As a child, I remember bringing home a "B" on a test. I was pleased because I'd struggled with understanding and learning the material. I was told that I could do better. As I got older, I learned better studying habits and began to consistently get "As". I remember bringing home a glowing report card and having it dismissed with "you always do well".
Something broke in me then. I kept getting good grades but my impulse to please these adults whose opinion was once everything to me started to slip away. The emotional distance grew and I began to construct walls. My go to for most of my childhood and my adult life was to construct walls between myself and others. I'd learned that I couldn't get support from those people who should have been my earliest support network.
I listened to the beginning of a podcast with Adam Corolla a few days ago in which the topic was "How Did You Spend Your Quarantine Months". Mr Corolla talked about he spent his time producing and writing and only the foolish and the lazy spent it binge watching Netflix. In his opinion, we should have spent our time learning to play the mandolin or becoming fluent in Welsh.
Thanks for the expectations that I was unable to meet. I've tried to remain productive during the pandemic, focusing on the knowing that this will all pass and we will pick up the threads of our old lives at some point in the future, but I've also spent most of the time in low key depression, struggling against the feelings of isolation and bleakness.
Don't tell me what I should have done or who I could have been. I don't want to hear it. If you spent the pandemic just trying to stay on an even keel or binge watching the "Tiger King", then you did just fine.
You didn't need to remodel your kitchen, learn watercoloring, or start the perfect garden. We need to stop trying to measure up to someone else's expectations. Whatever you did, you're still here and that is all that matters to me. You are worthy of of love and respect. You possess value. I love you exactly the way that you are.
Just stay with me, please. You did everything you needed to do. Just stay.