing to do with the prompt for today, but it’s where my thoughts went and I figured I’d sort of cheat the word in here somehow.  But now that I’m thinking about it, unless you’re really talking about guessing, adding the word “guess” into a sentence, especially like I did up there, tells a lot about either the sentence or the person writing it.  There’s not a whole lot of power in it, is there?  Like somehow you’re already asking for forgiveness for what you’re about to say.  Or, you’re double checking with your reader or who knows who to make sure what you’re saying is accurate.  Or, you just don’t want to go out on a limb and write something that could possibly be wrong, so you add the “I guess” phrase.

As is typical of SoCS, I’m all over the place this morning, but I’m just going to go with it…

At work yesterday, I had a customer ask if they could add more to their lease, but they weren’t specific about how much more they needed, so I asked him how much more the project was going to be.  His response was something like, “I guess it will be around $30K to $50K”.  I laughed when I read it.  It sounded so strange to me, especially in a business setting.  I think it would have come across better if he’d said that the vendor wasn’t sure of the overall cost, but it could be around this much.  Instead, he guessed, which was rather odd to me.

I think we all need to be more confident in how we speak and write.  Why are we all so afraid to sound unsure? Why are we all so afraid to say “I don’t know”?

It’s an interesting subject, to say the least.  But it has nothing to do with how I started this little post.  Haha, I guess you could say that I’ve moved past my pity party and have settled into life.

Happy Saturday everyone!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday  is hosted by Linda G Hill.  Today’s prompt is “guess”. 

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How do you trust your intuition when fear of failure is so much louder?

I feel like I’ve always had a really strong intuition; the problem is, life has taught me to ignore it.  I suppose that sounds a bit like I’m not taking responsibility for my own actions, and maybe I’m not.

However, this could be something I can turn around and eventually unlearn all the things that bad experiences have taught me.

That’s probably why I’m writing this post – so I can work it out in my head and maybe come up with a plan.  But that sounds boring (even to me) to read, so I think I’ll just forego the planning stage and talk about the “wondering” stage.

I was at work today and received an IM from my boss.  She said she thought I needed to trust my intuition more; which I completely agree with.  I don’t know how many times I questioned something at work but didn’t say anything and later found out I was correct.  I even tell my boss (after the fact) when I noticed things that needed to be fixed or changed, but I can’t really offer a reason why I didn’t say anything.  At this point, I can only imagine she must think I am the most timid person in the world; which I’m not.

I think the biggest part of it is fear of failure.  Just yesterday, I made an assumption about something that my boss later told me I was completely wrong about.  So, where was my intuition then?  I’d like to say I was sick and not thinking straight, but I really have no excuse for that particular mistake.

Outside of work I have the same things happen, but it’s more in how I feel about things.  I had to take my son somewhere and found out his Dad would be there.  I had no reason to not want to go, but I really didn’t want to do it.  I thought my dread came from the fact that it was a baseball clinic in a gym on a Friday night.  Who wants to sit through that?  Well, maybe some people do, but I was bored just thinking about it.  But my feeling wasn’t about being bored.  It was a different type of feeling.

As you might expect, the night didn’t go very well and I ended up in tears.

Was my intuition telling me to be wary, to be aware and protective?  Perhaps, but why the hell is it always so confusing?  I think I’d hear it much better if it was more clear in its warnings and not just a weird lump of dread sitting in my belly for indiscernible reasons.

Or, was I just setting myself up for the situation that occurred?  You know the whole “what you think you create”?

Where’s the line and how do you know the difference?

I suppose the only thing we can do is exactly what I’ve mentioned – be aware; be present; listen and assess.  I’m assuming that old intuition can’t always be right, can it?

SoCS – Balancing Confidence and Humility

I don’t know when it became hard to take a compliment. Has it always been this hard? Whenever someone says something nice to me, my first reaction is to downplay it, or to say why it wasn’t all that great. The worst is when my boyfriend says I’m beautiful. My immediate reaction is to think, “no I’m not,” but I’ve finally reached the point where I no longer say that out loud. I just say “thank you” or “that’s nice” but it’s not something I always believe.

