WARNING: this blog post is going to be a shit show, which is fitting, because so am I.
I’m 42. And I’m learning that the older I get, the more I care and the less effs I give. That may seem confusing to you, but it makes perfect sense to me. Over the last few years, I’ve started writing as a way to clear my mind. There’s a lot of shit floating around in there, and I’ve found that putting some of it out there clears up some space…I mean, there’s only so much room up there. With that being said, this is basically a word vomit of some of the aforementioned shit.
I’m anxious. Always have been. When I was little, there was a time when I would sleep in my clothes on top of my covers, so I would be ready for school in the morning. Looking back, I realize I did that because I wanted to be in control. If something unforeseen happened, at least I would be dressed and my bed would be made. Weird thought process for a grade schooler.
I was also a people pleaser. Still am. To an extent. “To an extent” is the key phrase here. For the first half of my life, there was a relatively small, manageable group of people to please…family, friends, teachers, etc. But in the second half of my life—largely because of the profession I chose and the advent of social media—that group has grown exponentially.
I love my job, and I am well aware of what I signed up for in terms of getting unsolicited feedback. I could tell you endless stories about phone calls criticizing everything from my hair to my camel toe (yes, I said camel toe), hand-written letters about my eyebrows, and message board debates about whether dudes would do me and if a bag over by head would be involved. It was tough to take in the beginning…I mean, who wants to hear about her pants being too tight or her eyebrows being too thin or whether some douchebags would do me??? Not this girl. But you know what, I’m thankful for all of those experiences. Because they made me resilient. They made me realize there were people out there that I couldn’t please. They didn’t like me for whatever reason, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Those experiences were my training wheels for social media. Now people have a direct line to you. Everyone has a platform, and they have an ability to include you in it. In the beginning, that was super overwhelming to the people pleaser in me. I felt the need to respond to every question I was asked, every comment I was mentioned in. And it was equally as overwhelming to the anxiety in me.
Then at some point—I’m not exactly sure when—I started looking at social media and being in the public eye differently. I don’t read everything that’s said about me, but if it shows up in my notifications or DMs, I’m most likely peeping it. Most people are actually really nice, some are not. Most ask legit questions out of curiosity, some ask questions in an attempt to make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I respond, sometimes I don’t…just depends on how salty I’m feeling that day.
What I’ve learned, though, is that even if someone’s asking me a clown question, it often enters my thought process. And because of the way I’m wired, once it’s in my head, I’ve got to work my way through it or I will lose my damn mind. So in a strange way, those clown questions have made me answer questions I may have otherwise blown off—not for those asking them, but for myself and the mind-clearing process that’s necessary for me.
If you’ve made it this far and are still following me, congratulations. I’ll give you a couple of examples of what I’m talking about.
I cuss. A lot. And people want to know why. For the record, I do clean it up around the kids. I would like to blame it on being in a clubhouse for the last 15 years, but that would be doing my Daddy a disservice. I learned from the best. For me, it’s expressive, not mean-spirited. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not apologizing for it either. I realize some people don’t agree with it, and that’s fine. I totally understand that point of view. But just because someone doesn’t agree doesn’t mean I’m going to change.
Why Are You Wearing That?
Lots of people ask me why I wear dresses and heels to work at a ballpark. Some are sincere in asking if I feel pressure to be perceived as pretty because I’m getting older and so many women in my industry are of the young, hot variety. Others ask that question because they think they’re the boss of my wardrobe <insert eye roll here>. Either way, my initial reaction is, “Because I want to.” But there’s more to it.
First of all, I’m gonna be trying to be hot when I’m 80 and retired af, so it doesn’t have anything to do with my age relative to others in my industry. I wear dresses and heels to work because that’s what makes me feel good, what makes me feel confident. But I also feel pretty amazing in my yoga pants and ball cap in the off season. The bottom line is, people should wear whatever makes them feel good. And if what you wear doesn’t matter to you, sweet. But it does for me. Ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to feel good and look pretty…you too, fellas.
Are Those Real?
Not that it’s anybody’s business, but hell no they’re not! I honestly don’t mind the question, but when people get all up on their high horse about the message I’m sending to my daughter about body image, I want to gag. This body image birthed two babies and nursed them for a combined 15 months…not to mention the hours I spent hooked up to a breast pump. Sorry for the TMI, but let’s be real here. That combo will do a number on you. I worked my ass off to get back in shape after kids, because it was important to me. There wasn’t any amount of curls or pushups that could get those things back in order, so <in my best politically correct voice> a breast enhancement was a no brainer for me. If boobs aren’t your thing, cool. But I wanted my shit fixed. For me. No one else. Period. The end.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m cool with where I am and who I am. I’m learning how to balance feedback and process it in a way that’s healthy for me. I’m not trying to change, but I am trying to be better. I value the opinions of the people I value. I care a ton, but I give very few effs. I’m a shit show, but I mean well.