On Being Real

The need for approval is tiring isn’t it? I think approval goes hand in hand with being a fixer. I can actually get physically ill at the thought that someone may not like me or finds me displeasing in some way. Even with this blog I struggle with approval. It makes me sad when people don’t come and read. I often have to remind myself that I do this for me. As an example, posting my art on here was a BIG deal. I was so worried people wouldn’t like it. I was actually kind of shocked that it was liked. At 39 years old I still worry what others will think. That’s pathetic. It’s pathetic because I REALLY LOVE my art!

I have never been the kind of person with a million friends. Never been the life of the party. Honestly I was rarely even asked to the party! I guess you would have to call that unpopular. I was virtually invisible walking the halls of my high school and things didn’t change much throughout my young adult life. I think it is a reflection of how I felt in my own home. It’s not like I was ignored or anything but the concept of there being a REAL me in there somewhere was defiantly stifled. I had never explored my natural talents or my creativity as an individual until later in life. I guess I thought I simply didn’t have anything to offer. That or I couldn’t risk rejection.

Back in high school I remember making this ceramic mask for art class. The teacher loved it so much that she put it in the display case in the front of the school. I remember being sort of shocked that she liked it. Looking back it amazes me so much that two things NEVER crossed my mind: 1. It actually WAS good because I had talent. 2. I would be totally brilliant at making MASKS.

I worry about my kids being successful socially, being liked, having friends. It sounds shallow to say I want them to be popular but in essence I really do. I’m not talking about the cool clothes, head cheerleader, quarterback kind of popular. I am talking about wanting them to be good at making friends, at establishing solid bonds with people who truly love them AS THEY ARE.
I want them to have no fear of showing the world their natural talents. I want them to be so comfortable in their own skin that they can face rejection head on and walk away unafraid to continue being who they are. To know that not everybody will like them but plenty of people will……and that’s OK.

I want them to know that when someone treats them poorly they don’t have to allow it. I don’t want them so dependant on being liked that they let themselves be hurt rather than risk rejection.

I want them to know that to do what they love and love what they do will bring them unlimited success in life.

Now, here’s the problem. I have super smart kids. Wanting to be a supportive parent I asked my kids what they wanted to be when they grow up. They KNOW how I am. They KNOW I will encourage them and take full advantage of me.

I asked my 7 year old:

“H, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I want to be one of those people that works in a really tall building ummmm you know….”

“A skyscraper?”

“YEA!” “…. and I wanna’ work at a desk with all those really tall walls all the way around me”

“A cubicle?”

“YES!!!!!!!!!!”

Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with working in a cubicle but we’re talking about goals here.

“You know what H, you could OWN the building with the cubicles and sit in one any time you wanted to!”

“Nah, I just want the desk and the walls”

Turning to my 14 year old son.

“How about you?”

“I’ve thought a lot about it and I really DO want to be a professional mime.”

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“You want to be a street performer?”

“Yep.”

“Ummm….OK.” Sigh. “Just be the best darn mime you can be!”

Hey, cut me some slack I was under pressure. It was the best I could come up with.

At this point I am thinking to myself thank GOD my daughter S isn’t here for this conversation. What should I expect from her?

“I want to be a dancer. The kind that twirls and twirls……….you know, around a pole?”

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a pole dancer.

My kids wait until the totally troubled look spreads completely across my face before they bust out laughing.

Kids 1 Mom zippo but I am learning their ways! I’m learning mine too.

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15 Comments

Filed under Life in general

15 responses to “On Being Real

  1. Michelle

    Your kids are smart. Thank you for this – I enjoyed reading it.
    And by the way – most mimes don’t work as street performers…they work in shows (for kids and for adults). There are some amazing mime troups.

    Your daughter might want to be a musical saw player: http://www.SawLady.com

    πŸ™‚

  2. Mia, I’m sorry I don’t comment more. I do read you all the time. I relate to 96% of what you said in this post. Needing approval is a biggie for me too. I see that P is seeking it too and I feel guilty for that. He is also a bright kid but wants to go work in construction with his dad. It took me awhile to see that him being responsible and having any job will be an achievement to be proud of. Although he’s smart enough, he might not want to be a Dr., Lawyer, Astronaut, ect. However, he is only 7 so there is time to get him to come to “my side”. πŸ™‚ L told me that he wants to “grab that thingie down” when talking about the moon. So, I’ll have at least one astronaut. Your son is a GREAT looking mime. I talk too much to ever pull that off. I think it’s awesome that you can support your children even when their goals are different than the ones you wish they had. I love this post. Your blog is very good and I enjoy reading you. We can all stand to get a pat on the back once in awhile. So, here’s a pat on the back for doing a great job and some hugs to go with, Rebecca

