Better Class of Me

7 Aug

A good friend tells me that I need to focus on becoming the person I want to be, because that is who I really am.

I just want to be a better person, for me, for my kids, for the people who love me. Because they really do deserve more. I deserve more. If I’m a better person, I’ll be better to those around me, I’ll be happier and more at peace and then maybe someday, I’ll just be.

She reminded me though that we are used to carrying a list of things we don’t want to be around with us, and yet we never write that list of what we DO want to be. Which stopped me into realizing that I’ve never had that list. I’ve never held dreams for myself, be it in terms of how I relate to others, or what I want to be.

I want that list. And today, I start one.

Who I want to be.

  1. I want to be kind. I want to save kittens and make cookies for work and remember your birthday. I want to pull my head out of my ass and see you (Hi!) hear you, truly listen to what you say.
  2. I want to be a present mind. When you talk, I want to know what you say. I want to think of how it impacts you, now. Not me later. I want to sit in the moment with my children, instead of out pondering the laundry and work.
  3. I want to learn! I’ve already pushed myself on this one, reading more history and science, trying to expose myself to new things. But I want to learn a language, write an essay, do something with it. My brain atrophies, and wants more.
  4. I want a dream. And I have one. Midwifery, eventually, but nursing for now if I can find a way to get through school while working. I want to help people-have always wanted to. Having children showed me how pivotal one woman (or man) can be. I want to be her.
  5. I want to be soft. I have become far too hard, calloused, cynical. I haven’t always been like this. Everything else aside, I’ve been dreamy and distracted and careful of others, considerate, strong but gentle. I want to be her again. It hurts to think of how hard I’ve become, and how that impacts people around me.
  6. I want friends. Real friends. I don’t want a lot, but I need to start trusting that people don’t always have it in for me. I need to learn to tolerate the foibles of others. I need to trust myself that I won’t hurt other people, something that has likely helped me push them away in the first place.
  7. I want to deserve love. Thus far, I don’t believe that I have. I want to be worthy of it. I want to become a fuller person who is settled in her shoes, and happy for love. Not ungrateful and expectant.

Regardless of anything else, I’ve realized that who I am is not someone I’d like. And that just depresses the crap out of me. But I don’t want to be depressed. Medicated, I’m not so at the mercy of my moods, but I am at the mercy of using my disease as a crutch. It’s time for that to stop, and for me to stand up, be accountable, and realize that to a degree, I DO control what I feel and say. It’s time to say good things, to be good things. More than anything else, I deserve that much. I deserve to think I’m worth that much. The people around me deserve a better class of me.

Do you know who you want to be? Can you let me know how that’s worked for you, either on email or comment? I’m a little nervous, and scratching my head wondering how I’ll work all of this out.

14 Responses to “Better Class of Me”

  1. tulip August 7, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    Hey thor,
    I’m sending you a lot of my thoughts and “prayers” such as they are. I try really hard to remember everyday that everyone I meet is doing the best they can that day. It is a lot harder than it sounds. I think I’m doing my best but a lot of times I don’t give others the chance to be doing their best, even if their best sucks. Hell a lot of the time my best sucks. So I’ll be writing this up on my wall with the Emily Dickinson quote “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings a song without words and never stops at all.”
    My love to you.

  2. daisybones August 7, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    Sweetie, this post is full of more life and beauty and.. life again… than I’ve read here in a long time. It inspires me to focus on my best me too. Like you, my massive lack of mindfulness is a huuuge problem.

    Love to you & yours,

  3. Missy August 7, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    #7: No one on this planet has to earn love. We all deserve it. Got that? It is unfair and unjust for any human to go through life without love.

    “It’s time for that to stop, and for me to stand up, be accountable, and realize that to a degree, I DO control what I feel and say.” You know what stuck me is the words stand up.

    Resurrection means to stand up.

    I think you’re about to be resurrected.

    Pax et bonum my friend

  4. CharmingDriver August 7, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    Oh honey, you can do exactly what you set your mind to achieve. My heart and spirit had at one time become just a big callous and one day I just had to let it go. Let it all go to live a better life and be a better person. Life will always have obstacles and hurts, people will always piss us off and disappoint but what happens matters less than how we choose to react. You DO deserve more and better and I know you can get it, T. You have too much fight in you to not come out on the other side lighter in spirit.

  5. FranIAm August 7, 2008 at 8:36 pm #

    I am a friend of Missy’s and that is how I got here. Since this is my first comment I will simply send you my good thoughts and say listen to Missy, she is wise.

    peace to you!

  6. misspudding August 7, 2008 at 9:04 pm #

    I think the biggest thing I ever learned from therapy is that you have to live your life today. Don’t be reactive, be proactive (or, in cognitive behavior therapy terms, don’t “focus on the negative”). Don’t just assume that everyone’s out to get you because that’s what has happened in the past (a.k.a. “all or nothing thinking”) and treat every experience as if it’s never happened before. Of course, protect yourself when the bad things do happen, but be open to new experiences.

