Last night we went out for Thai food - delicious fresh Thai food...
we held hands
we ate well
and I of the small bladder
went back as the check came to use their facilities.
It was a strange setup:
four restrooms, two for women, two for men
but I simply saw one door marked women and proceeded to wait
when out of nowhere, a male patron
approached me and brusquely told me that there was another restroom
and I should use it.
Where did he come from? How long had he been watching my wait?
I closed the door behind me, face aflame
and felt a rolling wave of hormonal grief wash over me:
I had looked like an idiot
as I have so very many times over the course of the last month or so
since the 'fog' seems to have descended.
Women with children laughingly told me that said day would come,
that I would find myself forgetting things,
and not really having the same sharpness that I usually do -
well, I get it now
for a woman who struggles so actively with perfectionism,
I think last night was the doorway to a bit more freedom.
I looked in the ladies' room mirror at the restaurant
and saw my shame
right there in red and water:
yes, I looked like an idiot
to someone without empathy or warmth
but why am I so scared to death of the world?
Why is the first assumption one that renders me unsafe, unloved?
Is it really so bad to make mistakes? To mess up or miss details?
I've worn so many hats running my business
and caring for our home
that I've had to write pretty much everything down since about week 19
just to make sure I am aware of things, reminded of events to come.
I am exhausted from trying to keep up the ruse that I have my shit together at all times
and here in paradise of all places,
I hit a huge stop sign
and had to surrender.
I cannot say that I feel settled on this matter,
that I felt the mantle lift and the wonder of it all come in
I can say that having such a strong aching response to
such a simple gesture of help (harsh though it seemed to my tired self at the time)
has really opened my eyes
to the issues underlying the wish to be just right in all ways:
it's not possible, especially not right now
and perhaps beyond pregnancy
not ever -
perhaps it never was
and through its myth we perfectionists all
plan on getting the highest score
on the test of life
A Painless existence?
I hope in distancing myself from the crush of that pressure
to find an answer or two
and a lot of peace.
What do you do in the face of self-criticism or perfection?
I am eager for your insights.