Whatever you’re “mad for” this week

That phrase keeps running through my mind –  “Whatever you’re ‘mad for’ this week” … six words written in a cruel fashion, meant to tear me down.   It worked. I was torn.  These words were written around March/April in an email sent to me out of the blue- based on a difference of opinion …about the weather of all things – or at least my feelings about weather.  The backstory is completely stupid and inane, yet those words have stopped me cold in my tracks.  I haven’t been able to write anything since then. Not. One. Word.   My book is just sitting there – not being written.

Why did I let those words beat me? I know I’m ultra enthusiastic about anything that excites me at the time.  And I know I flair up bright and then burn out quickly for some things.  But what I didn’t know was that this personality trait is annoying to others – or at least one other.  That kills me inside. I don’t know why, but it does.  So I’ve stopped being outgoing  – and wrapped myself up in self consciousness.  Only to be pulled aside to be questioned if something was ‘wrong’  – and by that very same person.   Why do I let others control me?  WHY?????

It also makes me wonder if it cut me to the bone because it reveals a part of me that I try to keep under wraps…that I secretly am afraid.  Afraid of a lot of things – like success – and the maintenance thereof.  Of relying on myself and my instincts. I defeat myself before I even begin to see the potential.  Why I think I’m not worthy is beyond me at times. Maybe it’s easier to not be good at anything – then there are no expectations to fulfill. Nothing to maintain.

(This is not just a self indulgent rant for a pity party or seeking platitudes of “you’re OK!”)

I’ve been needing to write this out for a while because those words had been killing me inside.   There are now some other ones competing with them.  They come from my husband and his frustration with my non-belief in myself about, well, most everything – including playing bass guitar with him.   He improvised a song called “I’m not worthy” – and when he sang it to me, I was so pissed off I could hardly get my anger out fast enough.  But then I did a little listening to him and let my brain sort it out.  He was right – I made myself believe that I was not worthy to <insert most anything>.   The reasons why don’t matter – I’ve made myself, I can unmake myself.  It’s not just about me now, I have a child that looks to me for guidance and I want him to see his potential. What I say to him matters but what he sees me do matters more.  How can I tell him to trust in his abilities when he sees that I don’t trust in my own?  Why am I letting the opinion of one person, who I feel just does not like me for who I am, paralyze me?  A wise friend of mine told me that friends and those that love you bring out the best in you – not the worst.  I’ve taken that to heart.

I feel like I’ve changed since then.  I play my bass to the best of my ability and no longer whine that I can’t possibly be a musician.  I’ve found a creative side to myself outside of words – and I’ve let it run wild.  I am mad for many things – I do exude a crazy amount of excitement about things at times.  That I won’t change about myself.   I don’t know what will happen with my book – but I do know it’s there waiting for me when I’m ready.

So – that’s that.

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in change, coping mechanisms, Family, Secrets and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Whatever you’re “mad for” this week

  1. I totally get the enthusiasm thing. I have a million knitting projects on the go, because it’s always more exciting to start the new one than to continue the existing one(s).

    I’m glad you’re persevering with the guitar. We need more bass. Unless you’re singing plainchant, the tune always sounds way better when it’s got the bass with it.

    • you have to be the coolest nun I’ve ever had the pleasure to chat with! I agree, bass makes things sound great.

      Ah knitting – something I always think I want to learn, but then I harken back to the disaster of crocheting as a leftie… we had many doorknob ‘warmers’ during that phase! Hee hee…

      • You should have learned to crochet by mirroring a rightie. If you want to knit, you’d probably find the continental style more suitable to you because you hold the yarn in your left hand. There’s videos on YouTube and everything.

        The only way I could be cooler would be to move further north. 😉

  2. lolabees says:

    I was wondering where you’ve been!! I think we all go through similar types of setbacks. I find that the best thing to do is really look at it and see how you can make yourself a better person from this new awareness, which it seems you’ve done. And then I’m sure you’ve heard the quote that says something along the lines of, “what others think of you is none of your business.” I love that. Definitely something we all need to hear. Looks like you’re back to writing! Maybe this is just what you need to get back to writing your book.

    • Hi! I love that quote – it’s kind of like listening at doors and being surprised to hear yourself being talked about ….it ain’t none of your business what is not said to you. Great advice.

      I hope this is the kickstart!!

      Hope all has been well with you – I’m slowly getting back into wordpress

  3. I’ve missed you. I love it when you’re mad for things because enthusiasm is contagious. I love it when you change your mind because you give me permission to question whether I want to change mine. I love it that you’re exploring the creative sides of yourself because creativity is what makes us interesting and human.

    Have you ever heard of gaslighting? It’s a form of manipulation where the person tries to make you think you’re crazy. It’s sometimes hard to detect that it’s happening to you when you’re a trusting and kindhearted person. Here’s a post I read on it. http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/gaslighting-is-an-abuse-tactic/


    • I have recently come across that – and it’definitely food for thought.

      No one has ever said that to me before (that positive side to changing one’s mind often) – it’s comforting. Thank you.

      I’ve missed you as well. Hopefully we can carve out some time to hang out. Especially now that school has started and routines are back in play.

  4. Any time anyone has attempted to insult me, or hurt me with words, I have cheerfully responded “Thank you!” I’ve actually been doing this since I was a little kid on the playground. There were some very early attempts to bully me when I was that age, (not so much physically but emotionally) and I learned the best defense was to laugh at the so called “attackers” and not take them seriously in the slightest bit. Their opinions meant so little that their attempts to insult me were really compliments. And besides that, “Whatever you’re mad for this week” actually does sound like a compliment to me anyway. (I’m frequently completely mad for something completely different every few minutes or so.)

