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DO OVER..........

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Do you remember when we were kids...we'd be playing some game and the results weren't exactly as we planned, so we would shout out "Do Over".

This week, I've had several of those days - all piled up together!

I feel like I don't matter in anyone's life. Slowly one-by-one, everyone is exiting and I just want to shout ~ Come back, it's a do over!!

When you go through childhood, you look to your parents for guidance and direction. What I received was ridicule, negative comments and demeaning words - all my life I sought approval and never received it. They always made me feel like I was a failure.

I was fat - therefore I must be lazy.
I was not pretty - therefore no one will ever love me.
I failed classes - therefore I would never succeed in life.
I cried at simple things and was ridiculed for having a tender heart.
I often read aloud to my stuffed animals & dolls - therefore I would never have friends, only acquaintances.
I was not a morning person - therefore everyone called me crabby.
I was quiet and shy - therefore I was a daydreamer.

I think every child dreams about what you might become in life. My thoughts would range from being a teacher, an artist, an anthropologist or an architect. But how could I ever go to college - after all, I wasn't smart enough and my parents weren't going to waste their money on sending me to college. Instead they enforced in me that the only acceptable answer would be for me to get a job, because school was "not my thing".

All my life - my parents decided what was acceptable. When my opinion was different than theirs - they would look disapprovingly at me and tell me, "that's not how we raised you".

Through-out my work life, I often thought about going to college. But what would be acceptable and why did I always feel like I needed someone's approval? I was stumbling blindly through life as I was surrounded in low self-esteem, low self-worth and lack of confidence. And in order to block out all the negativity, I started to build a wall around me and began to eat through my emotions. Food was my comfort...but it also filled me full of loneliness.

In 1996, I went through a corporate down-sizing and decided that I was going to go back to school full-time AND I was taking Architectural drafting! Of course, my parents disapproved, it was a toss-up between seeking a position in my current field or not being accepted into what was considered a "man's job". I was burned out on being a support programmer and they laughed at me. How could I possibly know what it's like to be "burned out"?

Of course, they also disapproved of me taking a 6-week vacation in Australia before I started school. Why was I so irresponsible? That's not how they raised me!

Slowly and timidly I was taking steps forward, trying out my wings and not seeking approval. I left my stress in Minnesota and found my smile in Sydney, Australia...who knew that's where it was hiding?! I experienced the trip of a lifetime and will NEVER regret that decision!!

I started school in February 1997 and I was scared to death! My first day in math class, I sat in the back of the room (where no-one would notice me), the instructor put some basic algebra equations on the board and said, "do you remember this?". Out of 60 students, I was the only one to shake my head NO! Desperately I was trying to remember something I had learned 30 years before and found (for the first time in my life) an instructor with patience and she told me I would be fine!

Over the next 18 months, I gained confidence in my abilities. And when I graduated, I asked the financial counselor to notarize my grades, then mail them to my parents. Certainly they would never believe me that I was top in my class with a 4.0 grade point average.

My new confidence was short-lived and I quickly found out that employers in the construction field disapproved of female employees. I survived for 30 months, before I was let go because I "didn't fit in". I know that I bruised a few ego's as they provided me with the statistics, that I was doing more work than the three men I worked with. And that was considered - BAD? They were right! I was bored and decided it was time to move on, as working in the male-world was too s-l-o-w paced for me and all I wanted to be was a school girl!

I will NEVER regret my decision to go back to school. Architectural drafting was something I had wanted since high school. I needed to experience that for myself - with or without approval. I still enjoy the structure of buildings ~ but I learned to move on and quickly found accounting to be my new niche in life. Playing with numbers all day, balancing someone else's money was almost as much fun as being back in school.

And now at age 60, I'm wishing for another "Do Over". What do I want to be when I grow up and what new experiences can I discover?

Nutrition was never something I learned from my parents. Oh sure, mom often put me on diets - to make an example of me. But the two diets I remember were the protein diet and the cottage cheese diet. To this day, the thought of eating cottage cheese still makes me puke!!

While I've been on Spark for some time now - I'm slowly transforming my "diet thoughts" to that of being on a healthy journey.

Last fall, I declared that I was an emotional-over eater and the walls started to crumble. This quiet gentle giant is slowly waking up to the world around me, trying to make changes to improve my life.

The journey has been slow and I stumble often...

And now I find myself stuck with 'goal setting'...

But isn't my current exercise streak a goal? The incurable disease in my legs is not in my control - but the amount of exercise I push myself, each day, IS in my control.

