I made a mistake today.
…. & let’s be honest. Mistakes are kinda my forte. You see, if you know me for .023 seconds or longer, you’ll find that I’m this interesting mixture of
a) a people pleaser
b) easily excited
& c) that I can be too fast to speak
+ too slow to think.
* face to palm *
In fact, I catch myself with my foot in my mouth so much that I think I’ve actually tasted my own toes before. Gross, I know. Not as “gross” as my idiocy today. Man. I really messed up. You see? I was excited. I’m not defending myself. I’m just merely pointing out that is was my first mistake. I get worked up, flabbergasted, and discombobulated and whoooops: word vomit. I have the truest of intentions, I swear, but we all know what the road to hell is paved with. Right? Ugh. I fudged up what was meant to be a harmless moment of congratulations.
Hang in there with me…
You ever catch yourself too deep in a sentence? Like, there’s no turning back now!! Might as well make it to the punctuation. Then the sentence is out. BOOM. Quick! Scramble! How can I make this sound better?? Crap. Crap. Abort. Mission abort. You did it again, Kathryn. You can’t take back what you’ve started, the ships sinking. You either jump ship or stay & play with the band. Either way the picture ain’t pretty & they both end with a cold situation with likely drowning.
I’m stalling. I know.
I’m truly offended. Yep, I offended myself. I’m offended for the person I inadvertently offended. I’m mad for the one I unintentionally upset. I’m upset for the one who has rights to be mad. Who might that be?
My sweet, loving, hard-working, handsome husband.
(yeah, I’m buttering him up)
Quick side story: Curtis is and will forever be my knight in shining armor. This man saved me from a world of crazy, and I owe him my daily sanity. Hearing him say, “It’s going to be okay” speaks to my soul. Curtis calms me and provides me with a peace I’ve never known. He makes me a better person just by spending time with him. Simply sitting beside him and observing how he treats others makes me want to be a better person. He makes me want to be better, do better, act better. Listen, we fight & bicker like the rest of ya’s, trust me. But this sweet soul is the most forgiving and least-deserving-of-malarkey man I know. He truly loves me, for what reason I’ve yet to discover. Yet, here I go, making a comment he didn’t deserve to endure. My mouth simply opened up, and out spewed ridiculousness. Sigh. Deep sigh.
Ok…. I’ll stop stalling.
Today I was congratulating a sweet friend of mine on her recent engagement. She’s beaming with excitement and glowing with bride-to-be glee, and naturally I want to shower her in praise & love. It’s an exciting time! I’m truly excited for her! Yes, my excitement is my Achilles heal in this situation. This friend of mine deserves this happiness in her life & I’m geared up to dump more happiness in her lap. She would do the same for me! In fact, she did! She was over the moon excited for Curtis & I when we got engaged. She deserved that in return. Then the people pleaser in me went to work…. but so did my inability to frame my sentence with intelligible speech. My mouth worked quicker than my brain. My foot got ready to seek shelter in my mouth, per usual. My eyeballs land on her gorgeous engagement ring and *pop* out comes a very shallow comment. I have horrible retention for verbatim comments, yes even my own (especially my own), but it was something along the lines of how big the diamond was. Then, like an idiot, I compared it to my ring making me sound apathetic towards mine.
Wait just a damn minute. Katie!
What is yew doin’.
Trust me. I wanted to beat myself up.
That’s kind of what I’m doing now & did for the rest of the day.
Immediate inner thoughts:
Crap. What are you doing, Katie?! What are you even saying? Abort. Stop talking. Don’t look over at Curtis. (I look at Curtis) CRAP! I hurt his feelings, I can see it in his eyes. Save face, save face! Quick! Redirect the conversation elsewhere!!
I honestly cannot remember the 5-10 minutes after that, because all I could think about was how moronic my comments about my ring were. Especially because I have never spoken poorly about my ring. Never. Not once. I don’t have a reason to!
I. Love. My. Beautiful. Ring.
Please re-read that last sentence as many times as it takes for you to believe that’s how I feel, because it’s the ever-loving truth. I absolutely love my antique-inspired, rose gold, perfectly symmetrical, unique, one-of-a-kind ring. It fit me the first time I put it on & it was exactly “my style”. You know why? Curtis LISTENED. He took every bit of advice I had ever given him, and there was a lot of “advice”. He brought my engagement ring dreams to life. He gave me a ring that I was so taken back by that I still cannot believe how good he did. Y’all, he did SO good. Then here I go,
crapping on it.
