I like to make people happy. It’s probably what makes me happiest in all of the world. When Scarlet asks me for something and I hand it to her, the dazzling smile she gives me just about slays me. I look forward to a lifetime of making her dreams come true. I absolutely love birthdays and holidays because I love picking out gifts for people. The downside to wanting to make everyone happy is that I truly want that – to make everyone happy. I’m non-confrontational. I walk with very light feet – such light feet you often can’t hear me coming up or down the stairs and sneaking up behind you. Why do I walk with such light feet? Because someone called me heavy-footed maybe 15 years ago and I remember. I always remember.
I never send food back in a restaurant. I am afraid to tell the harried Starbucks barista that she forgot whipped cream on my latte, or worse, that I saw that she gave me caffeinated coffee instead of decaf. I’d almost risk a bad stomachache and the jitters rather than tell her she made a mistake while 17 other people are waiting on her. Almost. And I hate the idea of returning something to a store. I’d probably waste the money and keep something I’d never use rather than go to the customer service desk and ask for my money back. I can barely ask a busy waiter for a fork. Or the check!
Wanting to make everyone happy means that I want everyone to like me. Some people are built with thicker skin than I am. I have trouble coming to terms with someone not liking me. I have trouble when I make someone who does like (or love) me upset. Not only that, I don’t like to make complete strangers upset either. People think I’d be great at sales because I have a mellow demeanor and I have no trouble talking to just about anyone. It’s true but I’m not sure I could get past the fear of upsetting people to even get to a sales spiel. I like to tread lightly. I don’t like to call people during their busy lunch hours or try to talk them out of their hard-earned money. Rejection is very hard for me. So is criticism.
Sometimes it’s so bad that when Scarlet is having a particular tantrum because of something I’m doing…cutting her nails, putting sunscreen on her face..and she shouts out something like, “Ma ma ma!”, I think she’s calling her real mama to come protect her from me. It’s a syllable she knows and she’s expressing frustration. And yet..the “loser” voice inside me tells me that she’s calling out for her Mama to help her…someone else. Someone not me. Someone much more capable than me. Someone nicer. Someone prettier. Someone with a good job.
And speaking of which, don’t even get me started on that. Job searching and temping were the most demoralizing things I’ve had the displeasure to do in recent time. I have never found a “home” at a job at desk and I imagine I never will. I spent my corporate time floating around, taking up temporary residence in temporarily empty desks, watching the clock day after day, knowing that none of it matters because I’m leaving. I always left. This is probably the area of my life that I most feel like a loser in. Why couldn’t I want to stay for just awhile? My life as a full-time mom is divine but it won’t last forever. She will grow up and if there’s another child or children, they will too. And where will I be?
I’m completely incapable of a corporate job. I’m also incapable of sales, retail, academics, engineering, medicine, and more. And what does that leave?
It leaves a LOT. I could be a photographer or blogger. I could run a 16 room urban B&B and be happy. I could start my own business. I could go back to school and go into social work/psychology. I could event plan. I could write a book. I could be a farmer. I could walk dogs and care for children. All of this would work. It’s hard when all I want to do right NOW is be with Scarlet and I’m exhausted about my options outside of her. And I’m confused. Every day is an adventure of the mind for me to silence the voices in my head that call me a “loser” and believe in myself. I have more good days than bad ones but the bad ones are pretty degrading. I can’t possibly be a loser. Right?
I read some of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to Scarlet today and it’s just wonderful. I love the part about how we get caught in The Waiting Place, waiting for things to happen. And of course they don’t just happen if we just wait. And many of us will live our whole lives just waiting. Shudder. I just…can’t. No matter what it takes. Cassidy told me to look inside myself and find my entrepreneurial spirit and I love his advice. I know it’s in there. Somewhere.
“And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.” – Dr. Seuss