I've read that opinions are like assholes ... everybody's got one. Here's mine. ( Ahem, my Opinions! Not booty!)

Taylor

 

Taylor | 30 | Business Management/Blogger/Soon to be Stay-At-Home-Mom

What has been the toughest lesson you’ve learned?

That people will not always like you. No matter how kind, or good, or wonderful or <insert the most desirable of adjectives here> - some people just won’t like you. It evens out in the end, because on the flip side – there are people that you won’t like.

What insecurity has plagued your life the most?

Not being good enough. The thing is: I can’t please everybody. I can’t be the best at everything. I can’t be perfect. I continue to (try) not participate in my “need-to-please-all” behaviors … I continue to (try) not to compare my weaknesses to other people’s strengths. No matter how great I am, somebody else (at least in my opinion) will always be greater - And that’s just not the right way to think. The goal is to be good enough – for myself.

When do you feel vulnerable?

I feel vulnerable when somebody is asking something of me that I don’t want to give. My need-to-please behavior prevents me from speaking my mind; I have a hard time simply saying “no”. I’m not a fighter by nature, and I tend to get taken advantage of because I’m not comfortable enough to say what’s really on my mind. (This issue does not seem to apply to my family and close friends … who all get an earful of my opinions with no hesitation.) But for the most part – when confronted with a situation that I don’t want to be in, more times than not I feel that I get taken advantage of – which makes me feel weak/vulnerable and then later bitter/resentful.

What do you fear the most?

Losing a child. My stomach aches just imagining that pain. I pray every day that I live to 100, and that my babies all outlive me.

If you could change one thing in everybody’s mind – what would it be?

I wish the world was more tolerant. More accepting. More forgiving. More open minded. I wish that we’d stop rallying with hate and judgment. It’s impossible for us all to be on the same page – and in my eyes  – the variety of opinions and types of people is what makes the world interesting. If you don’t like the way somebody acts/lives – who cares? Don’t live that way and move on. If you don’t agree with the gay lifestyle, don’t be gay. If you don’t agree with Buddhism, don’t be Buddhist. (As examples) Do what makes you happy, and offer other people the same freedom. 

What are you thankful for?

The wonderful people in my life. My parents are warm and loving. I married a wonderful man, and we are raising the most scrumptious little boy – with a baby girl on the way. I have great friends who have kept me sane in more situations than not. I’m not unaware that my life is charmed – so many other people in the world struggle with daily violence, or live in fear of danger. I am eternally grateful for the love and comfort that my life has wrapped around me.

What are you (as an individual – children and marriage aside) most proud of?

I’m far from perfect … but in my core of cores I believe that I am a nice person – kind and warm and accepting. What I’ve learned over the years is that my bubbly and happy-go-lucky attitude has often times come across as fake. What I am proud of is knowing the kindness isn’t fake. It’s true-blue and genuine. Maybe I’m naive, but I’d rather believe in the goodness of people than in the alternative.

What is, has, or will stop you from pursuing your dreams?

Just me. Just that devil voice in my head telling me that I’m not good enough and that I’m wasting my time, and setting myself up for failure. I’m ambitious and whimsy but I have lacked follow-through my whole life because well, that devil voice tends to squash my confidence.

What keeps you motivated to keep going – when the going gets tough?

My son. My husband. My parents. My friends. Life is ebb and flow. I’ve hated the times when I’ve been deep in the lows … but even when the bad luck is pouring down so hard on me that I feel like I’m drowning … wonderful people pull me back up. My people are my everything … I am nothing without them.

Describe what love feels like to you.

Little hands reaching for you. Little voices saying that they love you. (Really just all things relating to my little one!) Hugs and cuddles (even as an adult) from my parents. Pillow talk with my husband and that perfect nook on his chest that I burrow my head in. Laughter with friends. The sun on my face, the wind in my hair and the beach. 

What is something about yourself that you’ve always tried to hide?

My struggle with God. Do I believe? Do I not believe? What do I believe? I grew up Christian. Several years ago I started questioning my beliefs. I went into Christian overdrive and threw myself into church. I tried so hard to trigger my beliefs; to jolt my relationship with God. But I couldn’t, and ultimately I changed my beliefs. I questioned my beliefs. And for awhile I just stopped believing. I felt scared and worried and vulnerable.

I have researched different beliefs and non beliefs. I have over-thought, over-communicated, worried, stressed, and fought myself over what I believe. And the truth is: I just don’t know. I just can’t be sure.

I am jealous of people who feel strong and sure in their beliefs. Did I believe in Christianity because that is what I was taught? Is that why most people believe in what they believe – because it’s what their parents/peers taught them? And how are so people so sure? I understand what faith means, but some people take faith so seriously that it isn’t something that they just believe in – it’s a truth, a reality, a fact.

Wars have been fought over religious beliefs. Families have divided over religious beliefs. Relationships with God are the most intimate in nature … and I surely never want to disrespect anybody’s beliefs. I respect all religion. I respect all belief. But I’ve been attacked/challenged/belittled on occasions where I’ve let my guard down and opened up. Even without a religious foundation I have found that I’m still a good person. I still want to do the right thing and live morally. I still hope … and I still pray. I am fascinated by God – and my relationship with God will be a lifelong journey.

If you could share one piece of advice with the world, what would it be?

Be nice! Just be nice to everybody that you meet.

What is your heaviest burden?

Not messing up my kids. All I want is for them to grow up to be kind and generous people. I want them to be happy. There are plenty of mistakes that I have made so far, and more that are yet to come … but I hope that I raise them to be good people.

I also struggle with how unfair the world is. On a daily basis I am aware that I was born into privilege that parts of the world will never receive. I feel thankful for my luck, and simultaneously guilty that I was blessed while others were not.

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Matthew

Lindsay

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