Sunday, May 18, 2008


I'm struggling.

Have you ever heard yourself say something to a friend and as the words come out of your mouth you're thinking, 'Wow. I am really sounding crazy here. This is not healthy.' and you still keep talking as if you're not thinking that?

I had that experience on Friday night while talking to my friends Matt and Kelly.

I feel guilty for the stupidest things. And honestly, I'm not entirely sure where that came from.

When I was a kid, I was (by my parent's and sisters accounts) a horrible child. Like I was all strong willed and apparently NO babysitters wanted to babysit if I was going to be there too. Really. I must've been a horrible little child. And unfortunately, I've been reminded of this period of my life that I don't even remember so many times that it's a constant record playing over and over in the background of my head. I'm sure there were good things about me as a child, like when I was sleeping, but I'm not aware of many of them. Because I don't remember those times (I don't even remember thinking those things that made me act like a brat) I feel like I've had to pay for someone else's mistakes and I have to be twice as good, twice as responsible, twice as kind - one for me, and one for the devil child that reigned supreme.

So I lived in black and white. I babysat for a friend's siblings who were absolute hellions as a way of paying back the babysitters I don't even remember. I made sure that I said what I thought I should, made sure to try to live the way my parents wanted me to, didn't break any rules, and didn't take anything from anyone without paying them back. My friends from high school can probably name several instances where this was not true, but I remember feeling like this is something that I had to do and be at all times. It's no wonder I cracked from time to time and behaved like the kid I was.

I've let go of some of those things...but the one thing I've held onto is not taking anything for free. I mean, I feel REALLY guilty for it. I've never been completely comfortable with receiving gifts from friends even on my birthday, and if I have something that needs fixing for my house I'd rather hire a contractor to charge me 500 times what it would really cost than picking up the phone and asking for help. It's not true across the board (my best friend Kelly is making a quilt for me and I love that idea versus feeling guilty about it...but I made sure to pay for all of the materials and plan on sending her something really nice in return) but for the most part, it holds true.

So Friday night I'm literally having an argument with Matt and Kelly (did they even know?) about how I can't take things for free. I feel horrible that Matt is going to drive up to my place after a really hard day of work and climb downstairs into my smelly (no, I have NO idea what that smell is) basement and try to figure out what is wrong with a light receptacle. He's going to figure it out and (gasp!) maybe even fix it. And as the words, "no, no...I wouldn't want you to do that" are coming out of my mouth I'm thinking, 'What the HELL is wrong with you? This guy clearly is okay with doing it or he wouldn't don't really want to pay lots of money for a guy to come by and do it why won't you just say okay?' So I did. I said okay. Meanwhile, I'm thinking immediately of what I can do to pay him back. Do I get them a gift card to someplace special? Kelly literally owns a catering company so it's not like I'm going to make them dinner (unless they really like mac and cheese and hot dogs or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). UGH.

I'm not posting this so either one of them will tell me to not get them something.

I'm posting this so I can realize just how silly this is. I love doing things for people without them asking and without receiving anything in return. It's that I can't understand why people would offer to do things for me without expecting anything in return. Don't they know I was a bad kid? And I is crazy. So I've got to get over it. I've got to let it go and I've got to move on. It's not healthy and it's no way to live my life. And if I ever meet someone who doesn't mind the crazy that is me and actually thinks they'd like to be saddled with me for the rest of my life and we have little crazy kids of our own, I don't want to pass this on to them.


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