Sunday, November 10, 2019

Trust Yourself

I used to be extremely private. Definitely while going through infertility and even more so when going through fertility treatments. I was also very private about my marriage. There were incompatibilities from the beginning, but I never told anyone or talked about it. It's one of the reasons why I stayed in a marriage that wasn't good for me for so long. I wasn't talking to anyone (not even the awesome therapist I was seeing during infertility) and so, therefore, I wasn't hearing myself. That's something I don't ever want to repeat.

I'm still a private person (except when I'm blogging anonymously on the internet, haha), but lately I've been sharing more. Just venting a little to trusted co-workers and processing with my best friend. I appreciate everyone's support. It's good for me to talk because then I can hear myself and be honest with myself about what I'm thinking and feeling. Then I can take this new knowledge and apply it to changing my life in ways that I need to change. For one, I'm getting better at communicating my needs with others. For another, I'm getting better at not communicating my needs with people who are unable to respect my feelings and boundaries.

However, as great as it is that I'm being more honest and open, I've noticed something over the last several weeks: it's easy for others to play armchair quarterback on your life.

I am so, so glad that I am the age I am with the lessons that I've learned along the way. Younger me had no boundaries, oozed all over the place, looked to others for validation, and always questioned my own decisions. Infertility taught me boundaries. (I mean, nothing taught me that no one else is living my life better than the fact that I'm almost the only adult I know living without children. My life really is different from the majority of my friends and family.) And leaving my husband and getting divorced taught me to trust myself. (Again, no one else is living my life... Even I wasn't living my own life for awhile...)

These lessons are serving me well now.

I was going through some thoughts and feelings and stuff last month. I shared with others. And, just like it was with infertility, everyone had an opinion on what I should do. (Side note: my sister that I've reconnected with told me again recently that she only likes talking to me about her current hard times because I'm the only one that just listens and doesn't ask intrusive questions or offer unsolicited advice.)

I get that that's how people connect, by relating and offering their opinions. And I appreciate that the people I chose to talk to listened to me. But I am also reeeally glad I didn't take anyone's advice. None of it was very good. Ha!

Now that a couple of weeks have passed, the same people that I trusted have trusted me. (Another side note: How nice it is to finally have reciprocal relationships in my life!) And now I know what stressors exist in their lives. And now I understand their advice to me. It's just easier to make the tough calls on OTHER people's lives, especially when you're going through your own crap that you're not ready to change yet.

All this to say... Whatever you are going through right now, trust yourself. Listen to others, but you are your only authority. You know yourself better than anyone else. You don't have to know any answers right now because, even if you don't feel like you do, you've got this. Trust yourself.


  1. This is such good advice. I'm glad you are listening to yourself. You're worth listening to!

  2. Oh yes, yes, yes to this: "You are your only authority." Advice is easy to give without thought, and it's amazing how many people can be inadvertently hurtful because they "just wanted to help." Just listening and having someone feel heard when they tell you their problems is such a gift, and I'm glad your sister recognizes that in you! It reminds me of a video voiced by Brene Brown on empathy and letting people feel their feels as opposed to trying to fix it. It's human nature to try to fix things and be uncomfortable with the muck, but it's so amazing when you find someone who can sit with you in the muck instead of trying to dig you out. And lovely when you have that trust in yourself to say, "I know what I need, thank you very much" and not take the unsolicited advice to heart. Easier said than done, but it sounds like you are navigating this well! So hard to walk that line between honest and open AND vulnerable to others' bullshit. :)

  3. This is so true! And if there's one area where people love to play armchair quarterback with others' lives, it's family building and infertility, right? When all we really want sometimes is for people to listen to us, say they're sorry for what we're going through, and maybe give us a hug...