As I've mentioned before, my friends are far more supportive and kind to me than my family ever was, and from time to time when I do something that took a lot of guts or work or talent or whatever I will actually hear those words from friends: I'm proud of you.
It's always astounding and, truly, it makes me feel like a fluffy puppy. I mean that in a good way. I mean, tail wagging happy. Just hearing that phrase makes me want to accomplish more, do more, give back more. It also makes me feel like I can.
Last night my friend Kori read me a quote she had saved (she loves the quotes) and this one was great in terms of reassuring me. I had sent an email that might have been a tad mushy, gushy and just a bit too ... ya know... possibly sickeningly sweet. I'm a little too impulsive sometimes and email + impulsive = oy vey. I do it alllll the time. Type first, think second, worry about it third. Typical. But she had this handy-dandy quote from Robert F. Kennedy's eulogy for his father.
"What it really all adds up to is love -- not love as it is described with such facility in popular magazines, but the kind of love that is affection and respect, order and encouragement, and support. Our awareness of this was an incalculable source of strength, and because real love is something unselfish and involves sacrifice and giving, we could not help but profit from it."So since my vaguely over-the-top email was in fact from the heart and all about support and encouragement, affection and respect for my friend... I felt better about having sent it and stopped worrying.
When I was younger I would hold back any sort of "you're great!" commentary - because it was foreign to me - on the receiving end. It felt really weird, and even wrong, to convey those sentiments to someone else, even if I wanted to say: "you look great" or "you did a great job" or whatever. I know I missed numerous opportunities to tell people how I really felt about them, and to maybe even make them feel good about themselves - even if it was just for a few minutes, because they look good in blue or something silly like that. It was also a fear of letting anyone know what I really felt. Somehow telling someone something as simple as "nice dress" was giving away too much. Stoopid!
I'm sure that is part of the reason my parents never gave me much in the way of emotional support - it would somehow make them vulnerable... maybe I'm giving them too much credit there. But hey, it might be part of it. It might be.
I overcame that childhood hang-up, for the most part, and when I get impulsive I sort of go the other way. Effusive is the word that comes to mind. But it comes back to haunt me with the worry that I've said too much or, even worse, said it badly. As Kori said last night, "well, good, now you've given yourself something new to worry about for no reason. Good job."
Yeah. Well, she called it. So it's one more self-improvement project to work on. Quit the worrying. Stuff comes out of my mouth, or keyboard, and I've just got to accept that it's how I am and let the chips fall where they may. All I can do is be honest, and be myself and stop worrying about it all.
I hear "you're so nice" a lot. And while I know there's a point where nice turns into idiot-doormat, I would prefer to be known as someone who is nice. Or thoughtful. Okay, nice. I LIKE nice. And supportive. So there. And truth be told, I'm not ALWAYS so nice. But I try.
On a less vague note: I actually managed to start and finish my taxes today. They're DONE. Done, done, done. Hallelujah! At last.
And you know what?
I'm proud of ME. Good job, Joy.