Sunday, 31 January 2021

1,001 times I've been wrong

(and counting)

I'm wearing joggers now. And I swore to myself that I never would. I was sure that I would skip the athleisure trend, convinced that I'd found my style and would stick to it forever: casual boho-inspired cowgirl, lots of denim, boots,  and pretty dresses (if you can't picture it, click here for some visuals). 

But I caved. I saw enough women wearing cute joggers for the past year or two, and I finally ordered my first pair a few months ago. Quickly followed by 2 (or 3?) more pairs, some leggings, and some casual boxy sweaters. Did I mention that I also believed, once upon a time, that leggings aren't pants? Oh, how little I knew.
I wear all of them not just around the house, but outside in the real world, at work (not the leggings, just the joggers), and pretty much all the damn time. And I love it. 

Being wrong is getting a bad rep. It seems like an admission of failure. Failure, incidentally, has a really bad rep, and is feared so much that it prevents many of us from trying new things. But they are the most natural parts of growing, and should therefore be embraced rather than feared.   

In the (frivolous, but what's wrong with being frivolous?) example of embracing a new fashion trend, I've gained something new that brings me joy. Sure, I had to admit that I didn't know myself as well as I thought I did, but what's wrong with that? It's perfectly okay to change your mind. 

You said it, Lady Grantham.

There are, of course, more serious topics I've been wrong about. "Not seeing colour" was something I thought was commendable, before I learnt last year that it's part of the problem of racism.
I believed that "not being a political person" was a choice instead of a privilege. 
I never even heard of white privilege before last year, which of course proves that I have white privilege. 
I secretly thought that many feminists disliked men, and never wanted to be grouped into that category. I can't believe I once thought that, because how wrong was I? Wanting equality has nothing to do with hate and everything with the desire that all humans are being treated equal.    

On the lighter side, there has been the amazing realization that I love cats in addition to dogs.
I've written about it before, but it's worth mentioning again. The thing about putting yourself into little boxes is that you limit yourself for absolutely no reason. Thankfully, I'm breaking out of ever more boxes over time, opening myself up to more love, more joy, and more possibilities!

I've also stated before (in a book no less) that I would never wear a step counter ever again. 
I let it rule my life in my thirties, which was horrible. I would think terrible things about myself and my worth when I didn't fulfill the goal I had set myself for the day. I stay behind my promise to never again be the slave to a gadget or that mindset ever again.
But I was wrong about the culprit. It wasn't the step counter's fault. 

The culprit was a combination of diet culture, my upbringing, the people I surrounded myself with, and my own insecurities channeling themselves into body insecurities, because that's what women have been taught to focus on from the time they're little girls. 
Once I started unlearning that toxic mindset and started to appreciate movement for what it was (a great way to clear your mind, make your muscles sing, get a dose of endorphins, feel strong and fit, keep yourself healthy, get an idea for the next plot of my novel), I was opening myself up to possibilities again. 

Because diet culture keeps you small. It limits your thinking, your worldview, and your options. It makes you believe that there is only one way ahead: by shrinking yourself. Nothing else is as important as that one tiny, stupid goal: to see your weight go down. Career ambitions, personal goals, relationships, happiness, peace, or the world at large pale in comparison to that one, teeny-tiny goal.

Your world shrinks to almost nothing. 
I was caught in that trap. Most women are, unless they grow up with progressive thinkers, or they're exceptionally strong. I had/was neither, so I had to fight my way out of that thicket by leaps and bounds. 

Last October I bought myself my first ever Fitbit, and this time around it's completely different. Instead of ruling my life, it's enhancing it. I don't beat myself up when I don't reach my goal. It's motivating, not punishing. I've always loved to walk, and I always feel better after. I'm a naturally restless person, and whenever I need to mull something over/feel penned up/frustrated/bored, I need to go for a walk. However, in typical illogical human fashion, taking that first step is often incredibly hard. I'd rather think or talk about how "I should go for a walk" instead of doing it, because that would make too much sense. 

That little gadget on my wrist motivates me to take the first step, and after that it's easy. I've noticed a huge improvement in my mental and physical health since going for my daily walks, and I feel better than ever! 

Other things I said I would never do:

- Breed our dogs. Needless to say I was wrong about that. It was the best!

- Cut my own hair. I've been cutting my bangs and trimming the ends of my hair for two years now, and I love not being dependent on hair salons anymore. 

- Stop explaining myself. Especially to people who are determined to misunderstand me. You do you, and I keep doing me, baby. 

- Take another job that takes me away from home. After living and working away from home for half the year in 2018/2019, I thought I would never do that again. Well, last May I took another job that would take me away, this time only every second weekend. It's turned out to be my favourite job yet, and I treasure my weekends away. It's an extravaganza of alone time that recharges me for days! It's also my creative high time, because there are no distractions apart from the calls to the hospital. I'm doing some of my best writing here! 

- Wear Dr. Martens boots again. I thought I had outgrown my infatuation with Docs, as we lovingly called them in my youth, but once again, I was wrong. I bought this pair last fall, and I've honestly worn almost nothing since. Hands down the best winter boots I've ever owned.

I've been wrong in believing that other people's happiness is my responsibility, and that it's my job to act as cheerleader, shoulder to lean on and emotional trashcan. It's not
I've misjudged people, believing what they told me instead of what they showed me.
I still have the tendency to focus on the worst-case scenario instead of trusting that everything will work out (despite overwhelming evidence and a long history of things working out just fine).

I've been wrong countless times. And that's okay.
Don't be afraid of mistakes. Don't be ashamed to admit if you were wrong. The people who point fingers and cast blame are the ones with most to hide. 

As Brene Brown says:
"If you are not in the arena also getting your butt kicked, I'm not interested in you feedback."

Or my favourite, Lady Grantham:

Cheers to living and learning, growing and expanding, messing up over and over again, and not listening to the haters!  
Share:

3 comments

  1. Cheers indeed, Miriam! Very well said. You are growing so strong in feminine wisdom (Sophia).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm working towards becoming a wise, eccentric, tough but kind woman with long white hair who is open and patient and doesn't care what anybody else thinks!

      Delete

Thanks for commenting! I always reply to comments here, so check back in a day or two!

© Miriam Verheyden | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig