Validation

A few weeks ago, when I was in the midst of the funk, I read a blog post by Truthwalker.  He made mention of how when he is sad porn seems like a good idea, but always leaves him empty.  I commented on the post saying that I could relate, only my “porn” seems to be the internet in general (especially Twitter, Facebook, and this blog).  I think the internet is wonderful.  There are tons of things that I could be doing online that I am not.  I have discovered and connected with a lot of excellent writers who have entertaining and informative blogs.  I could be reading those.  I am interested in using my writing talents to help others.  There are tons of resources online that I could be utilizing.  I could be researching my novel idea.  I could even be searching for conferences and workshops I’d like to attend or classes I might like to take.  I could be learning and expanding.  If that was what I was doing online I could easily excuse the hours I spend in cyber-space, but for the most part it is not.  I’d say that what I do with my time on the internet can only be described as seeking validation.

We all want to be validated.  It’s human nature and for most of us the opportunity for this validation is incorporated into our daily lives.  The majority of adults spend their days with other adults.  They get their “atta boys” and empathy/sympathy from bosses, co-workers, and friends.    I have been a stay-at-home-mom now for 5 years.  In the beginning, I was a member of a big playgroup and was with other moms almost daily.  The group was fun, loving, and supportive.  But ever since school entered the equation and the moms in my life have less time, the daily adult interaction I get mostly just happens when Mark arrives home from work.  I miss the validation.  I miss sharing myself with others (besides my husband who knows all there is to know) and being able to listen.    So I’ve recently found that the internet can provide that for me  in small doses.  The problem is I find myself surfing between email, Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.  I send an email and wait for a response.  I mention someone in a tweet and wait for a re-tweet.  I post an update on my Facebook status and wait for people to “like” it.  And finally I check and re-check my wordpress dashboard looking to see if any of my lovely readers have left me a comment.  If they do, I am validated.  If they don’t, I’m left feeling deflated.

This neediness is something I am ready to let go of.  I’m tired of thinking that my worth is measured by how many people approve of me.  I want my validation to come from some place else, some place deep inside of me.  I want to put my thoughts on paper (or computer screen) and not give a shit if anyone is reading them.  I want to tell my truth and not care if anyone accepts  it.  I want to be convinced from within that I am enough.  That’s a click worth waiting for….

Here’s a wonderful video someone posted in their comment!  It’s about 15 minutes long, but worth the watch.

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Rain

It has been raining a lot here lately and a few days ago, I came to my WordPress Dashboard and quickly typed “Rain” as the title of a blog post.  Today I read this quote on one of my friend’s Facebook Status updates:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass….It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

That quote made me want to revisit or rather write my post on the topic.

I’ve never much liked rain.  Rainy days make me sleepy and depressed.  No matter how “needed” it is, I’m always the one wishing it away.  When I was a teacher, rainy days were the worst because that meant that the kids had to stay indoors.  No recess for the kids, no rest for the teachers.  It was the same when I was a kid.  I’d much rather have been outdoors then inside playing “heads up, seven up” (or whatever that game was called).  I also don’t like to be in the rain.  Yuck!  There is nothing worse than getting rained on and stepping into puddles.  Squishy shoes suck!

This summer I have had to face my hatred for rain head on.  It started on the drive home from NC. (Did I mention I hate driving in the rain too?)  We had been driving for 3 or so hours and the girls needed a potty break.  It started pouring right as we found a rest stop.  The next one was 60 miles away and I didn’t want to get too far off the interstate, so we stopped, rain and all.  I unbuckled the girls, pulled them out of the car and proceeded to drag them as fast as their little legs could go to the cover.  Run, Run, Run!!  By the time we made it to the restroom we were pretty wet.  As we left the bathroom we discovered it was raining even harder.  I weighed my options, but decided staying on schedule was more important than staying dry, so we left the shelter and made a run for it.  Midway to the car, I looked at the girls and how delighted they were to be experiencing this rain and I decided to slow down.  I walked the rest of the way to the car, paying attention to the way the rain felt on my skin, and realized that it was wonderful.  Once in the car, the water dried quickly…no permanent damage was done.

Last Sunday afternoon, Mark and I took the girls for a walk to the pond at the end of our street.  I love going down there.  We sit in the gazebo and feed bread to the fish and turtles.  It’s become one of my favorite spots, a place that always calms me.  On Sunday though, it started raining.  Mark was quick to suggest we go, so we left the shelter of the gazebo and headed back towards our house.  Before long the sky fell out and Mark grabbed the girls’ hands yelling “Run, Run, Run.”  I did the opposite.  I slowed my pace, held out my arms, tilted my head back, and let nature remind me how alive I am.  I didn’t dance though…maybe next time I’ll try that!