As the new year approaches, I feel the need to reflect on 2013. At least that’s what Facebook told me to do and according to Mark Zuckerberg the highlights of this year included a lot of drinking and dragging my kids from place to place. Yay me! Carrying on the family tradition of drunk parenting. Humph. I hate you Facebook.
In all honesty, its been a very good year for me, I created my own position within the company I’ve worked for for 13 years, started performing again in a most fulfilling way, continued to hone my improv skills, reconnected with lots of old, positive friends, made new friends that support me in a meaningful way and started writing seriously again. And yet despite all that I’ve accomplished and all I have to look forward to in 2014, the terrible monster inside me that tells me I’m not good enough is still lurking inside. A friend of mine told me he calls his Carl. I’ve decided to call mine Nancy, as in Negative Nancy.
Nancy is a real bitch. She is constantly telling me I’m not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not wealthy enough, not thin enough, not anything enough! Despite many great triumphs this year, she is harping inside me that this is all a facade and that everyone will figure out I’m really just a scared 14 year old girl who doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing. And Nancy is right. Most of the time, I’m totally faking it. I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t feel confident, I don’t feel good enough, I’m heavier than I should be, I’m don’t manage money well, I can hardly manage my day to day life….but if I just keep telling Nancy to go fuck herself long enough to get through whatever it is, then things are okay.
Nancy has been with me my whole life. Not in that fucked up Sybil multiple personality kind of way, but you know, the regular fucked up way. I grew up in one of the wealthiest counties in the US and we were far from being anywhere close to the median income. Thus Nancy started out very early in life comparing everything about me to everyone else. My parents were the first of anyone I knew to divorce. Nancy made sure I knew what a freak I was about this and used every opportunity to point out whenever another parent would look at me with pity. If there is one thing I despise most it is pity. I’m strong, I stick up for myself and even though I may end up in the fetal position crying my eyes out from time to time for no apparent reason, I don’t want to be pitied.
Nancy whispers into my ear all the time that everyone I know is having a “let’s have fun without Amanda party.” And she’s right. I’m sure there’s a party going on right now somewhere, where everyone is toasting and yucking it up over how much fun they’re having simply BECAUSE I’m not there. You sons of bitches- if I ever walk in on one of these parties- well I don’t know what I’ll do- but the party will definitely be over, because…well, I’ll be there and then what’s the point of the party? So there.
Nancy second guesses every compliment I ever receive. Now, I do have some manners. I know that when someone gives you a compliment you should just say, “thank you.” But inside, Nancy is telling me they don’t really mean it, they’re just saying it to be nice, they really just feel sorry for you and what a fool you are. Fuck you Nancy! Why can’t I just receive a compliment and enjoy it?
Nancy is even looking back at me every time I look in the mirror. She is sure to point out every imperfection. She especially likes to turn the mirror to the magnifying side so I can get a real close up look. Ahhh..I’d never noticed that one little black hair that’s growing out of the wrong place on my face, or those fine lines beginning to form around my mouth and eyes, or the black heads that go unnoticed by everyone else, but in that magnified mirror, well they’re like the goddamn Alps. She sees every dimple in my thighs, every stretch mark, every scar, every new spot (my mother calls them age spots- I like to think I’m just super hip and am developing a leopard print on my face- because, ya know, leopard print really never goes out of style).
2013 is the first year that I made a New Year’s resolution and actually stuck to it. Now, it wasn’t very hard, but at least I accomplished it. I ate on the fine china every goddamn day of 2013. And even though Nancy was against it from the get go, she did not win! I’ve even become a bit superstitious about it. If I have something extra special happening that day, I make sure I eat off the fine china or I fear things may not go so well.
I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to fully kick Nancy’s ass. I’m pretty sure she was born with a black belt, nunchucks, and chinese throwing stars. But, I’m going to try very hard in 2014 to ignore her nasty comments, to tell her to go fuck herself everyday, to tell her she’s the one with the complex and to evict her from my head. They (whoever “they” are) always say you should make resolutions that are attainable to achieve a sense of accomplishment. I’m pretty sure Nancy will be with me to the grave, but if I can just learn to duct tape her ugly little mouth shut more often- well I’ll take that as a success.