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Overindulging​ In Details

Do you struggle with a compulsive need to justify your actions and/or analysis paralysis? I know I do and it feels like I’m on trial every day. And no lie, I’m exhausted. It is tiring to consistently live in a state of self-defense.

Today’s three big questions: Where did it come from? Why do I do this, now? How can I stop over explaining myself?

Context is king in my book because logic wasn’t welcome in most debates or conversations. Consequences were dolled out depending on erratic mood swings with bouts of violence. It didn’t matter if you could enunciate your feelings on the matter, and fact never beat fiction. The rules for living and disciplining never made any sense.

When your home environment thrives off criticism and every move you make is put under a microscope to analyze on a cellular level why you fucked up and how you should’ve known better, you begin to get defensive. You’re trying your damnedest to be good enough and it’s never enough.

I believe this creates a habit of needing to defend your actions which leads to striving for perfection in hopes you’ll be perfect and free from criticism, which then shapeshifts into analysis paralysis because you can’t move forward unless you’re absolutely sure nobody can come at you from any angle…

Now, as an adult, I feel obligated to give detailed answers to any personal questions thrown or tossed my way where it feels like my actions and/or behaviors are being questioned because I don’t want anyone speaking for me or twisting my words or assuming why I am the way I am.

I don’t want anyone else in control of my narrative.

Here’s the thing though, I can explain myself until I’m blue in my face to preserve how I want to be seen (to prove I’m good enough and smart enough) but it doesn’t matter because people truly are going to believe whatever they want to believe. If anything, over explaining, makes me feel less sure about my decisions.

What I didn’t know then is, it doesn’t matter how close to perfect you come when the person critiquing is looking for negatives, because when you’re only looking for the negatives you’ll find them every time.

And somewhere along the line my want to stay authentic, intertwined with compulsive justification. Being authentic does not require explaining all of your actions, neither does being honest and transparent.

Have you ever Googled, what’s the difference between honesty and transparency just for fun? I did and got this, “ honesty is when you reveal the truth you feel NEEDS to be known. Transparency is when others can see for themselves the truths they feel they need to know.”

Basically, if you live honest to yourself it will show. Not, must say all the things in order to be honest.

So how do I (or you) stop defending and over justifying your answers?

You’re going to hate the answer (because I did, too), but it takes practice and paying attention to when you overindulge with details. And also take the time to remind yourself you don’t NEED to explain yourself to anyone and everyone. 

Be comfortable with silence. Practice confidence, and remind yourself of how many obstacles you’ve already surpassed. You are capable.

Chinese proverb

 

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

There’s a little something-something I want to get off my chest, something I want to say, not need to say.

I have been pretty open to those who’ve asked and in my writing with you all, about taking the time to understand myself, love myself and care for myself. This process has involved a few self-help books (Heyyyyy Brene Brown, I LOVEEEE you) and a couple therapy sessions and an acceptance I can’t do this thing overnight.

It has to take time and patience to dive into the pain, mourn, and then accept what is. What I’m saying is, this is going to be a forever process and I’m in it for the long haul.

Some of my sharing shines a light on some insecurities I have regarding me as a person and my family upbringing. So I want to say this: don’t get it twisted, no matter how confusing or frustrating I am with past circumstances, it will never change the way I feel about my family.

I love them. Nobody can replace my Mom or Dad, ever. And I would still kill for my brother and sister, even though we’ve hardly seen each other over the last five/six years. Yes, some shit got fucked up. But I’m not going to carry it with me for the rest of my life.

Everyone has baggage they’re trying to unload. Sometimes the washer is full and it has to wait, sometimes the luggage is locked and you can’t find the key, and other times you can acknowledge it needs to be unpacked, but that it’s just not going to happen for some time.

We all have problems. Mine are mine. Yours are yours. No problem is greater than another. My Mom did the best she could, so did my Dad, so is my brother and sister, and so am I. The most rewarding part of this entire process for me has been accepting who I am and embracing me.

Denying myself made me an angry person. Wishing relationships were a certain type of way does nothing but set me up for heartache. It’s crazy you operate a certain way for 25-plus years and then one year happens and fucks it all up.

And that’s where I’m at in this very moment with all of you. This year threw everything I thought I knew out the window, and this blogging practice is me trying to figure out what the hell it all means.

Life is crazy man, and we’re all trying to figure out how to keep our arms and legs inside the rollercoaster so they don’t get chopped off. Don’t judge my story (or the people in my story) based on the chapter you walked in on.

There’s my peace. I won’t repeat it again. I love my family, nobody is going to replace them and it doesn’t matter how far away I am, they’re mine until the end of time.

Happy Friday!

