Like a lot of creative people, I'm hard on myself when I actually sit down to create something. I'm pretty lenient and supportive when it comes to other people, but I hold myself to very high standards. I was raised to be that way, even though I am quite sure that my parents don't actually see any evidence that those teachings actually sunk in. I'm not competitive or the sort of person who wants to be better than other people. However, I do very much want to feel like I'm perpetually besting myself as the years go by and I put more and more out there into the world. When I look at all that I'm doing and all that I've done, I have to admit that I'm really pleased with my progress. I'm not where I ultimately want to be by any means, but I do feel like I'm getting there.
I feel like I complain a lot about life and about work, especially offline. However, I have my reasons for it. I don't know of a way to express this without sounding like a whiny little princess, but life has always been hard for me -- harder than it is for some people. At 36 years of age, I now realize that I've struggled with bipolarism that is characterized by potentially dangerous, depressive lows. I've also come to a place where I strongly suspect I may have Asperger's syndrome (and Seth pretty much agrees, as his eldest son has a pretty pronounced case of it himself and he knows what it looks like).
I think I'm finally getting to a place where I'm really OK with who I am though, flaws, challenges, and all. At the end of the day, I don't love every last one of my qualities and I will always wish that there were things about me that were different -- but I actually like myself. I'm somebody I wouldn't mind knowing if I were on the outside looking in. We're enjoying the tail end of Thanksgiving weekend here in America. It suddenly occurred to me that I'm not just thankful for having people in my life who love and support me as I am, but also for being someone who is pretty worthwhile at the end of the day.
I'm proud of myself for the way I've accepted myself for who I am and the way I've managed to overcome some of the problems I've had over the course of my lifetime. I'm especially proud of the way I'm in business for myself, making money actually using the talents I was given as a writer. It's a lot sometimes -- and sometimes it's even way too much -- but at the end of the day, it's gratifying that I actually have people beating my virtual door down because the quality of the services I offer is actually that good. I had given up on the idea of being able to become more than a waitress or a salesgirl a long time ago because of my issues. It's pretty cool to be able to say I'm a writer when people ask me what I do for a living.
I'd normally say that I wish I could be that clear with myself all the time as far as my quality of life, but this time I won't. Ups and downs are just part of my existence and always will be to one extent or another. Also, the downs are motivators in their own way and that's something I'm learning to be cool with. I wouldn't be the writer I am today without them, actually.