Insecurity pops up at the weirdest times, doesn’t it? I mean, for me it does. Before delving into that, I need to say I’m proud of where I am now, as compared to a year ago. I’m happy, even peaceful most of the time. I don’t feel as scattered. And that’s a GREAT feeling.
As I’m cleaning and organizing, trying to be a competent adult, I’m struck by a wall of insecurities…and it sucks. Because now they’re in my head and I can’t get them out. This is a hard thing to admit; those insecurities are rooted in the fear of being ‘not good enough.’Not good enough?? For what? For WHOM? That certainly is the question, isn’t it?
So back to where these thoughts originated…my kitchen cabinets, of all places. Kinda funny, I guess. So there I am, cleaning, organizing, going about my business when I open my cabinets….and am faced with shelves of plates and glassware that don’t match. More tupperware-type containers than one person should probably have. And the startling realization that I have a half-ass kitchen. What’s a half-ass kitchen? In my world, right now, a half-ass kitchen has most of the basics needed to feed oneself, but is still missing key items. A meat platter. A decent cutting board. Cookie sheets or jelly roll pans. Cooling racks. The list goes on. I put off buying these items because they weren’t a priority. But when will they become a priority? How can I expect to host friends and cook for them with my mismatched plates, crappy utensils, and lack of adequate kitchen supplies?? My Nana is likely turning over in her grave right now…This of course brings to mind other thoughts…like, why am I missing that inherently female gene for decorating and cleaning and “home-making?” I freely admit that I will abdicate my adult responsibilities in a moment to go have fun. I’d rather enjoy a gorgeous day at the beach, or an evening out with friends instead of staying home to deep clean my walls or some shit like that. Why don’t I know any other women like me? Is something wrong with me? I can’t help but wonder if this quirk of mine is one of the things that cost me any sort of normal romantic relationship. Before I go any further, I should clarify that I’m not wallowing in some den of filth. My place is ‘clean enough.’ Define clean enough? OK. No mold, mildew, or any other weird growing thing. No bugs, no mice, no critters of any kind. Most of my mismatched plates, glassware, and assorted kitchen items are clean; and if they aren’t, most of the dirty ones are in the dishwasher. There might be a glass and a couple spoons in the sink. No food left out to rot. No raw meat dripping juice in my fridge. My bathroom is clean, but I didn’t make my bed this morning. My sheets and towels are clean. I have clean clothes, and most of the dirty ones are in the hamper. I take out the garbage frequently, and there are no to-go containers or empty pizza boxes hanging around…EVER.
However….There’s dust. Random piles of papers and books in odd places. Technically not clutter per se…but not quite organized. Makeup scattered on my dresser; remnants of my preparation for work this morning (and probably yesterday, too). Several pairs of shoes throughout the apartment. There’s crumbs on my kitchen counter. Cobwebs up near the ceiling and in my lamps. And my floors desperately need to be mopped. A couple of half-finished projects lurking about; including items to sew and items to paint. I think my stove is dirty, and the oven might be too. Knowing all this, and feeling the way I do about it all right now…am I going to rush home and spend hours cleaning?
No. No I am not. OK, then, am I going to spend at least one weekend day taking care of some or all of these things?
Not very likely. So if this is my choice, if this is who I am as an adult, then WHY am I allowing these thoughts to eat away at me, and potentially sabotaging any feelings of self worth I possess?
I don’t know. I really, really don’t know. It bothers me that I don’t know, and it bothers me that it makes me feel ‘not good enough.’ No one has ever come out and SAID I wasn’t good enough…no wait, I’m kind of lying…
A couple years ago, I was invited to someone’s house for a home-cooked lunch and an afternoon of girl talk. True to form, I did only what I needed to do that day, and promptly hightailed it to her place. She set a beautiful table with matching plates and such. She truly has the gift of hostessing, and enjoys doing it. We had a lovely meal, wonderful conversation, and she proposed an aperitif with our dessert. True to *her* form, she brought out the appropriate glassware for consuming an aperitif. These pretty little glasses reminded me of shot glasses, and in an effort to be funny, I mimed doing a shot with my aperitif. The look of horror on her face was, I thought, kind of funny. I mean…I know what aperitif glasses are. I know you don’t consume an aperitif the way you consume a shot. It was the statement that followed her look of horror that stuck with me: “Oh LJG! You really have no class! Good thing you have me to help you…” I chuckled, and she went on to say she wasn’t kidding. She really thought I was going to down an aperitif like a shot.
And that hurt. I felt like..I don’t know…kind of small and inadequate. Like someone who was playing at being an adult, while this woman with her beautiful table and perfectly executed meal service was the REAL adult.
I’d like to think it wasn’t her intention to be hurtful, to be demeaning, to talk down to me. In that moment, I felt not good enough.
And now, looking at my cobbled-together kitchen, my mismatched linens, my lack of discernible “decor,” and my slightly messy disorganized home…I feel that again-not good enough. Not adult enough. Simply not enough.
I don’t think I want to change who I am, but I would like very much to let go of this feeling, and feel good about being the kind of adult woman I am.