(I forgot about this the past two times -_- I’m awful) Currently grateful for the maple glazed donut One protein bar giving me life this Friday morning. What are you grateful for? Tell me in the comments.

Cultivate it.

 

Momma Always Said You Gotta Worry About Yourself

I’ve had a couple days to re-read and chew on my post on Monday and I think the post might have been a bit confusing unless you were inside my head reading through my own eyeballs.

My Self-Doubt Death Eater Unveiled” didn’t clearly connect the dots between what I was feeling to the conclusion/lesson I wanted to convey, which for the record sounds like a great euphemism for life; sometimes the dots don’t connect and life ends up looking like a big blob of mush no matter how hard you concentrate.

What I am certain about is it needed to be written out so I could begin to understand all parts of what drove me nuts about this interaction that left a nasty taste in my mouth. Monday’s confusing blog helped me realize I tie my self-worth up in what others say project on me.

But duh, I am enough. I know my worth. I know who I am and I’m not going to let others sway the eternal strength I know I possess because throughout the past two decades I’ve proved it to myself. Basically, trust yourself. I encourage you to practice the same self-love and reassurance.

Monday’s blog didn’t connect the dots because I couldn’t see the other part of the equation. Writing My Self-Doubt Death Eater Unveiled helped me realize the phrase, “I’m rubber and you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” To understand the other half of the equation I had to backtrack to the moment before I engaged in the conversation that started this all.

When I confronted I expected comfort because it had been offered up once before, but deep down I knew it wasn’t going to end well, had I practiced the art of ‘pausing’ before engaging, this may have never happened.

So what’s the problem?

I expected a certain reaction and when it didn’t go the way I had hoped, it bummed me out. If I would’ve taken a second to fully gage my emotions, manage my expectations, and fully understand the situation before diving in head first, I could’ve saved myself some hurt and pain.

This was the other part of the equation I couldn’t solve and lead me to this realization about myself.  My expectations and standards are high when it comes to relationships (all types), and because of this, It affects my ability to connect as well as accept people for who they are and/or what they bring to the table.

Don’t get me wrong, having high standards isn’t a terrible trait to possess, it’s great to have when striving for personal and professional goals because it usually means you’ll do greater than the bar you set for yourself.

Having high standards/expectations does make it extremely hard to reach the bar you’ve set for yourself because you keep moving it so that it’s never quite reachable. You’re constantly striving for a better you, which makes me (possibly you) never feel enough. 

This means I also expect others to hold themselves to the same bar because it’s fair, but  it’s not plausible to hold everyone to my bar (even though it makes it safer and less likely to let anyone in which is comfortable for me) because everyone has their own set of rules they live by according to what makes sense to them.

So why not be aware of that person’s ability and accept only what they can offer instead of what they aren’t offering.

Make sense? Or is this post as confusing as my last one?

I get stuck on fairness. I grew up with the strong notion of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So if I treat you the way I want to be treated, please follow suit. It may sound or feel harsh but it’s safe.

Apparently, the other phrase my Mom would preach, “worry about yourself,” still rings true, especially in this situation. I can’t expect people to act the way I would act in any or all situations, nor can I hold them to my expectation in regards to our relationship.

The best I can do is reaffirm boundaries in my relationships, remind myself I am enough, and continue down this path of wellness and understanding. No matter how hippy-dippy it sounds, I don’t care. The only person outside of me who’s opinion matters to me is my husband.

Oh yeah, and take a pause before reacting or initiating potential conflict. Ask myself what do I expect out of this conversation, is it realistic given the person I’m speaking with, am I open to what they might say or am I expecting them to give me what I need.

Three cheers to practicing the art of pause. 

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my personal journey about understanding myself more with the hopes it’ll help someone else in the twenty-something/pushing thirty struggles.

I don’t need to be taken care of and it’s a problem, sometimes…

From a very young age I was taught to never depend or expect anyone to take care of me, and over the years that mentality warped to include never asking for help.

I didn’t ask for it when I was trying to figure out how to pay for college. It never occurred to me to ask anyone how to plan a wedding. I was one week away from being homeless before a friend stepped in and offered her couch.

But in that same token, I moved out at 18-years-old and didn’t ask for one damn penny. Ever since my babysitting days, every dime I made went to savings. It was prideful to know I furnished my first apartment and not a damn soul had a string attached to me because all my bills, food and needs were paid for by me.

This is also how chips on shoulders are formed. My drive to push through college while working and doing three internships was driven by fear, not confidence (even though that’s what everyone looking from the outside in saw).

I was terrified of becoming a nobody waitress.

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Where did that come from? I got a double dose from both parents.

I think it derived from my Dad’s old school upbringing of keep your nose down and work your ass off mentality, which is what gave me my great work ethic.

