Sunday, February 26, 2006

Validation: The Girl Moment to End All Girl Moments

My insecurities raged out of control last night.
The reasons are unimportant and perhaps even unknown to me.

I normally don’t question myself.
Not out loud, anyway.
I’m secure in my mind and body.
I know who I am and how it is represented in the physical form.
I know my beauty, internally and externally.
I am very appealing.
(If I do say so myself)

But last night, I questioned.
I worried.
By 3:00 AM, I was naked in front of a full length mirror.
I turned from side to side.
I contemplated grabbing my camera and taking pictures.
Because mirrors lie.
I listed my body's blemishes in my mind.
I weighed them against my attributes.
Would the attributes outnumber?

By 3:30 AM, I was in running clothes.
I needed not to think.
The pounding of the pavement against my feet.
The cold air brushing my face, rustling my clothes.
But my mind wouldn’t quiet.
What if I’m not as I have always seen myself to be?

By 4:30 AM, I needed reassurance.
Mandy and Chet were asleep in the guest room.
My crazed mind contemplated waking them.
Would they answer me honestly?
Or pity a friend?
I needed unvarnished truth.
From someone who could provide it.

The phone felt heavy in my hands.
Am I really doing this?
Have my insecurities reached this level in my own mind?
Do I require outside assistance to validate myself?
Apparently the answer was yes.
I called the most attractive man I had ever dated.
The one that plagued me the worst.
What had he, this man who could have had anyone, seen in me?

The groggiest voice answered, “Hello?”
“I am so sorry.”
“Brittany? Are you okay? Which hospital?”
“Calm down. I’m not calling for that. I’m fine.”
“You can’t scare me like that.”
“I know. I am sorry.”
“What’s on your mind?”
“Why did you kiss me that first night?”
“What????”
“Why did you kiss me that first night?”
“This is what you call at . . . (pause to look at clock) 5 AM for?”
“Yes.”
“Oh, honey, what is on your mind?”
“Just . . . why did you kiss me? I’ve seen your exes, they look nothing like me. What attracted you to me?”
“Who isn’t attracted to you?”
“I don’t know that anyone isn’t. It’s not about that. It’s not about anyone. It’s me. I just . . I need to know.”
“What was your question again?”
“Why did you kiss me that first night?”
“Because you were you. I can’t answer it any plainer.”
“But . . . what attracted you to me? I’m not what you typically go for.”
“I guess that was it. Because you weren’t like any other girl I had ever met. You had this confidence and this humor and just, well, you had this life about you.”

My mind raced.
He didn’t say beautiful.
He didn’t say pretty.
He didn’t say attractive.
He said confident, humor, life.
Those weren’t exterior.
I needed exterior.
Damnit.

“But that’s not what made you kiss me. Is it? I mean, if I had been any . . . what made you look at me and think I want to kiss this person?”
“Brittany, where is all this coming from?”
“I don’t know, Bryan. I just don’t. I think for the first time I might really lose something I want . . . and I’m scared. I’m very very scared.”
“Baby girl, you’re beautiful. You know that, right? You’ve always known that. It’s your confidence that’s your mainstay. The way you walk in a room and light it up. The way you laugh unabashedly and speak your mind and flip your hair and look men in the eyes daring them to tell you you’re not the most gorgeous thing they’ve seen.”
Tears are rolling down my face.
“You’re crazy, you know that? And did you just say ‘unabashedly’? Have you been taking vocabulary classes in my absence?”
“There’s the Brittany I know. Peaking out.”
“She can’t stay hidden for long.”
“No, she can’t. Her mind and spirit are too strong for that.”
“You’re wonderful, you know that Bry?”
“But you still left me.”
“We couldn’t have worked, Bryan. It wasn’t right.”
“I know, baby girl, but a man can wish.”
I laughed until the tears on my cheeks dried.
“Go back to sleep, I’m sorry I’m insane.”
“I’ll take a call that gets you to laugh anytime.”
He paused for a minute or so and the silence stretched out.
“Do you want me to come over?”
“No.”
“Not like that. It wouldn’t be like that. You just sound like you need someone.”
“I think I have someone. I think I do.”
“I hope he knows how lucky he is.”
“I’m the lucky one.”

