Sunday, March 19, 2017

what on earth is she wearing... and some other things

Y'all, every time we travel I spend more time on social media than any other time in my life.  So last week I completely enjoyed everyone's spring break photos.  I lived vicariously through your photos of islands and snow and everything in between.  Because in real life I only saw Houston.  For 2 days.  One of which was in a hotel room that injured my shoulder with its hard as the floor mattress and lack of personal space.  But I did get to take a cute picture with Kid 3 trying to make the most of the situation.

This was the morning following the night where I came within millimeters of being knocked down on the sidewalk outside a pizza place as the boys sought revenge on each other for things gone wrong in said hotel room.  Seems I spend half my life looking out for my own safety and always on guard for things that can break even more than my spirit with these boys.

Kid 2 had baseball games all week so we had a very short window of time to travel.  I never knew high school teams played on school holidays but now we're totally in the mix and even selling concessions.  Which isn't really much fun at all - but I don't want to ever hear anyone say Kristi Walters is above selling hot cheetos for the good of her children.

And Howdy from Aggieland - my long ago home...On the way back to Dallas we took a good campus walk and ate lunch and tried to explain how college works to kids who have no clue.  Y'all, I loved College Station back then, and I really think I could probably grow to love it again, but it's so big and different now.  I really think I'm just a small town girl at heart.

So.  Lots of pictures, and they even include pictures of moi.  Which,... have you noticed?   I rarely share.  And THAT is the meat of today's post.....

Spoiler alert - stop reading now if stories of mental anguish and internal conflict bother you.  But keep reading if stories of strength and determination are encouraging. 

On our first night of the trip all five of us had to share a bathroom.  And we slept on the world's hardest mattresses, and Fireman Dave snored so much I wanted to smother him with a pillow.   I'm pretty sure I've said that exact same thing a million times.... Sleep deprivation turns me into something completely inexcusable.  And I think we both yelled near obscenities at each other in our middle of the night exhaustion, and prayed that the light of day would change our hearts.  Maybe it did his, but my shoulder was hurting something awful when we got up so I was still mad. 

Then we met our beautiful niece and her boys in Galveston and found out that it was way too cold to do much as far as beach behavior goes.  So we went to the candy store and a few other places and ended up piling into our car for a car picnic with a beach view. Then we went to an amusement park in a town called Kemah and let the boys do their thing while we waited and shivered in the wind.  And to end the day we ate at a place that Fireman Dave heard about on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, and that's when our story really begins. 

Y'all, I heard parts of me yelling out loud certain things that I try to hold back every single day.  Because my niece took a picture of us that night.  And I'd like to say it was because it was so cold and I was forced to wear Kid 1's big ol' jacket with my long skirt so I looked like an Amish woman who forgot she wasn't supposed to cut her hair... but it wasn't.  It was because no matter what else was going on and how much I love this family, all I could see was what I thought everyone else was going to see in that picture.  

What on earth does that mean, Kristi?  .......  

All I could see was what I wished I looked like in that picture. Because that's what its like to feed the negative fire that lives in me - ALL . THE . DANG . TIME.  Forget all the other things I could notice about the day and that picture - the fun, the family, the food, the opportunity to be somewhere out of our normal and to be there together.  That all disappears when put through the filter of my self doubt. 

And I laid there in bed that night and worried how many people were going to see that picture on Facebook and think to themselves, WOW... what happened to her?  And what on earth is she wearing?  ... And,.... some other things.  

Because I've just about decided that I don't know how to be nice to myself.  I still hear the voice in my head from my growing up years, yelling and telling me everything bad a child should never be told.  And on occasion I forget all that I've become and I still see the Kristi that I was introduced to back then.    Y'all, I think my brain knows the truth.  But the message gets all confused from mind to heart and back to the mind - all in an instant of worry that someone will think less than beautiful thoughts about me.

I've taken a lifetime of pride in being nice and friendly and the one who greets and smiles and gives.  And totally not trying to brag, but I've won heavenly awards for being the biggest over sharer of all time.  Yep.  I deserve a trophy, but I also find the best of conversations and sweet exchanges in the every day that way.  Um, hello sweet man in the express lane at the Tom Thumb last week.    But somewhere in the mix of what I love to do and what I think other people see in me - I get scared.  And I get sad.  And I lose sleep thinking that if I could just be this or that - or lose this much or wear the right clothes - that the world will see the perfect girl.  Or maybe I'm just hoping I'll finally see the perfect girl.

That half day we spent in Galveston, we walked by the hotel we were in when I had my first giant panic attack.  I had been having small hints of panic for months, and had called Fireman Dave to bring the ambulance to me on more than one occasion.  Bless that entire crew who patiently listened to me each time as I swore I was having a heart condition and that they just didn't know what the heck they were talking about see it yet on their fancy ambulance equipment.  Bless them for not just saying, um,...Mrs. Fireman Dave - our diagnosis is that you're dangerously teetering on the corner of bizarre behavior and off the deep end.

I've decided that we are our own worst enemies.  I say we meaning me because I think you're beautiful and have it all together - and would never wear Kid 1's jacket with a maxi skirt and flip flops.  I'll never live down that decision.  I also think that again, in this season of Lent, as we walk toward the cross of Easter, and as we reflect on our weaknesses - God given or hard earned - that we can use every situation to make a choice.  Do I let these annoying quirks of mine win the war?  Or just the occasional battle?

post script - this is NOT a post for you to comment on my inner beauty or my amazing combination of brains and strength all topped with a crown of platinum blonde hair.  So please, I do not want comments about me.  I want comments, if any, about how we can overcome ourselves and those mean little voices that slow us down from becoming awesome.   

post post script - part two of our two day spring break story to follow.  And you can guarantee that it contains some juicy insight about teenage phone addiction and the heartbreak that ensues when they have a mean mom. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. I have no wisdom to offer, but I will say you're in good company. A friend & I went to a concert this week, and I decided to take our picture as we waited for the concert to begin. I am, alas, selfie-taking impaired, but that wasn't the reason it took so many tries to get a picture. It was my double chin, my not-quite-right smile...The list goes on. I posted the picture I hated the least. And no one said, "Gee, you've gained some weight!" But that's all I see when I look at that picture. Which is sad! I want to turn off those old tapes, but they always seem to turn themselves back on.

    1. I think all we can do is to create new tapes. Tapes filled with the voices of people who support us and love us and know so much about us that they can't be making things up. New tapes that sound like music to our ears - so beautiful that it drowns out the ugly. And as far as the selfies go.... ain't nobody looking their best in those - so take that for what it's worth, dear Sherron. Now.... where do we go to start making our new tapes? I'll meet you there.


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