    For me, I want to enjoy what I do and I want to work with people who are nurturing like family. I haven’t found it yet, and until recently, accepted what I could get, which turned out to be a bad thing. And, as my stupid status message says on facebook, I’m “daring to be average” because I’ve been way too hard on myself in the past, as I think you’re doing.

    I think for you, your list is a kick ass start. Especially #4 and really especially #7. Once you do #7, you’ll allow yourself #4 and everything else will just happen, I think. Because seriously, when we don’t love ourselves for whatever reason, that ability to overcomes the brain’s rational side (a.k.a. “Gosh, I really am shitty!” despite evidence to the contrary) makes it so that we are deftly able to convince everyone else, REALLY WELL. So by finally loving yourself, you make it appear to others that you’re capable of being loved, and good things will happen.

    No one can convince you to love yourself, you have to figure that out on your own. A good place to help you start is a book called “The New Mood Therapy”

    This is the guy who invented cognitive behavioral therapy. The cool thing about the book is it has all kinds of exercises that are really straightforward that help you work out bad self-talk. It’s something that might help and it’s cheap.

    Good luck, sweetie! We’re all pulling for you and, despite whatever you think is wrong with you, we all still love you unconditionally. Because hey, isn’t that what the internet is for?!

  7. sweetsalty kate August 7, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    This post made me all warm and glowy because it feels like a good path of thinking.

    I know you’re not fishing, and I don’t mean to argue… but you have to realize that much of what you already have on this list is the person I met.

    (I can hear your “but… but… but…” from here)

    A long time ago I was bamboozled into attending a few courses from the notorious organization known as ‘Landmark’ – much of which was fascinating, if a little odd. One of the most interesting exercises was a mandated interview you had to conduct with ten people you know – co-workers, family, spouse, friends – a wide range.

    Questions like… “What does everyone know about me?” and “What surprises people about me, once they get to know me?” and “What are misconceptions people have about me?” and “How would you describe me?”

    I know this all sounds impossibly narcissistic, but what people revealed in this interview – which was preceeded with a strict request for complete honesty, including a description of the point of the exercise from Landmark – was really incredible.

    The long way around to my point is that if you could go through an exercise like this, and give people the space and safety to say exactly what they really think – you might be shocked to find that 1) you are already, at least to some degree, perceived as being the person you strive to be; and 2) having other people recognize you for the things you don’t like about yourself is, surprisingly, very freeing.

    I’m so glad you’re thinking this way.

  8. Gabriel... August 8, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    One of the things about the disease, and about long lasting deep depressions in general, is you get locked into a personality. It’s hard to think, to react, to be reasonable. It’s like when you hurt your neck and you lose your peripheral vision for six weeks because it hurts to twist… only extended out for a year or two and it effects every single one of your behaviours and emotional reactions. At some point in our recovery we start to see ourselves acting in ways we recognize as being behaviours we had while untreated, but now see as distasteful and contrary to who we really are. It happened to me, it’s happening to you. Congratulations on taking another step in your recovery.

  9. misspudding August 8, 2008 at 1:28 am #

    I like what Kate and Gabriel said far better than what I did.

    They’re right. You’re already pretty much who you want to be. And you’re already on the right path.

  10. Charlotte August 8, 2008 at 1:30 am #

    Hi Thordora. Your post shines with hope. I think this is an amazing, clear set of goals, and just by articulating them, you are on the way to achieving them. You can and you are already changing and moving towards the version of you that you want to be. Lots of love and good wishes from me on your journey.

  11. cinnamon gurl August 8, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    I’d just like to echo Missy’s comment. That part about not being worthy of love? At the risk of being too harsh, I think it’s total bullshit. Everyone is worthy of love just by virtue of being. You don’t have to do a thing. Of course, you could want to treat the people YOU love better, that wouldn’t be bullshit (not that I’m saying you’re treating anyone badly, just that the concept seems reasonable to me), but you don’t need to do anything to DESERVE love. Okay?

  12. Marcy August 8, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    Good work.

    In addition to increasing your tolerance of other people’s foibles, I think you need to extend that grace to yourself as well — you will in fact hurt people, there’s no avoiding it — but you can commit to working through it when it happens, trusting that those who love you will be willing to increase their tolerance of your foibles.

    I am thinking about your list, and perhaps I will blog one for myself, too. I have been working on a lot of things about myself, very slowly — one is being less concerned about defending myself and worrying about money in my business — trying to be more gracious. It is extremely slow, but I have seen some progress.

  13. Helen August 8, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    Thor, since you asked us whether trying to change ourselves has worked: Yes, it has worked for me. In my late teens, I made a concerted effort to be more friendly, less angry and blunt, more sympathetic. I can safely say that I have achieved those goals and changed from the person I was in high school – so much so that upon visiting a high school friend recently, he expressed his surprise at how extroverted I’d become.

    So it is possible. You can do it. We’re all rooting for you.


  1. Becoming me « Becoming Three - August 8, 2008

    […] Filed under: Musings — Marcy @ 2:12 pm Tags: Your turn Thordora wrote a list describing the person she would like to be. An interesting […]

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