I had my engagement ring that was a moonstone in a gold band setting reset. I loved the ring but my knuckles are bigger than they were 30 years ago and the ring no longer fit on any finger, unless pinkies count but this was not a pinky ring. So, I found someone to redo it last month and she did a very nice job. I picked it up on Wednesday and started wearing it.
And no one said anything.
Well, I haven’t seen that many people in the last two days and I am wearing gloves a lot of the time and I can probably come up with more reasons no one noticed but the main reason that no one noticed is that there is no one who is committed to noticing — what I do, what I wear, and how I feel. This is a time of learning to do for myself and only myself.
It is true that on occasion Julia notices a little bit — a red sweater that she hasn’t noticed before, perfume — but generally I am unremarkable to her. I could make the same supper for her almost every day and as long as I switched out jasmine rice and noodles once in a while, she’d never notice. This is not much different from her typically developing peers but a typically developing kid might notice out of politeness if nothing else. This is a social skill that Julia is very far from understanding.
I guess . . . no, it’s true. I have been seeking approval and recognition forever! I don’t mean that I’ve never done anything for myself, of course, I have, but never completely. Everything was in some way in hopes of pleasing.
Where it came from is easy — mother. I had a mother I could never please. I knew that very early but I kept on trying. However, the more I tried, or rather, when I tired hard, whatever I was trying at was very far from anything that she would ever approve of. For a child yearning for approval, we were a mismatched pair. There were very few “good jobs” or high fives in our house. I brought my well-learned lesson to friends and lovers. I imposed it on David — I don’t think that pleasing him was his idea. It was very hard on my when he did not like/approve/enjoy because of something I did or some idea I had.
I could go on about this but the present lesson that I am learning is to please myself. Is this finding myself? It is very hard. Having no one to please has left a huge hole in the reason I wake up in the morning — why write, why clean, why cook, why accomplish. Slowly, very slowly, I feel a turning. The house is comfortable . . . for me. This redone ring . . pleases me. Travel that we do, clothes I buy, the big ginger cat that lies on my lap is for me. I wonder if I will come to enjoy this pleasing. If I can just enjoy what I do, how will I change?
Strange new world.