Thursday, October 21, 2010

Questioning Yourself

I have been going through a bit of an emotional "funk" lately. I'm trying to pull myself out of it, but so far, it ain't workin'. I find myself going through a period of questioning myself, questioning things about me that I believe are true and then suddenly, I feel like maybe . . I'm not.

Case in point #1: I worked on a nightmare of a project for six months. I put amazingly long hours into it, did enormous amounts of research, wrote, rewrote, revised, re-revised, trying to complete it as the editor was asking. Directions were vague to say the least. While working on it, the company gave me two other projects to work on . . . . it was stressful and I really poured myself into it. Editor B said I did a great job on project 2. Editor A, however, started with comments like "could use a few changes" and escalated to "we have hired someone else to fix everything you did, so you aren't likely to get paid". Many rants have been inspired by this project, lemme tell ya. At this point, I am guessing the $2000 I was expecting will turn into something like $200.

Case in point #2: I, like a billion other people on the planet, was looking around Facebook and came across my fiancee from back in the late 1970s. Thinking, apparently like a WOMAN, I thought I would say hello to him. Since then, we have exchanged about a dozen emails in which I have been told I basically ruined his life. I mean, it was 30 years ago people. I figured he was long married and had kids and I wanted to wish him a happy life. Best of intentions. But clearly, I have caused him a life time of pain. Okay then . . . .

Case in point #3: I wrote a column for Home Education Magazine that yes, had some seriousness to it, but was mostly just a call for young people to take parenting seriously and to educate themselves on important issues before blindly making childrearing decisions. Once again, best of intentions. Instead, I seem to have upset some readers and even a friend of mine found a lot to question in what I said.

So, I find myself flucuating between confidence in my beliefs and abilities and memories and self-doubt about them. I know this ties into the fact that work is slow, income is down, winter is coming and my emotional well-being is a little shakier than usual. See that huge black spiral I seem to be caught in?

I think I'd better find a life preserver pretty quick.


Susie Kieper said...

Can I see the column from Home Education Magazine? Be nice to yourself!

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...


I've struggled with the whole self doubt thing off and on my entire life.

Hang in there.

Ami said...

No matter what you think, someone won't like it.

Probably the same with writing.

Not everyone is going to understand where you're coming from. But that's not really your problem, is it?

You know where I am if you wanna rant...

Anonymous said...

I'm deeply sorry to hear all of that

Anonymous said...

Is the same amazing column I read earlier? Tam, it must the month for self-doubting amongst very talented people.
My ex (very first real) high school boyfriend and I have made friends as adults in the last 6 years. Apparently I didn't have as deep of an impression on him, as you did on yours ex-boyfriend, since mine seems unscathed by me. (damn) But he-- like you--is very talented. He had some blows this month, too and moments of self-doubt, which like your tale, shocked me a little. Both of you are so talented, it's incomprehensible to me. It’s good I’m not as talented or I’d be a prima donna and blame it on the rest of the world, while I sulked at the injustice of it all in a day spa.
You are the “bar” I aim for, the "success story" who built her career on drive, motivation and sheer talent. I knew you when you got a writing foyer article for a really big name publisher at the same time we were hunting for matching shoes for kids in the your own foyer and I left there wondering, “how the hell is this poor woman going to balance it all and be a mom with a career?” And yet, I knew you could do it. And you did, successfully for (gasp) decades now. If there is anyone out there who is talented, on many levels—it’s you.
Reading both your stories, I wonder if this isn't a common experience of highly effectual, highly talented people--- a lot of the rest of the world doesn't try as hard or have as high an inner drive for quality. The majority is status quo, so they don't feel these blows as much or as deeply, because they don't strive for perfection and achieve it often.
All of us know you as an inspiration. Thank you for your honesty about struggles, because it's helpful to know that even truly talented people have a few bad days. Your transparency is always such a beautiful part of who you are. Tread water for a few minutes and catch your breath, but look at the vast oceans of your successes and be carried forward by that strong inner current that has served you well for so long.
I love you and keep swimming.