    • If only I was not so thin skinned- I need some of you to rub off on me.

      Hee hee – within the context of the email, t’was not so nice – but like you said, moving past it is the lesson.

      I tend to be crazy mad for many things, too and before it was not something I worried about – and know it should continue that way. Thank you for your insight!

  5. Vicki Wright says:

    Ok divulging my thoughts……. dearest Ruta, your honesty and vulnerability are a form of innocence – and so when others don’t “get” you – and/or are mean for whatever reason – it both shocks and it hurts you! I think many of us go around thinking we are not worthy of breathing……. and I suspect most of it comes from childhood messages we received – maybe we remember and maybe we don’t’. As we grow up we are subjected to an oftentimes harsh and cruel world – and we see things and then we believe everything we are told, (including that we didn’t see things ) – and so that the world and all the people in it are our mirrors. We develop self-hatred and then harbor it without even actually knowing it sometimes – or we know, but we hide it.

    My own self-loathing became quite clear to me one day. It kinda surprised me – the viciousness of it. I was typing and simply made a typing mistake and immediately muttered “You idiot!” to myself – and I said it out loud and with such venom and accompanied by a strong feeling of disgust and self-hatred, it was DEEP-SEATED too.. The power and the depth of this apparent self-hatred was shocking! I also realized that if any other person in the world (whether I knew them or not) made this exact same typing mistake – I knew that my reaction would have been to say to them “oops, need to retype” at most….or more likely simply no reaction and the person would just retype…or not. I knew that my reaction would NOT be to say “YOU IDIOT!” to any other person….I would not have said it, and more importantly, I would not have FELT IT. If someone makes mistake of any kind, I typically have compassion for the person, or I try to help if I can, or I try to encourage the person….I don’t call them names in a vicious voice and hatred and demeaning way…….so WHY DO IT TO MYSELF? It made me think….it made me wonder…..it made me reflect.

    I finally came to the conclusion that I just might be able to figure it out someday – but in the meantime, I am going to consciously STOP MYSELF from calling me names, and to stop speaking so disrespectfully to myself, and to stop being mean to myself , for NO REASON……AND ALSO FOR ANY/ALL REASONS. I think this is a start…..I think if I can at least DO UNTO MYSELF AS I DO UNTO OTHERS……. A SORT OF “REVERSE GOLDEN RULE”…..and then maybe in the meantime, I will like myself, respect myself and treat myself at least as well as I try to treat others. I also find this works!! Altho I slip and I still have to “catch” myself sometimes – it takes focus and determination and sometimes a long time to defeat that little demon telling me “I’m bad, I’m stupid, I’m wrong, I’m an idiot” ……and to tell that inside voice and outside voice to SHUT UP and go away! (And even if I’m not yet to the point I like myself, I promise that I will at least not speak to myself like that anymore!! Why should I not AT LEAST give myself the same “breaks” I’d give anyone else in the whole world…. whether its about a typo or if it is something that is truly worthy of being called an idiot! )


  6. Just be the Renaissance woman you are – I often wondered at my changing enthusiasms, enough so that someone could cut me to the quick with those words as well. After reading just a few chapters out of “The Renaissance Soul” by Margaret Lobenstine, I was able to re-frame and embrace my pursuit of many interests. Plus, if you’re a writer, you get to call everything “research”.

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    Sounds like those words set you down the path of self-evaluation, and you’ve come out stronger as a result. It’s amazing how seemingly small words can have lasting impact on us. But I’m glad you’re choosing to rise above them. Good on you. May you continue to use them to fuel your passions instead of derail them.

  8. sllingky says:

    We need to have coffee. How about in January? So much I need to speak to here, because you basically wrote about ME. We’re on the same path, my friend. Maybe on different sections of the path, but the same path.

  9. Quick, go listen to Fake Friends by Joan Jett.

  10. Paul says:

    You’re amazing Rutabaga. You can do whatever you put your mind to and your excitement about life is contagious. Please don’t let the naysayers drag you down when there are so many of us who eagerly await your communications. 😀

  11. Best of luck to you! I’ve actually had a lot of people try to tear me down since I joined WordPress a few months ago. Some don’t like my work, which is fine. Art is never appreciated by everybody, only those with that specific taste, but what I’ve found most shocking are when I leave comments of encouragement, support and well wishes. A lot of times those people will respond… not necessarily in a way of calling out my work, but rather, by looking down their nose at me, as though I shouldn’t have stumbled upon their blog, or commented because they are “above” me in one way or another. It’s rather odd, but I let it go. It actually makes me smile. I look at it from the perspective of – those who want to tear down others truly aren’t happy inside. That means that you, and me, and all others looking to bring positivity into this community are the lucky ones. Sounds like you’ve got a ton of talent in many fields and a loving, supportive family life. Focus on that, not meeting others’ expectations. When you are ready to finish your book, I wish you all the best and cannot wait to see what you write!

    • Oh Jennifer – thank you 🙂 I just don’t understand people at times; but then I meet really amazing people or get their comments (like yours) and it’s apparent that the world has an abundance of those good people – learning how to absorb those good vibes and block the bad ones is the trick. Thanks for stopping by!

  12. rossmurray1 says:

    You know who I pity? I PITY THE FOOL!

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