Tuesday, May 12, 2020


It's so discouraging to be you. To try, and try, and fail, and try again, and then turn around - and there you are. Fundamentally, it seems, flawed.

I feel destined to spend my life desperately seeking existential validation from other humans. It is crippling when someone is displeased with me; I am basically useless until I can bend over backward, eliminating every dignity, to set things right. No matter how old I get, I am always a child terrified of displeasing others. 

Are we okay? Am I okay?
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
I'm just a mess. I'm sorry.

Conventional Christian wisdom tells me to find my worth and confidence in Christ, and on good days, I can. On bad days, my time in Scripture further convinces me that I will never, ever measure up. And on those bad days, it's hard not to believe that the good days were just a result of a successful internal pep talk. 

Because there's the rub: I naturally, subconsciously have determined that it's also up to me to validate the existence of everyone else, to meet every other need that I encounter since of course I expect that for myself, from the rest of the world. This is, of course, completely crazy, yet I keep coming back to Paul's desire to be "poured out like a drink offering" - a sentiment with which I completely identify. But I don't do it right. I feel I have to meet all these needs and then of course I let them all down.

We received sixteen ducklings in the mail, but three of them didn't survive the trip. Their little bodies were crumpled in the corners. I keep dreaming about them, keep dreaming that I will kill these ducks like I killed my sweet gray cockatiel in high school. I took too much on, too many responsibilities, and even though I took care of her needs, I stopped engaging with her - I couldn't tell anything was wrong until she was splayed at the bottom of her cage. 

So am I destined to run around like a frantic hen, insufficiently trying to meet every need and meeting none? And using that as an indicator of my lack of worth?

Is life supposed to be a cycle of guilt and failure?

Oh Maegan, get out of your head. You have a good life. Every day is a new opportunity to walk carefully and do the best you can. Go bake, go drink a cup of coffee, go sit in the sunshine, go for a run. You'll feel better in the morning.

(As a sidenote, it is reassuring to see my suspicions about kids and pets confirmed. Kids and pets do not mix. Kids get bored with animals incredibly quickly. I have felt so guilty about saying no to fish, reptiles, birds... and these adorable ducklings have been a confirmation that I was right. No more guilt. I'd rather say no a hundred times than have yet another animal die at my hands, or tenderly care for a green iguana that no one looks at anymore. Thankfully, Brian wanted these ducks - we didn't just get them for the kids. It was the intention that the boys would take care of them, and that's still the plan - when the ducks feather out and require less maintenance, I guess.)

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