My Mom had three kids under five by the time she was 28-years-old and knew how dependent she was on my Dad’s paycheck. She wanted her daughter to get the education she never got and be self-sufficient, which is why I made sure I finished college.

Even when I had to take a 16-month hiatus because of the military life, my mom’s voice in the back of my head reassured me I’d get back to college and finish.

I would be educated.

I’m self-sufficient and don’t need anyone to take care of me because I have proven time and time again, all I need is a strong me to get me through anything.

There’s kickback from certain friends and family who confuse need with love. I’m married and I love my husband, and yes I do need him to be my husband.

But, I don’t need him to provide the bacon so I can fry it up. The ideal life for me doesn’t include a husband who works and does all the providing while I pick up a hobby in hopes it makes me side-money, or pop out babies or both!

Does that make sense?

I need him to be the best husband he can be, just like he needs me to be the best wife I can be. We’re co-partners in a long-term relationship who need to work together to stick together.

Know what I’m saying, now? We’re equal shares.

There are goals I’ve been working to achieve and won’t rest until I get ’em. I’m lucky the Hubs is supportive and secretly hoping his wife makes it “big” so he can officially say he robbed the grave, futuristically.

When did my self-sufficiency bite me in the ass? The moment it got confused with asking for help.

There’s a damn difference between “being taken care of” and asking for help. A huge damn difference.

It took me a long time (almost 29 years) to really understand the difference. There’s power in being independent, and there’s power in reaching out to others when you need a good laugh, talk through a hard situation, for comfort or reassurance, or even literally help in making connections to peruse an idea that’s lit a fire under your ass that you’ve only realized it a month ago.

The last bit might have been the moment I had that opened my eyes to the difference between taking care of and help. And it might have only happened yesterday afternoon…full disclosure, never said I had all of the answers.

Yesterday was the first time I asked for help, and it was the best decision I made for myself. It’s going to lead to additional opportunities to help me reach my overall goal. The Beatles knew it, even if “I get by with a little help from my friends,” probably meant drugs. The philosophy is the same. 😉

Cultivate it.


RamblinRandol is about finding yourself and learning to love yourself again. Life is real and raw, there’s no room for perfection here. If you’d like to join the Hot Mess Express tribe where we discuss the daily struggle and bring real life to light, come hang out in my new Facebook group, here

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All I Wanna Do Is…

…make a difference, why does it have to be so difficult?

Duh, because nothing worth it in life is free. Accomplishments wouldn’t carry any weight or satisfaction if they were given to everyone who wished for success.

After a conference I attended in San Deigo, I had a brain burst about my next chapter in life and actually spoke it [the dream] out loud to a few people before spending an absurd amount of time obsessing over every which way it [the dream] could go.

And to my surprise the feedback was positive. They asked questions, they wanted to know how I’d turn it into a career and encouraged me to write out the business plan.

Let’s pause a second. Had I not said, “screw it, let’s see what some of my colleagues think,” and heard the positive reaction, there’s a good chance I would’ve mulled the idea over until convinced it was a terrible plan and sure I shouldn’t waste any more time on it. 

It’s important to remember that the most critical person closest to you, is you. Now, are you listening? This next part is important. 

Putting your creative ideas out for others to see/hear is intimidating because what happens if you get negative feedback or are criticized? This ‘what-if’ scenario is like drowning your creativity in wet cement. Eventually, it’ll set and keep those ideas locked up, forever.

Secondly, who cares what ‘they’ say? Take constructive criticism seriously, not personally. Don’t forget the old saying, “everyone’s a critic,” or “opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one!”

Know the difference between constructive criticism and a talking head who isn’t listening. If you don’t know how to identify a talking head here are a couple pointers I’ve picked up on throughout the years.

Talking heads like to interrupt and they like to interrupt with ‘better ideas,’ something completely off topic or every once in a blue moon, a good point.

When someone interjects themselves mid-sentence, it means they weren’t listening in the first place. They were spending the entire time you were talking thinking of something to say. I know I can’t trust a person entirely when they half listen.

Know the difference between constructive criticism and a talking head.

I’m taking my own advice, BTW. This week I have a goal to contact a couple people for a face-to-face meeting. Now, I’m still hesitant to let you in on the project, because I need a few balls rolling in the right direction before letting the cat out of the bag.

Stick around, I’ll keep updating you as the balls get rolling–this feels like the beginning of something great and I want you all to be a part of it!


RamblinRandol is about finding yourself and learning to love yourself again. Life is real and raw, there’s no room for perfection here. If you’d like to join the Hot Mess Express tribe where we discuss the daily struggle and bring real life to light, come hang out in my new Facebook group, here