Dear whoever: I have to stop blaming you for my self doubt.

It’s been a trying few weeks. I’ve mastered yet another semester, and after looking at what’s “left” to earn a degree (not much), I’m just…going through it. Last week, I received some constructive criticism, and I was recognizably irritated by it. I’ll get to that.

I’m a stay-at-home mom. I love being at home with my daughter, and I don’t think anyone out there could ever provide the care that I do for her in these formative years. It’s a privilege to be at home with her. I realize that.

But I had been told numerous times, by a number of people, that I’d start to get cabin fever.

It hit me. Hard.

It started during my husband’s deployment. The monotony, the “stuck” feeling of being on the outside of everyone else’s work schedule. The only thing keeping me marginally sane were my consistent YMCA visits. My Zumba Fridays became a highlight of my time in Pennsylvania, and this instructor (along with another) may have no idea just how much these classes helped fight off the depression and worries that every week away from my husband brought. I rolled out of bed just a little faster on Friday mornings, I fretted a little less on Saturday afternoons, knowing that I had an hour to enjoy myself and often, a lunch date with my sister and niece.

I loved what these instructors did–and I thought, maybe, I could do HALF of that for someone else in Minot. It’d be worth it. In August, I took the plunge and got licensed to become a Zumba Instructor with my sister. It was an amazing experience.

My husband’s deployment was rapidly coming to an end; I’ll spend time in Pennsylvania getting in better shape and preparing myself for jobs back home, I thought.

I actually started losing weight. I actually started feeling better. My resting heart rate went down, I could handle a lot of Cardio with ease. I was even remembering my own steps quite well.

Two steps forward, one step back.

I didn’t realize how emotionally and physically taxing school, relocating (again) back to North Dakota, the Holidays, and finding a job in a city I just never seem to f*cking know could be.  I was rapidly gaining weight again, unable to keep up with cardio, and just…managing.

That’s when I became my biggest problem.

Things were hectic for well over a month after our (late) return to North Dakota. My husband’s schedule became a constant pitfall in my goals, my plans, my life. I’m realizing it now, and it’s a shitty, “you don’t get it unless you get it” feeling. This Military life makes it so easy for you to blame your spouse. All the cards have been set up for me to blame my husband for my lack of success in my career.

I have to stop.

I have to stop expecting this to be “fair.” Despite him being ripped from my life for six months, I still struggle with acceptance of this.

  • I accept that I am not a victim of love. I enjoy love, I love my husband, I love my life. We are free–not victims, and we choose a life with sacrifices that others would not make, and others make sacrifices that we don’t.
  • I accept that his schedule and his duty is a challenge, NOT a problem. I loafed around for weeks not even looking for employment because him him him. But really it was me.
  • I have a right to a life. I can have what I want; I can do this. I can’t expect it to be handed to me at my pace. I can’t compare myself to everyone else.


If we think of the world in terms of the universe, it is small and claustrophobic; if we think about open prairie and distant lands, it is huge.

I have to remember that.

So, that criticism. I have been given an opportunity to interact and get to know some instructors in my town–as well as practice teaching. I have been enjoying it so much these past few weeks. Long story short, my method was criticized as being “too different” and it really, really bugged me.

For days. Then I got mad that I let a simple criticism bug me. I suddenly felt like this realm of creativity as an instructor was being squashed, I felt like people were complaining about me, I felt I wasn’t being liked for being me. I felt like I shouldn’t bother being somewhere that I’m not liked for who I am, I felt like all those things.

And it was them them them. But really, it’s all me. It took days of meditating, talking my husband’s ear off, fretting about why I hadn’t heard back from other places  and ready to shun an opportunity (did I piss someone off somewhere? Is my name too hard to figure out?) and reflecting to see that my own self-doubt is kicking my ass.  

It’s okay to try my method a different way. I might like it!
I’m grateful people here are giving me a chance.
I can’t build every bridge; but I can cross each one I come upon.
I’ve done a lot of kick ass things. It’s perfectly fine to give myself credit.

I am allowed to FEEL.

I owe myself that. I am allowed to be hurt by words and actions, just as they excite, fuel, motivate me. And make me feel happy, and loved. I also owe it to myself to understand why something made me feel that way, and how I make it a positive.

You can’t change every situation. You can only change your view of the situation.

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