Friday, February 8, 2013

Why Do I Listen to Myself?

I have given in at times...

I've backed away from a challenge when people suggested I wasn't good enough to do something. I've held back from trying when I knew no one expected me to make it.

But I've also proven people wrong so many times. I wasn't supposed to marry my hubby--it wouldn't work, my family said--but we're about to celebrate 20 years of marriage. I was told not to try being a teacher (it wouldn't suit me), yet I've managed to get three degrees in English and teach for nearly as many years as I've been married. And I'm a good teacher. I'm interesting, I'm effective, and I'm fair but tough.

I've learned to ignore what people say. They are too quick to give up on me, to likely to be skeptical about my abilities, too likely to brush over me, dismiss me, ignore me.

But then my own inner voices come... and they tell me the same things... and I don't ignore them. I let them shove me down, pull me back, shiver me into a corner. I back away from challenge. I hold back, I keep quiet, I shut myself up entirely.

Why? Why do I listen? Why don't I slap those nasty voices into next week (oops, there's a bad pun), toss them in the trash where they belong, wash myself free of them in the shower, letting them go down the drain and disappear for good?

Better yet, why don't I try to SHOW them? I do this with outside people, but I don't challenge my own voices. Why don't I just see this as a challenge?

It's because they are me. They are my caution, my tact, my defensive mechanisms. These same voices keep me from saying stupid or mean things out of anger. Sometimes shutting up is the best choice, and I'm grateful when they help me make it, too.

I can't just chunk them out a random window. They are as much me as the determination, the work ethic, the sensitivity, the everything of me. But they need to go to their room sometimes, and let me work. They need to leave off. They need to go take a nap or something so that I can get back to writing without them screaming at me.

Wow. They're listening. I'm amazed. I can see their shoulders hunching a little in shame. I can see their sad looks. Their off to their rooms to think about what they've done. Are they giving me the day off? I sure hope so. I could use the afternoon for writing. Without their looking over my shoulder.

Now I'm off. If they pop their heads out, I'll just glare until the heads disappear. If they start grumbling, I'll turn on the radio to drown them out.

Maybe I should turn on the radio NOW.

1 comment:

  1. They are part of us but still we have to find the shut off button. There is one but it takes time to find it. :-)

    the inner critic is far harsher than any critique partner.

    Music sounds good, lol!