Literal: face to palm.
Don’t worry. Since then I brought it back up in a private conversation between him & I. As I should have, I thoroughly apologized and leveled with him that I have no idea why I feel like I have to put myself down in order to compliment someone else. I also made sure he knew with every fiber of my being that I appreciate him and his unselfish purchase of my wedding ring & band. He purchased this for me with so much care & thoughtfulness. He surprised me. The fact that he surprised me alone is a huge feat, too, because it’s super duper hard to pull one over on me. He got down on one knee in front of all our kids. He vowed his heart & love to me. ME.
I’ll never really, truly, grasp why he chose me. Sigh.
Here’s my point though… in case you missed it amongst my stupidity & my flamboyant foolery:
I have no idea why I feel like I have to put myself down in order to compliment someone else.
When did that even become a thing? Look, I know I’m not alone in doing that, because I’m constantly getting onto my friends about not putting themselves down. Especially when it comes to comparing ourselves to one another. You know what the number one thief of joy is? Comparisons. It’s true that my friends ring is absolutely beautiful. So is mine. My friends ring sits on her hand as a sign of her commitment to her future husband no differently than mine does to my husband. Her ring has its story behind it just like my ring has a story, too. Each amazing. Each beautiful. Each unique. Not one less than the other. Not one better than the other.
Same goes for our bodies…. or our minds…. or our art…. or our talents… our skills… our parenting style. I have friends who are amazing business women, and I wish I were more savvy like them. I have friends who are thinner than me, and I wish I had their metabolism or their drive to exercise. I have friends who are more voluptuous than me, and I wish I had their sensual beauty and confidence. I have friends who can paint and do calligraphy with ease, and I wish I didn’t get so easily frustrated with my art. I have friends who have more eloquent speech and quick wit, and I wish I didn’t flounder around with my words. I have friends who have multiple babies, or even one baby, and I sit there wishing I could be a better mother like them.
The thing is? We are not less than one another. You may be a better business woman than me, but you’ll still catch me hustling. You may be thinner than me, but you’ll still catch me rocking a 2 piece on the beach. You may be more confident in your body, but you’ll still find me letting loose when I’m comfortable. You may have a beautiful eye and hand for art, but you’ll still catch me creating. You may be smarter or better equipped with fancy vocabulary, and quicker on your feet with your words… but you’ll still catch me writing & talking (but just maybe fumbling from time to time… a lot of times…). Your ring may have a larger stone than mine or a higher price tag than mine, but you’ll still catch me looking down at my left ring finger and admiring it. Watching how the sun hits all the smaller stones and how the intricate details on the side curl up to make cute mustache-like designs. You’ll never see it come off my finger, not even in the 50+ years to come. Some choose to upgrade theirs at certain milestones in their marriage, and that’s cool, ….but not me. I’ll die wearing this ring. I’ll pass this ring down to my granddaughter in my will. I’ll forever cherish what it meant and who gave it to me and the promise it stands for.
Ultimately this post is to point out one thing: stop comparing. Clap for your friends without putting yourself down. Build up your loved ones without tearing your own self down. Breathe life into your friends plans, but don’t forget to take breaths for yourself. Cheer on your beloved buds, but don’t forget to pat yourself on the back.
Celebrate your success.
Choose to be kind AND exercise self-kindness.
Side note: If you’re reading this, Curtis? I love you. Thank you for putting up with my painful awkwardness. Thank you for not damning me when I put my foot in my mouth. Thank you for understanding me better than anyone else ever has. Thank you for loving me for me, and all my imperfections. I’m sorry for my cringe-worthy craziness that gets me into more trouble than it’s probably worth. You’re better to me than I deserve, but I’m so glad that God put you in my life. I’m so blessed to be your wife.
Whew. Ok, now I can go to sleep peacefully. Having that on my chest was really weighing on me.
Ladies? Shoot, gentlemen too?? All y’all. You’re beautiful, you’re amazing, you’re capable, you’re smart, you’re funny, and you’re worthy of your own love. Be the start of a movement that inspires your circle. Shower you & yours with kindness & watch a beautiful, uplifting garden grow all around you.
With all my love,