I started binge-watching The Good Wife on Netflix the other night. Hubby was looking after bedtime, so I poured a glass of wine and watched the pilot. It’s a great show, but it makes me sad and wistful watching it.
When I was little, my parents would get a kick out of asking me, in front of their friends, what I wanted to be when I grew up. I used to say I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice, but even at 6 I thought maybe that was a little lofty. In all seriousness though, I wanted to be a lawyer more than anything. I looked at LSAT books at my high school library, even did a few of the practice tests.
Instead, I went to college and took Child and Youth Work. A thankless profession, and one that I declined to enter for college-placement-burnout reasons, among others.
I always think about why I didn’t choose university and then law school, and the truth is that I didn’t think I was smart enough for university. That is the real tragedy: that I didn’t believe enough in myself to fulfill my dreams. That I didn’t think I was intelligent enough, after being on the honour roll for most of my primary school years (let’s leave high school out of it – I discovered boys and that was the end of the honour roll). Because of this low opinion of my worthiness, I am also blessed with a profound inability to speak in front of large groups of people, and though I have taught myself to fake-it-til-I-make-it by forcing myself to go first in every college presentation, it still follows me: that insanely stupid voice in my head that says “But we know the real truth, don’t we? You don’t know what you’re talking about and these people don’t think you do either.”
I have a daughter of my own now, and watching her learn makes me want to shout my belief in her from the rooftops. That I never felt able to do that for myself makes me incredibly sad. I can’t bear the thought of her feeling this way about herself, and denying herself her dreams because of such nonsense. I refuse to let her believe for a minute that she is not worthy of anything she wants to do, whether it’s doctor or waste collection professional.
So today I quit. I quit being such a bitch to myself, and I am going to learn to live for myself as well as her, and my husband, and to treat myself as well as I treat them. As I have dreams and hopes for her, it is never EVER too late to realize that I can have dreams and hopes too, for myself. Not sure how those dreams will be achieved yet, but I feel good about stepping in the right direction.