The Way I Think

Hey. Thanks so so much for all your comments on my last post. Sometimes I wonder why I blog, then I read other peoples blogs, comments on other peoples blogs, comments on my own blog, and…I remember exactly why. To hear I’m not alone. I love social media and I also hate it because seeing everyone’s statuses squealing about getting promotions or getting the coolest job ever, Instagram pictures that feature the hashtag “#engaged” and whatever, gets me reallll down in the dumps. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for everyone and when I comment ‘congrats! happy for you!’ I mean it (most times), but sheesh, I hate that their happiness/success makes me feel like shit about myself. I feel angry and saddened that (it appears) everyone is moving forward yet I am like a hamster on the wheel that never gets anywhere, forever chilling on the very bottom. Being grateful every day is not something that comes easily to me. Neither does self-acceptance (believe me we know, think longtime readers of this blog).

I was thinking today about how I always dwell on all the things that I’m not and all the things I don’t have, instead of all the things that I am and all the things that I do have. What brought this revelation on was when I was at the mechanic/neighbors picking up our plentiful packages [oh the holiday season], and one of the mechanics said to me, “I thought you should know that when your package came today, as so-and-so signed for it, he said ‘Oh good, that means Caitlyn will come by today.’ We all look forward to your appearances because you make us laugh.” I was so stunned/touched by this, I think I stuttered a thank you, resorted to my standby self-deprecating humor bout how that’s the first time I ever heard somebody say they were looking forward to seeing me, we all laughed, I walked away smiling and hadn’t stopped smiling since. Whenever I’m at the neighbors, I am just trying to not be my always awkward self, and I never thought what they might see or take out of the brief exchange because I always just assume my jokes are stupid, that they’re counting the seconds until that awkward neighbor leaves. I always see the worst. I think I’m awkward, I’m always going to be awkward, but that’s not what other people necessarily see. These neighbors don’t know how I see myself.

I pout too often about how I don’t like my weight right now, but I ignore the positive changes I have made.  I was staring at my grocery cart in the check-out line the other day and I couldn’t believe that it was my cart, full of stuff picked out by ME. Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you what egg whites were. Or why too much sodium was a problem. Or what almond milk was. Or what Greek yogurt was. and why it was different. Two years ago when I went to the grocery store, I completely ignored the perimeter of the grocery store. I never bought produce. Ever. I bought cookies, crackers, bagel bites, ice-cream, cheez-its, pop-tarts. All I drank was soda, alcohol and the occasional water with Crystal Light. I’m pretty confident that I never, ever, ever hit my suggested veggie intake. Now I fill my cart with egg whites, fat-free Greek yogurt, cranberries, spinach, bananas, strawberries, almonds, carrots. I think and care about things like my veggie intake everyday and make smoothies or small salads to accommodate if I realize it’s low. I pause to dwell on if I am drinking enough water – and sometimes, I even drink more water than recommended. I limit myself to one soda or one Crystal Light a week, and sometimes I go without them.

I get borderline depressed when I look at my bank account and remember how poor I am. But if I frame the situation another way,  I  feel proud that while my bank account doesn’t end with as many zero’s as I’d like it to, I’m living on my own in a new city, paying bills, and am still managing to save something.  When I moved to this city, I lived here for 4.5 months without any income. I’m proud that I managed to make it work and am still here making it work and learning about living on my own. I personally have a lot to learn about how to be an adult and live on my own.

Not only do I tend to have a distaste for where I am in my life and dwell on all the things that I’m presently not, I am guilty of pigeon-holing myself and accepting what I  let myself think I can never be. Make sense? Probably not. I know I hold myself back and don’t take chances because “well, obviously, that’s not for me, that’s for people cooler/more successful/more talented than me. I won’t be able to do that.” It’s sobering to realize I severely underestimate myself and cut myself off from fun things. Shouldn’t I be my own advocate? My biggest  cheerleader? It’s sad to realize I’m always my worst critic – and yes, I know I’m not alone in that. I’m training for a 12 miler in August (!!!!!) which I NEVER thought I’d do. Those kinds of things were obviously for runners only and I can never be a runner because .. hello..look at me, my name is Caitlyn, it’s not in my DNA, I suck at everything forever and ever amen. I’m still not 100% convinced I’ll be able to pull it off but I try to banish those thoughts and just focus on going a teensy bit further than I did yesterday.  I always thought it’d be so cool to be a half-marathoner but never pursued it because of who I thought I was and who I just accept that I am. Lazy, afraid, doomed, terrible at everything,hopeless. Yes, I’m lazy, but I can overcome that. Yes, I walked a nearly-20 minute mile in 7th grade and hated it every second, but why oh why still think about that 10 years later? It was a stupid grade school fitness test, it should have nothing to do with today, and the Caitlyn back then was most definitely not the Caitlyn of now. Thank God.