And my mind was quiet.
My validation was achieved.
The only feeling that overtook me was worry.
Worry that I had needed that validation to begin with.
And for the first time in a long time, I couldn’t provide it for myself.

18 comments:

Drunken Chud said...

this is something girls actually do? i thought that was made up!? lol. gotta say though, you needed more on the naked in front of the mirror bit. i didn't get a true sense of the naughty bits. so... if you could kindly work on that, i'd greatly appreciate it.

Coyote Mike said...

Wait, did I turn over two pages of the book at once? Who is this guy you think you might have? Who caused the worry over your delicious bod?

Scorpy said...

This was absolutely brilliant...It captured fraility, humour (sad and happy) and an honesty that I love in posts...I love people that can paint a picture for me (I wasn't looking at the mirror part ~grin~). You sound OK to me!
PS: I think I'm in love with Bryan (LOL)do you think he'll go out with my Sister?

ChickyBabe said...

Self-validation is good, but it's always more effective when we hear it from someone else. Most of the time, we can get by, but in a moment or two of self-doubt, I wouldn't be so hard on yourself for being unable to provide it.

beachgirl said...

You know I love you madly, even though your stupid hogs beat us at home, see I can admit it... Just wait until the SEC championship baby...

I have a guy friend like that I can call, the ones that love us no matter what... God's little blessings!!

Steph said...

It's takes a VERY self assured person not to need outside validation sometimes. We've all been there.

Indiana said...

Everyone needs at some point to know they are attractive to someone, they need to feel the validation and ratification that eases the sense of self and re-assures us of our self value...the pity is that this is an exterior view...but even the most beautiful flower in the world needs to know that it is attractive to the bee.

It's good that you found the validation you needed and have friends from whom you can get that support.

Ang said...

and darlin, you did provide it for yourself...you knew just who to call to give you what you needed. that is ok, that is friends! we all have moments!

big love!!

meghansdiscontent said...

Drunken Chud - Nope, not a myth. And DIRTY MIND!

Coyote Mike - I've got a secret!

Scorpy - Thank you, love. As for Bryan . . .hmmmm, how old is your sister?? :)

Chickybabe - Thank you for the sage advice, and it is so true.

Beachgirl - Thank you for admitting it, honey. My hogs were a bit outstanding Saturday. As for Bryan, he does adore me - - but who wouldn't??? :) ha ha ha

Steph - Ever wonder if we'll ever reach that self-actualized state?? Or if we're meant to?? Maybe us needing that validation is what keeps us needing people.

Indiana - Well said, love, well said.

Ang - LOL! I love the way you look at things! HUGS!

Laurie (aka buggy) said...

