I was late leaving work today, and dashed across the street, barely making it in time to queue up for the bus. I didn’t have my pass at hand, and had to rummage in my purse for a minute or two. A little voice in my head whipsered, Really, Mr. Busdriver, I’m not trying to scam a ride, I’ve got a pass in here somewhere…
Two stops later, I jumped off, feeling guilty for riding a bus to get five blocks closer to home. For making the bus stop to let me off. And then, I started to laugh at myself, and couldn’t wait to get home to share my guilt with you, single mothers.
How many of you out there are confident?
How many of you doubt yourselves?
And if you’re one of the latter, how do you become one of the former?
Change the tape in your head.
If you hear a voice inside you saying you’re not worthy, you’re inconvenient, you’re whatever negative adjective you care to stick in there, you need to talk back to it. And you need to trick it, lull it into its usual sense of superiority before you hit it with a change-up. So when I heard that little voice trying to tell me I was selfish and inconvenient for enjoying the bus driver DOING HIS JOB… I started to talk back. Yeah, you’re right, I agreed, meek and reasonable. It was pretty lousy of me to get on the bus when it was already stopped, picking up passengers, and get on the bus. And yes, I was horrible, I didn’t have my pass out at the ready, holding up… no one! I was the last person on the bus! And heaven forbid I should make the bus STOP at a BUS STOP and let me off! Thank god there were other people already waiting to get on or I would have felt like a total loser heel self-centered…!
Right about then is the time when the voice in my head started rolling its eyes in its proverbial head.
Guilt: But what about all the time your mom spends taking care of your kid?
Me: You kidding? Those two are thick as thieves. She’s getting the good end of the bargain.
Guilt: What about the fact you can’t afford anything better than handmedowns for him?
Me: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle. It’s a good thing.
Guilt: What about the no piano lessons, no t-ball camp this summer, no special anything?
Me: Talk to his dad about that. I’m pulling my weight and his besides. I’m sorry I can’t afford fancy things this year. The Kid doesn’t seem to mind. Besides. What about Zoo camp? Special.
Guilt: Well, what about…
Me: *raises eyebrow*
Guilt: *mutters and wanders off in search of a Krispy Kreme donut*
And to parody the inestimable Elizabeth Bear, my inner child rises up and shouts, WIKTORY! And tries not to feel guilty about eating a whole pound of cherries. OOF!