Sometimes, it seems like the Universe is talking to me. Before you call the dudes in the white coats to come get me, hear me out. There are certain lessons in life that are tough to learn. REALLY tough. And they come up over and over and over again. One of my lessons just seems to crop up on a regular basis: giving other people too much power over me... caring much too much about what others think of lil' ol' me.
I'm sure in all my nerdiliciousness, it comes as a huge shock that I was bullied a lot in school. I was teased about my glasses. I was teased because I was too smart. You name it, I was teased for it. In middle school, even my math teacher got into the act by calling me "Six" on a regular basis. In Roman numerals, six is VI. And, according to Mr. Herring, VI stands for "village idiot". Maybe he thought I didn't care about his little nickname for me. But, he would be wrong.
High school was the worst. Walk down the hall... hear girls whisper "bitch" as I passed by. Dirty looks. And little things like having a song with the repeating lyrics "I hate everything about you" dedicated to me at my senior prom. (No, I'm not kidding. Video is below if you have no idea who Ugly Kid Joe is or why he's so angry.)
College was easier because almost everyone there was pretty darn smart. EVERYONE was a little different. And it was okay. But, man... I still cared entirely too much what others thought of me. Truth be told, I did a heck of a lot of stupid things, all in the name of trying to fit in, trying to be cool/loved/accepted.
Fast forward to becoming a parent. Geesh. When Macey was born, I was so worried about what everyone thought of me. For some reason, when you have a baby, people feel the need to share their opinions freely, and I took almost every unsolicited comment to heart.
"You're not breastfeeding?! You might as well be feeding your baby rat poison!"
"She was a preemie? Poor thing. Did you _________?" (fill in the blank with some reason that it was my fault my water broke at 34 weeks.)
"You had an epidural?! Weren't you worried about the effects on the baby?!" (insert look of disgust here)
The bottom line is that I've always cared entirely too much about what others thought of me. I've based my whole self image on other people's views. And you know what? That is really screwed up.*
As I'm getting older, though, I'm gaining perspective. I'm starting to care less and less. More often, I'm adopting the attitude of "Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, and yours stinks." Obviously, a serial people pleaser like myself can't just turn it around in one fell swoop. But, I'm working on it. The Universe keeps delivering LOTS of opportunities to just say "NO" to what others think of me. And maybe one of these days, when my hair is old and gray and my boobs are reaching my knees, I won't give other people's opinions of me a second thought. But, until then, I better get off the computer and take a shower. I'm expecting a package delivery from the UPS man, and what would he think if I answered the door in my snowflake pajama pants? *shutter at the thought*
*For the record, instead of writing, "That is really screwed up." I replaced the word "screwed" with the F-bomb. But, ironically, I decided to change it for fear of offending anyone. See? I still have a long way to go. :)