Validation. Approval. Acceptance. No matter what term you use, its part of what has motivated me for years. It's not healthy, and I definitely know that. Typically I lose the internal battle to say "who cares?" and end up paralyzed by the fear of not being good enough.
My husband was my first boyfriend, but like everyone I had plenty of "crushes" growing up. I always had a thing for football players, and I often harbored a crush on my closest guy friends. Is it normal for me to still wonder why I wasn't good enough to catch the eye of any of those boys who interested me along the way? Admittedly I didn't typically come clean about those feelings, but I remember the two times I have it didn't go well. I was rejected and then felt that I had made myself weak and powerless by admitting my feelings.
That's not saying that I would go back and change history, but I know deep down that never being noticed all those years ago is part of why I lack self-esteem. I never dated in high school, there were never any boys interested in me. I went to school, studied hard, worked, and swam. I had friends, but I didn't do a whole lot if socializing outside of school hours. While it was exactly what I wanted, I sometimes wonder if I missed out by focusing so much on my future.
After all, I got the college degree I so badly wanted. It doesn't make me any better than anyone else, I'm not working. What good was it really? Of course, then I realize if I hadn't gone to college I most certainly would not have met Tommy. And I wouldn't have my kiddos - and they are my everything. I guess everything happens for a reason. I just wish I could stop second guessing things and just be happy and 100% content.
I think as a stay at home mom I have way too much time to think about stuff that I shouldn't be spending any time on. I don't think that working will be a "cure all" but I definitely think that going back to work will help me be a happier, and better person. In a few more years we will test out that theory.
I just hope that someday I will have the confidence to walk into a room and not wonder what negative things people are thinking/saying about me. I long for the day when I no longer need external approval, validation and acceptance.
My goal for now... let go of the past. Let go of those who didn't value me enough to give me a chance. Let go of the pain and embrace my blessings.