I know the last thing y’all want to read about now is another introspective diary entry prompted by New Year’s resolutions. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, though, so I never make any. Most people break 90% of the resolutions within the first seven days of the new year, so I wonder why people even bother. I try to work on myself throughout the year because I like to think of myself as a work in progress.
But as I cleaned my bathroom this morning (which is a good time to get in some good introspection, seeing as bathroom cleaning is a pretty mindless activity), I started to think about myself and my life and I realized something. For the first time in my life, I am pretty content with myself. I don’t wish anything to be different about who I am or how I live my life. That’s something major for me, to like who I am for once in my life. It’s been a major struggle for me all my life.
As much as I respect my stepmother for all she has done for my sister and me, for taking us in only one month after marrying my father and becoming a mother at the age of 32 to a six-year-old and a ten-year-old, she wasn’t one to boost her child’s self-esteem. Perhaps it’s different with my brother, at which point I’m very happy for him. But with one look, or one statement, my stepmother crushed any kind of faith I had in myself. I don’t think she did it intentionally. It’s just the way she is. She doesn’t really think beforehand that what she says could hurt, like Cher says: “Words are like weapons; they wound sometimes.”
My father was good to us, but he really has no interest in his children until they are about twelve or thirteen years old. That’s about the time when he thinks they’re able to hold an intelligent conversation with him, so he begins to pay attention to them. I can see that first-hand with my brother. When my brother first came to us, I don’t think Dad ever changed his diaper or fed him or took him for walks or anything. Getting him to do father-son things with Mark was like pulling teeth, and my stepmother used to get so frustrated with him. Now that Mark is 15, he is now Dad’s favorite person to hang out with. I’m not jealous about that — I’m glad that Dad is now taking an interest in his life, but I wish he had paid more attention to Mark when he was littler.
So with my stepmother and my father being too wrapped up in their own lives as they raised us, I always thought I wasn’t good enough to have anyone pay any kind of attention to me. And when Kurt and I started dating and he put me first in his life, it was really a shock.
But at this point in my life, I’m content with who I am. The friends I have here and the friends I have scattered around the country reassure me that I am indeed a good person. I finally have a good relationship with my sister, and I know I can count on her whenever I need her. My marriage with Kurt is just wonderful, and even though we argue and fuss, I know that in comparison to most people in a long-term relationship, our problems are miniscule. I’m content in my role as a homemaker, and I take pleasure in keeping the house clean and organized and cooking dinner for Kurt. I don’t see it as what I have to do because I’m a woman — it’s because I’m the one who stays home. If Kurt were a househusband, he’d have to clean the house and cook the meals. Plus I’m getting to like cooking for the first time in my life, and I get excited when I make something and Kurt thinks it’s good.
All in all I’m happy with myself. I’m very glad we moved here to Washington because I feel that he and I are making a completely fresh start. I’m not reminded every day of things that bothered me during college, and I feel like I’m allowed to forget about all that. Here in Washington, we have a blank slate, and we can choose what we write upon it.
2004 should be a very good year to us.