I work part time as a server for a serving and bartending company. I enjoy my job because it gets me out and amongst different people, the money is decent and most often we’re allowed to eat (major perk).
Let me first start by saying that 9 out of 10 people are fantastic. I never feel disrespected. I am always welcomed and the majority of clients and their guests treat me very well. That being said I recently ran into the one out of 10 who had the ability to make me feel so very small.
I stepped out on to the patio with a tray of appetizers I was serving after being in the kitchen for a few hours assisting our Lead Server. I thought I’d give the girls who had been serving nonstop for a few hours a little breather. The first table I walked up to was mostly older gentlemen in their late 60’s and early 70’s. There was one woman in her 70’s seated in the corner. I asked if they would like to try an appetizer and one of the men rather boisterously piped up “where have they been hiding you?” I laughed it off.
The situation went down hill from there. There were a variety of off handed remarks that were nothing short of vulgar. I slid away with a little less bounce in my step and continued on my way. I felt very small. I shrunk into myself a little. What had I done to open up such a one sided dialogue of vulgarities? These are comments that I can imagine people might say to their buddies when no one else is around. But really to say them to my face and in front of what I later found out was this man’s wife was appalling.
I am writing this not for you to say “poor you” but because as the night wore on I started thinking of all the things I should have said. The silent permission I gave for not speaking up.
I am someone’s wife, someone’s mom. I am a daughter. I am a sister. Never once did that cross this person’s mind. How would I respond if someone spoke to my own daughter this way? Was it a lack of confidence? Was I afraid to make waves? Did I worry about my job? As hard as this is to admit a part of me didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable if I spoke up.
Weeks have passed and I have probably thought of this night a thousand times – all those coulda, shoulda, wouldas floating in my brain and out. I’ve been angry at myself for allowing myself to feel small. To silence a voice that was hurting and embarrassed and humiliated by another human being was wrong. I let myself down. I broke my own heart a little.
I try and find something positive in every situation. This situation is no exception. I recently whispered a promise to my soul – I will never again allow someone to make me feel so small. If standing up for myself makes someone else uncomfortable I will not apologize. I’ve learned that being brave doesn’t always come naturally or at the most convenient times. Sometimes being brave comes much later, when you had some time to process your own shortcomings. I am not always perfect in my quest to live a full, self accepting life. On occasion I have to step backward to leap forward. The key is to keep leaping forward. And that my friends is all we can keep doing….
I didn’t intentionally take a break for over three weeks. I thought I had this blogging thing down. I was scheduled and churning out posts like a boss when BOOM – life happened. The end of the school year always sends me into a bit of a tail spin. Teachers’ gifts, last minute school projects, cramming everything I possibly can into these last few days and weeks before school ends…the pace picks up and I slowly lose track of the days. It begins as a trickle and ends in a flood – complete with an emotional tidal wave. This tends to lead to a period of feeling completely overwhelmed. Hence the radio silence friends. I feel like I’m one of those cartoon characters where my feet are kicking up dust and running 100 miles per hour but I am covering exactly zero percent ground.
Am I alone in this emotional frenzy? I lean towards no. I cannot be the only mama who wrings her hands over what needs to be done on the never ending to do list. I move forward but not with any structure. I am not comfortable with frenzy. I like to always have a plan and negotiate changes logically. But as the school year comes to an end I feel like I drop my ball of yarn and am just trying to pull it back to me but the ball gets further and further away. My feelings of guilt for all the things that I haven’t been able to finish start to multiply.
Here’s the thing and after having many an end of school years I’ve learned to tread water for a while and pull myself back to center. The summer schedule gets a little easier and I settle into my routine, and the routine of our home. I take a few more deep breaths. I pause when it’s needed. I remain my own friend. I continue a gentleness with myself.
So maybe my posts won’t be as frequent this summer. Or maybe I will adopt a whole new schedule that allows time for writing more often. I’m ready to adjust my sails for whatever the next few months blows my way.
I hope you’re finding some peace in these summer months and finding some time to take care of you.
Keep It Positive!
Photo Cred: inspirationcollages.tumblr.com
She never did feel quite good enough. Hair too short. Body too big. Crooked teeth. Bushy eye brows. Ugly shoes. Tried too hard. Too much of something’s. Too little of other things.
Hello and welcome to the majority of my life.
Raise your hand if you can relate? Self doubt and insecurity are traits we all possess. It’s not a welcome gift but one that we all commonly share. Maybe my adjectives are different than yours but we all carry around something.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “being enough” lately. I’ve wasted a lot of days (yikes…dare I say years?) worrying and wringing my hands over my short comings. There are more than a few. Surely it’s my (fill in the blank) that’s holding me back?
But what if we removed that kind of stinkin’ thinking? What if instead of worrying about all the things we aren’t….we rejoice and celebrate all the things we are? I read a quote once that said something along the lines of “Be kind to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time.” Wow – aha moment. I would never speak to someone the way I speak to myself. I’d never tell someone that their crooked teeth were ugly. Or that their ass was huge in those jeans. Why do I tell myself those things?
Being kind to each other is really important. Being kind to yourself is more important. You only truly have yourself in this world. Yes – some of us have parents, husbands/wives, children, friends, etc. But you really are the only person that you can control. Why not show a little love to yourself? Be as gentle and understanding to yourself as you would to any friend. Better yet – why not be your own best friend?
Life has a funny way of moving forward whether you take a seat or not. I don’t want to waste another minute with inferiority. We are all worth so much more. I’m high fiving myself – quirks and all. Who’s next in line for a high five?