Really I get so angsty about how I’m not where I want to be, but I don’t stop to think about where I am, compared to where I  have been. Sure it’s not as fast and the results aren’t as sudden as I’d want them to be, but they are there. The littlest of results. Things – good things – will happen if I keep chugging along. Even if it feels like I’m getting nowhere. Good things are there. I just have to pay more attention and readjust what view I’m looking at.

11 thoughts on “The Way I Think

  1. Reading your posts transports me back to my early 20s. Not gonna lie, they were rough. I lived in Baltimore, but at my parent’s house. I, also, was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I often felt like wheels turning in place while it seemed that everyone else’s were moving forward. I can’t tell you how many phone conversations I had with friends where I uttered the phrase,” I just feel so…stuck.” It’s good to see you recognize that small changes are still changes. AND THEY COUNT AS MOVING FORWARD. Keep going, rock that 12-miler as best as you can, and try (as hard as it may be) to be patient with life. It has a way of surprising you in great ways that make the journey worthwhile.

  2. Your new grocery shopping habits sound like a major success! That’s a great positive to focus on. And people looking forward to seeing you is completely awesome! You’re well-liked :) just keep trucking, you have it all together more than you think. You got this, girl!

  3. I am the same way, and I’ve met a lot of other girls/women who think this way also. I think it’s because we’re always thinking about what we can do or change next, looking for things to happen quickly and taking on too much responsibility.

    It’s so nice to hear compliments from others – i’m glad your neighbor let you know they enjoy seeing you. Also, congratulations on all the positive changes you’ve made! The past 2 years seem to be life changing :)

  4. Uhmazing. Sometimes I try to explain to people why I love blogging so much. First off, I can share my random thoughts without anyone really caring and secondly, I feel like there are so many people who do feel the same way as I do towards things and the ability to connect is phenomenal!

    Social media is a double edge sword beacuse it opens us up to those engagement pictures or vacation or whatever. I’ve learned to minimize my use and if I find myself feeling sorry for myself, I need to cut myself off. I try to focus on the things I have done well – just like you said about grocery shopping, who would have thought we’d come this far??

    Props. Stay strong :)

  5. so. i love this post. all of it; i really do.
    we always forget the small things that have changed positivly since we’re always looking for more. we want more. we need more therefore we work to get more; for the future. but then that makes us forget THE PRESENT. so if we’re always looking towards the future and not appreciating the present, we will never be happy.
    my cousin told me something so profound that really hit home a few years ago: LIVE IN THE PRESENT. that’s the only way to achieve true happiness. what you are doing NOW, going through NOW, changing NOW is what matters most. if you’re always thinking about the past (can’t change the past) or always working to change/seek the future (can’t predict the future) you will never be happy. if you’re always looking behind you or ahead of you and not around you, you will forget the wonderful things happening RIGHT NOW and you’ll always feel unsettled.

    so the things that you’re doing now? awesome. those little changes make a big difference and with each day, it just gets better. enjoy EACH DAY and while it’s good to plan for the future, don’t forget about the present and all the great things that surround you today.

  6. This post just took me back a few years. I have so many things to say. First, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. I know it’s hard to watch as all your friends meet happy milestones, but people only put the good stuff on social media. No one brags about being laid off or getting dumped. And sometimes it’s exaggerated. And you’ll never know the whole truth. I have a friend who goes to Vegas every month and buys tables at the hottest clubs or changes cars every couple years. He looks like a baller, but he’s in debt up to his eyeballs. It’s not always as rosie as it looks. Second, your early – mid twenties are tough for everyone. Trying to find your place in the world after graduating is probably one of the hardest times I’ve ever gone through. Do your best and stay positive. Don’t follow the timeline that you think you’re supposed to. One of my favorite quotes ever is from the movie Love and Basketball – “It’s a trip, you know? When you’re a kid, you see the life you want, and it never crosses your mind that it’s not gonna turn out that way.” Give it time. Things may be different, but will turn out better than you expected. And lastly, YOU GOT THIS 12 MILERS!!! Don’t ever think you don’t belong there and can’t rock that. I’m not a natural runner either. When I started running I hated every minute of it, which was about 5 before I had to walk. I think running will build your confidence as you see what your body is capable of. I used to hate my flabby legs in shorts. Then I started running and thought “who cares? These legs can run 13 miles. Suck it!” I can’t wait to watch your progress as you start training :)

    Sorry that was long as hell, but I remember being there! It gets better, I promise. Also, WordPress is a stupid asshole. I thought I was following you already and apparently am not. I’ll try that again ;) Have a nice weekend!

  7. Glad things are looking up. I feel like this a lot. My twenties suck, haha. I am kinda shy in person so I always think people don’t like me or think I’m weird, etc. Ugh. Also the weight thing hits home for me. I constantly upset myself with how I hate how I look, my weight, that flab on my stomach but think about a few years ago when I didn’t think much about what I ate, how much,exercised at all, if I was eating enough veggies, etc. Little steps :)

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