Posted by: Judy | April 22, 2019

Stop Lying…

…especially to yourself.

Whenever I’m asked to visualize I tend to drop into defensive mode. I don’t know why the suggestion triggers irritation. I think it’s because it’s usually prefaced by “You can be whatever you want to be.”

No. No, you can’t.

I always wanted to be a jockey. However, the ideal weight is about 115 lb. I was 125 pounds by the time I was a freshman in high school and 5’5″. That puts me at 14 years old. I wasn’t fat, and I wasn’t finished growing. No amount of visualizing would ever make me an even remotely healthy 115 lb. Scratch that dream.

After returning from Thailand, I wanted to be an interpreter. I was adding French and Spanish and finally American Sign Language. Then I discovered I can only think in one language at a time. You have to be able to hop between languages. I can’t do it. My brain gets stuck. It was quite the trick when I was learning ASL because ASL sentence structure is similar to Thai. As I became more proficient in ASL, I found myself translating from English to Thai to ASL and back. I couldn’t shorten it. No amount of visualizing changed the way my brain tracked. In fact, the more I worked, the worse it became. The problem came when I wasn’t sure what language I was in. Scratch that dream.

More than anything, I wanted to be a wife and mother. I visualized like crazy. I bought books for children for the library I wanted in the house for them. I bought household items, books on science experiments with children, activity idea books. I took classes and classes and more classes. I’m more than a half century. Time ran out. Granted, I’ve come to the conclusion that God was right and I was wrong. Doesn’t change the fact that I’ve scratched another dream off the list.

I’ve visualized being successful at any of a number of jobs, including at writing. I published books, but I’m not successful. I’m not truly successful at much of anything.

Scratch that. I’m astonishingly successful at one thing: Surviving. In the world I grew up in that’s pretty amazing. I worked hard. I visualized things being better. I visualized changes that I’ve successfully made. I’ve also visualized changes I haven’t succeeded at making, yet. I rework the plan and re-visualize.

You cannot be whatever you want to be. Everyone has limitations. I’ve worked hard to learn to not feel cheated just because somethings are beyond me. Just because somethings are beyond me doesn’t mean everything is.

I think I’ve too often used the things I want that are beyond my reach as a convenient excuse to not try at all. It’s a lazy way of lying to myself. Because I have all these limitations, what’s the point of dreaming big? I’ve failed at accomplishing all these other things, I obviously haven’t got what it takes to succeed.

I won’t be a jockey or an interpreter or a host of other things I’ve wanted to be. I’m starting small: I’m learning to be healthy, for the first time in my life. Better late than never. We’ll see where I go from here.

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