And the food I choose to eat is becoming healthier each day. Who would have ever guessed that I love vegetables? Or that I would be weighing and measuring my food, or keeping track of everything that crossed my lips?

Who knew that by allowing myself to experience things for myself, I'm learning to spread my wings and gaining new confidences each day. And who knew that when I "feel" my emotions - I don't have to use food to comfort my needs.

Let the tears flow....

Call a friend....

I'm experiencing life and learning to soar to new heights, every day....

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I couldn't help relating to you in your journey to achieve your dreams and constantly trying to please your parents. I to went back to school and received my Masters at age 50. I broke the rules in my family by !, Having more education than my brothers. 2. Stepping out of the mold that they had placed me in and 3. I stopped playing the role of the good and silent daughter and expressed my opinions and would not be shut up or shut down. Oh and I stopped playing the games they played ' I was even able to restrict the time I spent with them.
    Good for you for breaking free! You are worthy as you are. emoticon
    2432 days ago
    Just catching up with my SP friends, and wanted let you know that being able to put all these thoughts and emotions down in writing is a wonderful way to release those feelings, instead of hide them with food. High five for you! And glad you are discarding the word 'diet' from your mindset. Afterall, we are eating to fuel our bodies with nutritious foods so that we can discover ourselves and have that chance to have a Do Over. (((HUGS)))
    2442 days ago
    I am so proud of you and all that you are doing, Annie!!! There are days that even as I pray for you, the tears flow. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Blessings, love and hugs,
    2447 days ago
    Annie, all I can say is that I'm very proud of you. Don't stop now!
    2449 days ago
    You are SUCH a fighter Annie! You amaze me, and I'm SO PROUD of you and proud to be your friend.

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    2449 days ago
    I cannot even start to tell you how moved I was with your blog, how deeply it touched me. Although our life journeys are different, I can identify with a lot of what you shared, and I feel we are in similar places at the moment. Go Annie! I can't wait to read more about the progress of your journey!
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    2449 days ago
  • SAMI199
    Now,you've gone & made me cry.. I love your spirit & as you know, I know you are a Champion. Fly High !

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    2449 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/2/2012 11:01:39 PM
    I don't know why it is that this world (and often the most significant people in our lives from the get-go) work from the time we are born to 'label' us, make us conform to unrealistic standards, or, if we don't fit into that particular 'box', downgrade us and make us feel 'less than'. And usually, they are absolutely certain that they are 'right'. And why does it take us a lifetime to finally overcome that and realize all of the pathological behaviors that we have learned to compensate for the lack of acceptance early on are just that....pathological? Did you see that little ditty I posted on my FB wall, Annie? It was written by Albert Einstein, and it says, "Everyone is a genius. If a fish is judged by its ability to climb a tree, the fish will spend its life thinking it is stupid." It's absolutely true. This world has totally bogus, and harmful, perceptions of what people ***have to be*** in order to be 'the best'. Everything in this world seeks to wipe out your individuality and make you feel like an odd ball for not conforming to their particular chosen standards. As a result of that, we grow up with this phony sense of inadequacy for not being what everyone 'thinks we should be', and hating ourselves because of it. I am glad you are delving into this stuff, and throwing out the chaff and keeping the wheat, because that's exactly what it is. You have lived beneath the burden of someone else's condemnation for far too long, and in the end, the ones you need to please the very most are merely yourself and your Maker, that's it, that's all. And you please your Maker most by being exactly who He created you to be, which is YOU, with all of your glorious **flaws** and unique individualities. We all have 'em, and I suspect there is a reason for that. I'm sure not smart enough to know what that reason might be, but I also somehow suspect that in the end, it is our flaws, and the ways that we arrived to overcome them, that will end up making us just who we are supposed to grow into. I'm DAMNED glad you took that trip and went to school and followed your heart instead of listening to all of the naysayers. Always know that naysayers become naysayers because at some point along the line, someone downgraded them to the max. The problem is in them....it is never in you when you are a victim of it. Love you, gf. You will ALWAYS be A Numero Uno in MY books. And that's even when I'm not good about keeping in touch.....that's MY 'problem', not yours! LOL
    2450 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/2/2012 4:30:43 AM
    Annie - wow - you have definitely had a journey of self discovery. It is never too late to learn new habits or find new loves. I very proud of you. Stick with this journey I can't wait to see what comes out over the next 5 years.
    2451 days ago
    You are an amazing soul! God Bless!
    2451 days ago
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