Now what is that illusive “It” you may ask? Well for me, today at least, it’s believing that I deserve a shot at pursuing a writing career. The “It” changes for me though. I think this is a girl thing, at least an American girl thing. And it’s really starting to piss me off.
In my experience men don’t ever question whether they deserve things. They may have their bad days where they worry or fret over if something will work out and maybe don’t feel completely worthy, but feeling worthy of something and deserving it are two different things. According to Dictionary.com, worth is defined as “good or important enough” while deserve is defined as “to merit”. Similar, yes, but different.
I’ve watched multiple women in my life have amazing self worth and yet still deny themselves something because they don’t feel like they deserve it, as though we need to pay some sort of due in order to lay claim to whatever it is we want. I don’t see men do this, even if their self worth is low. They still see the justification in providing themselves with certain things. I’m gonna soapbox it for a minute and lay blame to society and movies and the media and all the other typical people/concepts that we point fingers out. And in addition to that, I’m completely turning one of those fingers on myself, knowing full well that I’m just as much to blame for buying into it.
I’m a fighter when it comes to this concept of deserving things. My husband described it perfectly, saying that there are usually two paths in front of me, the one that is covered in firm sand with clear skies and the one laden with trees and weeds and all sorts of other ridiculousness. I choose the path with the most resistance because, when I finally get where I’m going, I feel like I deserve what’s on the other side.
This morning the battle was me staying home to write while he worked. I feel immensely guilty about this, especially when I spend money on something that is not for both of us. Because I’m not pulling in 50% of our income, I feel like I’m wasting his time and money and therefore am pursuing a ridiculous dream. I still struggle to believe that I deserve this time to focus on my craft.
But the hubster pointed out some very key things: 1. He really, truly doesn’t care what I’m doing as long as I’m happy. 2. He loves what he does and loves going to work. 3. I deserve to pursue what I want in life. Everyone does. He’s so sweet and cute that even I’m fake puking in my chair as I write this.
So my challenge today was to believe that I deserve to see what happens when I put more energy and focus on my writing. He laughed and said, “All you have to do is change your mind, but since I know you, you have until the end of the day.” And truthfully, I still feel myself fighting it. But as I tromped around town today with my friend and looked at jewelry and went out to dinner, I did notice that some of the ol’ Catholic guilt was diminishing. And a little of that weight that I so often and easily throw on my shoulders seemed to lessen.
I don’t think I’ll be able to change this one over night. But even if it’s just the beginning steps, at least I’ve taken them and at least I’m walking in the right direction.