Believing in Myself

One thing my ex was great at was the pep talk. He talked me through many, many situations during our decade or so together. He pep talked me through eating disorder recovery, through facing family issues, and through training for a marathon. Our relationship was such that he always knew the right things to say to me when I was feeling shaky and emotionally uncertain. It was definitely one of the good things about our relationship.

And honestly? I miss that. When we separated I felt like I lost my best friend. Because really, I did. And one of the things I’ve been missing from our lost friendship is having him to lean on when I need a good pep talk to bolster my mood and help me to believe in myself.

In recent months he and I have been talking a lot more. To the point where we’re actually friendly with one another. Where conversation, though limited (mostly) to the girls and co-parenting, is friendly and easy. It actually makes me pretty happy to feel like we’re getting that friendship back in some ways. Because honestly? Despite our difficulties and our challenges, he’s a good guy.  He loves his daughters and always puts them first. He is making an effort to get along with me, because he knows that it’s what’s best for them. I really couldn’t ask for much more in the ex department. I know how fortunate I am in this regard.

Yesterday an email conversation about school clothes migrated to the fact that he had weekend plans to go camping with friends. I expressed my jealousy at his upcoming adventure in the backwoods and lamented that I didn’t think camping is in my future, since I would have to take them on my own and I’m not feeling terribly confident in my abilities to do so. And then my ex offered up a few words to me: “Have some faith in your ability to go camping…I mean you are a country girl after all. You make a pretty mean fire :)”

And you know what? That was really all I needed to hear. A reminder that I’m far more capable than I often given myself credit for. I do make a damn good campfire (even though I may be a little rusty at it). I’ve been camping enough times in my adult life that I could handle going for a couple of nights with just me and my girls. And since this is something that I love, something that is part of who I am, why should I deny myself that?

I have a tough time believing in myself. When I was with my ex, I leaned on him a little too much for his unwavering belief, and his ability to express it so clearly and so freely. Because he believed in me and my abilities so deeply, I replaced his belief with my own. Not good. But yesterday’s brief conversation reminded me what it was like to believe in myself again. To know, without a doubt, that I could do something — not because he told me, but because he reminded me of my inner strength and my abilities that I sometimes I allow fear to overshadow.

So while it may be too late to get my girls out there on a solo camping adventure this summer, you can bet your ass that next summer I’ll be out there, doing something that I love. And even better than that, I’ll be showing my girls what can be accomplished when you simply believe in yourself.

4 Responses

  1. Awww, I am so proud of you I have chills!

  2. That is awesome. I am so glad your relationship with your ex is what it is. It is really healthy for your kids and good to be able to maintain it. I also need to take your cue and believe in myself more. Clearly I am good at beating myself up. Why is that always so much easier anyway?!

  3. Why is it too late?

    Grab a tent and plan a one night adventure! Maybe even give yourself an out if things don’t go as planned so that you can break down the site and head back home.

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