A Few Things I’ve Outgrown

A list of a few things I’ve outgrown:

  1. Any insecurity about coming from a small rural Texas town. I had a moment sitting in a meeting of the Beverly Hills PTA Council (that’s all the schools in the district) when I realized that all the people there were just like the people (mostly women) I’d known when I was growing up. They were there because they wanted to do everything they could to help their kids have a good school experience. Suddenly, I was aware that people are all the same, no matter their zip code.
  2. A need to get approval from others for being cute or pretty. I remember distinctly when I was pregnant with my third child at 38 and noting that I was not getting the usual flirtatious response I had grown accustomed to all of my life. While it felt odd, it was also oddly freeing. Since that time, I have dropped my need for that sort of male response. And it is definitely liberating.
  3. A need to be validated as smart. I grew up with very smart older siblings and it took me a long time to understand that I was also smart. The competition was pretty fierce in terms of brains in my family so I quickly became the socially adept kid in the family. Luckily, over time, I began to understand that I could be socially adept and also smart.
  4. An expectation that people I love will automatically be emotionally where I need for them to be at any given time. Lots of time those people are exactly where I would like them to be but sometimes they are preoccupied with their own life and just can’t be emotionally available. Surprise, surprise. I’ve discovered that I can be just fine whether they can be right there for me or not.
  5. My expectation that life will turn out the way I thought it would. Sometimes it has and many times it has not. Luckily, most of the time when a situation has not turned out how I expected it to, it’s made a shift that was ultimately for the better.
  6. My belief that people always need to express their feelings so they can work through them. While it can be helpful to get feelings out in the open, I have learned over time that not everyone is ready or willing to share what’s happening with them and that is okay too. People process feelings in a multitude of ways.
  7. My idea that romantic love is a feeling of being swept away. After forty-two years of marriage, I’ve learned that romantic love is based on mutual respect, kindness, a good sense of humor, and a sense of being heard and seen. It’s also nice if you are attracted to your mate. That is a lovely plus.
  8. That taking good care of yourself guarantees good health. While it certainly helps, there are no guarantees and that is simply a fact.

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