I’m not one to talk about my blog and my writing, especially to people I hardly know. It doesn’t really bode well for marketing, I suppose, but it’s just not something I’m used to. One morning, I was chatting with a few ladies at work and I mentioned that I was trying to write the other night and my boyfriend wanted me to watch a show. They both asked what I write and the normal questions that come when you talk about writing. I told them about the story I was working on and they were both really curious.

I ended up emailing them a link to the story, feeling really weird about it, but deciding I was doing it for them, not for me. My coworker that sits next to me pulled it up the next day and read it at work. I knew she was reading it and it felt so odd, to know that someone was reading something I wrote. (I realize this happens all the time, but I’m not usually aware of it like I was that day). When she finished it, she complimented me and said some really wonderful things.

But it felt so weird! I honestly didn’t know what to say and I think it became sort of awkward; especially when she asked how to access my blog and I had to show her how to follow it through her email.

Why is it so hard to accept compliments? Is it that we are hard-wired to believe that it’s self-centered and that knowing we are good at something falls in that category?

I believe, as in most things, there is a balance to it, but I haven’t found it yet. I haven’t figured out the balance between confidence and humility. Or maybe I’ve been wrong all along and the two are mutually exclusive. Being confident doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t humble.

What do you think? I know I’m not the only one who has a hard time with compliments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


 

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. Our prompt today was “compliment/complement”. Feel free to click the link and join in the fun!

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The First Time

This story was written for Thain in Vain’s weekly flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: Start a story with the following sentence: The first __________.

When I finished the story, I was thinking about it and those who are stuck in situations where their personal power is stolen every day, but not necessarily in a physically violent way. Sometimes abuse is a slow burn with hurtful words and silence, and it can be just as corrosive and painful as physical abuse. Those who manage to take their power back don’t always do it in one explosive moment. More often than not it happens in small moments of strength and it builds slowly to a level of confidence that allows them to finally stand in their power and make the decision that is best for them.

It’s a little over the word count at 513 words.

The First Time

The first time Maggie asserted herself in her marriage, their daughter was seventeen. It had been almost twenty years of living in the shadow of Elliot’s overwhelming presence and the verbal assaults he launched at her on a daily basis.

It wasn’t even something she planned. How could anyone possibly plan something like that? Especially someone who had shrunk to just a shadow of what she had been during the long years of hurled words that cut like knives.

She was in the kitchen when Cami walked in. Elliot was standing off to the side, his overbearing presence filling up every available space.

“Mom, can I borrow the car tonight?” Cami had been driving for over a year and had proven she was reliable and trustworthy.

Without thinking, Maggie answered, “Of course, honey,” at the same time Elliot said, “Absolutely not!”

It was exactly like him to say no first without pausing to consider why he was saying it.

Maggie looked over and saw anger creasing his brow.

“I said no and that’s final.” His voice was like ice, freezing the air around them.

“I heard what you said, but I told her she could.” She tried for a reasonable tone but realized her voice was shaking slightly.

Cami was momentarily forgotten as his glaring eyes slammed into hers. She refused to show fear even though her heart was beating a staccato rhythm in her ears and her palms were clenched in sweaty fists at her side.

“My word is final, and you know it.”

“Elliot, that car is in my name now, so the way I see it, you don’t really have a say here. I told her she could use my car, and she’s going to, whether you like it or not.”

From somewhere deep inside, she gathered bravery she didn’t know she had and held it up like an invisible shield. She turned towards Cami, effectively dismissing him and any retort he could launch.

“What time are you leaving?” Cami’s eyes were glowing with surprise and a hint of fear, but a slight smile curved the corners of her mouth.

“I’m leaving at six thirty. I was planning to be home by ten at the latest. Will that be okay?”

“Yes, honey. Where are you going?”

“There’s a concert at school and I told Beth I would come see her play.”

“Okay. Just be careful.” She smiled at Cami even though she could feel the anger undulating in waves from Elliot’s side of the room.

“Thanks, Mom!” Cami hugged her and retreated from the kitchen before her Dad could change anything.

Maggie finally turned back to Elliot but he was already storming out of the kitchen. She had no idea why he hadn’t said anything, but she was pretty sure she would pay for it later.

Somehow, in that moment, it didn’t matter.

She took a deep breath and a hesitant smile spread across her face as she busied herself in the kitchen. She felt a spark of something that had lain dormant for far too long.

She felt confidant.