There is one enemy I have had to face time and time again. It creeps up on me, cripples me, grips me tightly and doesn't let go. A fear of being mediocre.
In highschool, I followed a very tight schedule. I woke up before dawn to drag myself to seminary, I took AP classes and tests,went to mutual, sang in the choir, ran 4yrs of Varsity Cross Country and Track...and always always I was striving for the best, my Dad used to say, " Just do your best Kels, that's all we ask you for..." but doing your best in everything is easier said than done.
Back then, and today too, I never really felt like I was doing a great job. It felt like I was constantly treading water, trying to balance all the different commitments I had made, and I felt like all I could do was stay afloat. These days I am still running cross country, working for the newspaper, taking 16 credits, married, doing my own laundry...sometimes I feel like I'm sinking.
Maybe that's why I get so worked up about stupid things like my failed attempt at a romantic dinner tonight. See Justin and I have been so busy lately, and I just wanted to get back that old excitement of being together. I am not a great cook and I feel terrible that we eat macaroni or fast-food as often as we do because I can't seem to get myself organized enough to plan meals ahead and do the prep work when I have the time. Tonight I wanted to make something at least remotely culinary and I fantasized about buying a single candle from foodland, letting it burn low, talking and laughing and enjoying our perfectly crafted spinach stuffed potatoes. But alas, mediocre seems to be the limit for me.
After a series of events ( such as taking hours longer to get to the beach because my beloved wanted to send a detailed analysis of today's race to his coach), it was 6:10 and no efforts had yet been exerted for said dinner plans. Soon it was 6:30 and I found myself waiting for Justin to leave on his second run so I could start getting stuff together , but still he lingered...and ate a sandwich...even though I had told him I wanted to make him a special dinner and that it was his responsability to supply the candle. My frustration mounted...
Fast forward, I am fuming after Justin tells me he is not very hungry because dinner ended up being so late--- "( and not that tasty...and candleless...)," I think----and that is when that awful fear of never being anything more than mediocre kicks me in the hiney. I just sit there feeling crappy like "this is the most romantic dinner I will ever be able to give him because it seems to be physically impossible for me to get dinner on the table before 8 p.m. so it will always be a choice between disintrest in my stressfully prepared food or fastfood on-time." Then I think about how I am settling for the 6th spot on my team because I know 6 travel and as long as I get on the traveling team I will be happy. I think about how my senior year of high school I let myself get a C in art history just because I didn't want to put the extra hours of effort into homework. I think about how I am graduating early and how it's bittersweet because I feel like the major I chose ended up being a super-easy-to-complete one and how their are other kids doing 20 hour long projects every other week. I think about how I want to be a writer , but how I also want to be a mom and it seems like in order to have both of those I will have to settle for reporting on highschool cross country meets and entertaining fantasies about writing a novel with a twighlightesque response from the world.
I sit here and I wonder why I do any of it at all, I am not particularly excelling in anything. My head is screaming " I need validation!!!!" and " Seriously are you that much of an attention-seeker??" at the same time. So what's it all for anyway? Why do I go through my day stretched thin just to stew in a boiling pot of mediocrity? I have no idea. I do know that there are these pure, quiet moments that come and make me feel like I'm doing something right. I know that my husband and family love me. I guess the real question I am asking myself is " Do I love me?" The answer I think is that I love the person I want to be, and I can't be her if I don't do this stuff now. I won't ever have it all figured out, but for now I will plan on being a less frazzled, nicer, more-prompt-dinner-maker someday, and learn to love myself in the meantime...right?