  3. Mia, I love your blog! You are so funny, and by the way, I had the same issue about writing- sometimes I feel like people are just pointing and laughing. I used to joke with my colleagues all the time about how we used to have such lofty goals as children (like I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader), and now we all sit in cubes. BUT to a 7 year old, cubes are probably just like legos, so I would not be too concerned πŸ™‚
    Bijou

  4. hee hee – very smart kids – I like their style!!
    Love your blog Mia.
    Thank you for being here and for speaking your truth.
    Hugs, Poss. xx

  5. Mia in case I’ve never told you, you have a terrific Blog!

    I read all the time, even if I don’t comment.

    You are awesome.

  6. Mia….very cute and witty children you have. I wonder where they got that! Kids are way ahead of us in soooo many ways. I do so enjoy your blog and like you, I know I am a people pleaser too. I like to believe that as we age we get wiser about balancing pleasing oneself vs others…I am still learning. Enjoy those kids. They grow up way too fast.

  7. your kids are too awesome

  8. Your kids are great!

    And of course you know this, but what they want to be will change a gazillion times by the time they actually become what they end up doing. Right now, my very bright 5-year-old has these goals for when he grows up: a construction worker, fire fighter, and a farmer. Yes, all at the same time πŸ˜‰ . Cute!!

  9. I am always reading, always listening, and always learning from you. πŸ™‚ ((((Mia))))

  10. Mia….your kids are creative and I know where they got that “gene” from!

  11. Mia

    Michelle thanks for making me feel SO much better about the mime thing. I do however think I will skip showing S the Saw Lady. She would run with it and it’s dangerous to run with saws.

    I have the coolest blogging friends. You are all amazing and supportive!!!

    Astronauts and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and Farmers and Firemen…….very cool.

  12. Mia, I ALWAYS enjoy reading you. There’s just something about your writing that conveys such empathy, such kindness…both in short supply in this world. And I’m glad you were brave enough to mention the “oh, nobody is reading my blog” phenomena. Somedays, it feels like a popularity contest and I’m back in sophomore year of high school…the year of the really bad zits and weird pointy boobies (okay, that was ME). But I know it’s ME feeling insecure and strange and then I want to smack myself because I’m middle aged!!!

    I am NOT going to show my 14 year old daughter the picture of your 14 year old son. She’ll want his myspace page, they’ll have a long distance romance then we’ll both be attending mime conventions.

    LOVE the way you talk to your kids about what THEY want to do. I think it really helps them talk it out and refine their ideas. Of course, they are soooo young but when they can say, I like this and I don’t like that and I’m not so good at this but I am good at that…you’re helping them to get to know themselves better.

    And I know exactly what you mean about wanting your kids to be socially savvy and happy. We know how painful it is NOT to be. We want them to be comfortable in their own skins and to be appreciated for who they are.

    Mia, I know you had a really rough time in your family not being acknowledged as an individual and nothing will ever change that. But at least it stops with you. You’ve taken charge and are being an entirely different kind of mother. The wonderful kind.

  13. This is a great post. I struggle with being afraid people won’t like me enough too. I hate how much I want my blog to be read and commented on…

    My oldest son, who is brilliantly gifted, used to aspire to being a cat when he grew up so he could nap all day. Now he is in a highly ranked college and wants to study nothing but foreign languages, literature and art history. His father is hoping he won’t follow his footsteps and major in philosphy. I am hoping he enjoys all he studies but can then find a job that will repay the loans while he also supports a family… sigh. In the end I hope they all glorify God and love the people God brings them.

  14. Oh they ARE smart.
    It reminds me of when my mom offered to talk abour S-E-X anytime we had a question, so I said “Okay, I have just one . . .” She blushed and said she was sorry, she just couldn’t do it. I was both testing and teasing. Sounds like you passed!
    You’re great, Mia. I’d invite you to my party.

  15. Mia

    Nina: A mime convention…lolololol Thank you so much for the comment. I think we are BOTH great moms.

    Cloudscome I think philosophy would be an amazing pursuit! Your son sounds great. Having his start striving to be a cat…lol… your story about your son has given me HOPE!!!:o)

    Abebech my sex ed consisted of: “The best birth control is orange juice. Not before, not after but instead of.” bwahahahahaha
    I would come to your party!!!

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