I’ve done a little updating recently. I changed the name of this blog from Kristin Growing Up to simply, Kristin Cox. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still growing as a person but I’m hoping to do more with this oft neglected site. I still don’t know what my niche is but I think for now, it is about life and what I think and feel about it.
I have wrestled with many of the same issues over and over and it’s been a long (and still ongoing) process of weeding through them all. But one thing remained true throughout is a need to write.
For the majority of my life, my mindset has been that I had to do everything and be perfect at it. While reading over my old posts (some I’ve kept, some I’ve deleted), it was a running theme. Especially this one.
You’re a Grownup Baby, Now What? was written back in 2013, before intensive therapy. Since that post, I’ve had over 4 years worth of reading hundreds of self-help books and articles, navigated new relationships and jobs, and a shit ton of trial and error.
I like reading that post in particular because it reminds me of how far I’ve come. I know why I wasn’t trying or why I was falling short: I was scared to death.
I believed that I was suppose to do it all. Be it all. That I was suppose to be a master of something right out of the gate. I didn’t know it was okay to mess up and make mistakes.
My parents told me I could do anything, acting like I was the last savior of the family. The hope rested on my shoulders to carry everyone out of poverty. One can only imagine the crushing burden it had on me.
During the same time, I was constantly shamed, ridiculed, and made fun of. Anything I did was criticized, either outright or subtly.
My dad always pointed out weaknesses in my drawings, never including any strengths. My dad is also the master of backhanded compliments.
Once when I was 15, I wanted to try cooking oats for myself but keep them chunky. My mother always cooked everything to death and liked her oatmeal kind of soupy and gelatinous. She deemed my oatmeal a failure and the entire potful was thrown out in a rage.
I vacuumed wrong. My tone and volume of voice was too loud or too low. My hair wasn’t the right length. I wore too much makeup sometimes and not enough other times. I came to believe, wholeheartedly, that there was something inherently wrong with me.
When it came to writing a story, I assumed I had to write it linearly and have everything sound perfect the first time through. Getting stuck or not knowing some scenes or writing weak sentences meant I was no good and there was no hope. (I also believed everyone else in the world could mess up or not be very good at something at first, just not me.)
I didn’t know I could write a draft over and over. I didn’t know I could write shitty sentences then go back and make them not shitty. I didn’t know that I could make mistakes and go back to correct them.
I rarely read books on writing. I thought I didn’t need to. Well, SHOULDN’T need to. In the past couple of months, though, I have been reading them. And what a revelation they have been! Published authors write badly when first starting out or they write badly still but they know they can go back and fix it.
I have gained so much from reading about the fears and apprehensions they experience. I have also found that how authors approach ideas and the writing process is similar to my own. (I just thought I was doing it wrong since it was me.) It turns out, I’m human like the rest of them.
There has been this life long blockage that seems to have finally been freed. I did a lot of soul searching and asked a lot of questions and had more healing in 2017. I went into 2018 knowing that I want to write. I NEED to write. I MUST write.
And it’s okay to mess up. Or I have to rewrite a story 10 times or more. Or I can let myself write and not judge myself to death. I’ve been trying to be perfect at everything for so long, all the while not believing I was worthy enough for any of it. I’ve expected everything to be perfect upon first attempt and you know what happened? Nothing. I did nothing substantial I cared about for a long time. A lot of years spent too afraid to really try on my own.
But I know better now. I don’t have to be afraid. I can be me and that is good enough.