Wow, this article really summed up a lot of feelings I have about my own experiences growing up. I feel like I've finally reached a point of comfort with myself that I can reflect on a my past and admit that there are things I regret and things that I wish I wouldn't have done and times I was not living for my own happiness. And I've only really reached that point in the past year. I don't know if I'm at an age where that just happens or if it has to do with being a parent, but I'm confident in myself and really concentrating on my life and its value and my happiness for what feels like the first time. That post is something I've felt but never really expressed (and wouldn't have expressed as elegantly nor completely.)
Usually when I write in here it's just a word vomit of whatever has been banging around in my head lately, mostly revolving around my daughter. I write poorly and rarely take the time to edit or even re-read what I've written before I post it, because I'm just trying to convey whatever is happening as quickly and easily as possible. That's fine, this blog's purpose is to keep everyone up to date on my life, not to woo people with my prose.
This post isn't any different as far as writing, but it is more thoughtful. I can't remember if I've written about this before or merely intended to, but Ramona's birth really surprised me because I didn't expect the reaction I had. One of the big surprises was that the week after I had her, I felt bad for her. I kind of felt like a jerk for bringing her into the world. I had been thinking of her in a theoretical sense for so long that the idea that she was going to be a real person who would have to deal with all the horrible stuff in the world hadn't really occurred to me until she was born. When we were driving home from the hospital we passed a million sexy lady billboards (she was born in Vegas after all) and all I could think of was how it was only a matter of time before she'd have to deal with the pressure to be sexy- and of course the right kind of sexy. And then I got home with her and Joe went and picked up my mail for me and there was a Victoria's Secret catalog and it made me sad for the same reason. I have impossibly sexy ladies mailed to me that make me feel like crap about myself. How will Ramona handle this stupid fabricated pressure to be what you're supposed to be to make others like you?
Most importantly, how can I help her handle this pressure, and realize that it's not important in the long run? That the road to satisfaction is paved with your own happiness? That, while there is beauty in the selfless acts of the world, you get one life, and it's not worth it to spend it miserable to make other people happy? How do I make sure she has great self esteem without being conceited, that she's self interested but not self possessed, and that she's giving but still true to herself? It's a fine line and there are so many factors.
I want more than anything for her to be happy. It's heart breaking to think that some day in the not so distant future someone will say something mean to her solely to intentionally hurt her feelings. I know it will happen, it happens to everyone. And that's life. I think the happiness, beauty, and fun are worth all the heart wrenching bad moments, but it's so hard to see that little innocent, worry-free face and know that it's only a matter of time before she gets the sad knowledge that not everyone in the world will love her and think that she's as beautiful and amazing as we do. And she'll wonder how to make them feel that way about her and finally at some point, figure out they won't- not everyone. I need to figure out how to make her realize that as long as she's doing the best she can to be a person that she's proud to be, that she's doing just fine. And I have nooooo idea how I'm supposed to accomplish it.