Meghie.
One night I got to thinking. It was probably about a year ago. I was thinking about all these random men I didn't care about, who always have something to say about what I look like. I won't lie, and you know it too - that we all like attention because it reminds us that we're desired.
But then, I was sad. Because for a time I thought, hey, I'm told I'm beautiful MORE by random men than by my OWN boyfriend.
So in my woman fit of insecurity and horror by this fact - I woke Sammy in the middle of the night to complain to him that he doesn't tell me enough, and that I don't remember the last time he'd told me I was beautiful.
He of course was confused and half asleep - but that's okay - I'll wait. So when he was finally conscious I explained to him my concerns that I hear it from other people and that isn't what I want. And how am I to know that he thinks I'm beautiful if he never says it anymore?? And I tell him that it won't be the same now if he says it because it'll only be because I'm stressing and inquiring about it. So poor guy, he tells me anyway that I am, that of course I am, that he doesn't say it all the time because I should ALREAD KNOW that he thinks it. I try and explain so he'll understand in all his maleness that in all our femaleness, we need reminding! And we do, we ALL need to hear it. Not from Shady Napkin guy at the bar and not from Oggling Construction Worker and not from Honking Truckers.
But we need to know how we appear to the one we care about. We can't only be told once. We need reminders that the way we take care of ourselves and the steps we take to be fresh, gorgeous women are actually seen and heard and known to our man. And when we don't hear it for a while it makes us worry that we are slipping or that we were hotter than we really are.
Men don't seem to need this validation. I let Sammy know how much I desire him every single day of my life, because I am always telling him how I feel, but that's because it's part of who I am - I'm so out there and vocal about what's in my heart and mind in the moment it's there. But he isn't like that. And he tried explaining that to me a zillion times why he isn't like me.
But ANYWAY. I don't know the bottom line point I was going to make really. I just wanna let you know I've felt that way. I've never called anyone in the middle of the night to confirm anything - BUT - I've had the same need and reason to do such a thing as that. And there's not a damn thing bad about it. You're a woman.
I'm not sure what brought on all of this, what guy in your life may've influenced it. But - I hope you are able to tell us (or me, you have my email) so that I can understand better what brought your surge on.

muah

Trix said...

You can call me for that anytime. I've never seen you, but I know you're gorgeous!

trueborn said...

You're a knockout, and I know of what I speak!

janestarr said...

Lord Meg, are we on the same drugs?! I don't know but I am completely with you examing and worrying, that was me all week last week. And yes, part of it was PMS, but part of it was just being able to start feeling and how ridiculously scary that is, in and of itself.

You're fine, Meg. Everything you were feeling is just fine. You dealt with it they way you needed.

Jenni said...

Insecurity. Sometimes it swallows me up too. I prefer the days where I look in the mirror and say to myself, "To hell with you world, I know I'm booty-licious."

mrshife said...

We all need validation in one way or another, and some more than others. I don't think there is anything wrong with you wanting it from another person every once in awhile. It is nice to hear someone else tell us how wonderful we are.

auburn said...

Oh Meg.
Only the craziest of us don't need outside validation at some or many points. I am afraid (and concerned) that I think I worry about that more than what I think of myself. It gives such a feeling of self-worth to know that others think you're beautiful. That others think you are worthy of praise, admiration, love, lust...
No matter how secure we are in ourselves, in our minds and in our swimmers (lol...eek...swimmers..actually, i think you call them bathers?)...anyway, no matter how secure we are all on our own, it doesn't change the fact that sometimes that just isn't enough. The esteem of others is what drives us so much of the time.
You're gorgeous. I know I've never seen you, so you can cast that aside physically if you wish. But you're a wonderful person. Through this, I can see all of those things Bryan talked about. There's nothing wrong with needing it from others.
There's nothing wrong with faltering yourself.
We all do it. Don't be scared that you needed it from someone else, you're human.
Love you girl.

Coyote Mike said...

Meg: Ooh, ooh, tell me the secret, I won't share.

Buggy: Guys too need that validation from time to time. Or maybe that's just me.

Auburn: we call them swimsuits or bathing suits. I know that's the least important part of this, but I felt like clarifying for no real reason.

meghansdiscontent said...

Laurie - Oh precious girl, I know what you're saying. And Sammy loves you to distraction . . . and where as some women are constant praise givers like you and I, some men take for granted that we must know they love us. We must know they think we are beautiful because they are with us constantly, they want to be with us . . . but we still need it. I don't know what I can share, or what I will share . . but we shall see.

Trix - :) Thank ya, girlie.

Trueborn - Yay yay yay . . .so you always tell me. :)

Janestarr - Yes, sweetie, I think we've been sharing the same hallucenogenics. (and are apparently on the same cycle!) Thank you, love. And if you ever need any validation . . feel free to contact me!

Jenni - Amen.

MrShife - Yes, sir, yes, it is.

Auburn - Thank you, sweetie. I think you're wonderful as well. Love you, much.

Coyote Mike - Nah. I'm good at keeping secrets.