manifesto monday : weakness


i guess i knew this was coming.
when everything seems to be going so well,
and it feels as if i've finally jumped all hurdles,
that wall comes up.
my weakness. or, rather, weaknesses.
this weekend i was reminded of how numerous my faults are.
i wonder how a person can be so completely disfunctional as i.
how do i explain it all?
perhaps i can try to show you.
i have been unemployed for 2.5 years
{for many of those disfunctional reasons}.
i have dessert every day...encouraging serious, unwanted things that may lie in my genes.
i am a hermit...always striving to keep my innermost feelings safe.
i am a fearful perfectionist.
i am, all at once, a cynic and a dreamer.
i despise resumes, applications, interviews, and meetings.
i lack missionary zeal for any cause or belief...part of being a hermit.
i'm quietly passionate, which leaves many people with the only option of assuming they know me.
i am mediocre at many things...a frustrating thing to be.

something i know all too well.
i want to believe that weakness can become a strength...
but when? how?
i want to be content with my weakness.
i want to be comfortable with discomfort.
sometimes i am able to do this.
other times, like this weekend and today,
it is not so easy.

perhaps today,
i believe that weakness is necessary,
but i don't like it.
not one bit.


Teresa said...

There is just so much I want to say.
I will pop back over when I have a few moments!

Marika said...

I want you to know: It will all be okay! I hope a trip home will show you that. I can entirely relate on the nightmare of unemployment and the sometimes unappealing process of searching for work. I bet something very special will come along, though - that's why you've had to wait so long. You share so many lovely thoughts and photos here - I dislike the idea of your thinking badly of yourself!

beth said...

knowing yourself and honesty are true have both, so you must be doing something right !

sara said...

and now i await for a post on all of the things you are a champion of.

Kate said...

I started a club in high school called Excelling at Mediocrity. I would not let people join who had really obvious and enhanced talents. Our motto was "thrive on mediocrity."

I mean, think about it... if only one person can be the best at any given thing... that leaves the rest of us billions to mediocrity.

It's our society, not you that is messed up in its obsession with "excellence." Why do we have to be the diamond in the rough? That means everyone else has to be "rough."

ps... you are a truly fantastic person. Everyone I know who knows you considers it a privilege and asset to know and befriend you.

Bernie said...

We all have weaknessed sweetie, that is part of being a human being. You also have many strengths which you share with us daily.
Be gentle with yourself, you are special........:-) Hugs

Sabriel said...

isn't it such a wonder that we base success and worldly acceptance on things like jobs or employment? you seem busy and productive to me and to be honest, I absolutely adore you. Every time i read your blog I am racked with envy at your beautiful words and creations.

I also am unemployed. I also am a hermit and many other thigs you mentioned. I find a little bit of hope in you and you help me find a little bit inside of me as well. it's a wonder that you don't know how much you mean to me.

i love you. i absolutely do.

i hope you heal here in our mountains. the weather is cool and beautiful. i hope your family wraps you in their loving embrace.

you are beautiful. you are a woman. don't forget eh?

Tonia said...

You have weaknesses? You are human. We are all weaknesses masquerading as strengths to a greater or lesser extent. Be easier on yourself.
Perfection is a man-made philosophy.

Tiffany Kadani said...

Perhaps your trip home will recharge you and help you remember that you are much more than your faults. Family can do that for you.

kelly ann said...

i hope your trip home will leave you feeling refreshed, sweetie... i think i will be good for you! <3

Kate said...

I would also like to add that mostly I used the Mediocrity Club to make fun of those all-star kids... you know the type... captain of every sports team/Homecoming royalty/ got all the scholarships.

However, a friend in HS once told me that I was a "chronic go-getter"... so I guess it all depends on perspective!! ;)

Jayni said...

You are so awesome! Really, your blog shines through, and posts like this just confirm your authenticity. I know good things are in store for you.

jmw said...

If all of these "faults" are part of who you are, then embrace them, because you, in part and in whole, are a beautiful, inspiring joy of a person! Re: unemployment particularly - I wish there was less need in this world for employment. There are important and gratifying life experiences to be had, and so much time in this world wasted on simply bringing in income, to the detriment of *living*. On days when my soul despairs my own plight, I look to your bright example and hope! Please never feel apologetic for not being employed, you are contributing something far more valuable to those whose lives you touch.

Katherine said...

Oh Ann Marie, if only you knew how much of kindred spirits we are! You are not alone in that collection of faults. My best strategy is to pray and to allow myself to learn slowly (which is almost impossible when you're a perfectionist, but not quite). I know that it will be years before I have mastered my excessive introversion, perfectionism, dessert fetish, fears, etc. But it's okay because I can look back at myself in high school or college or even last year and see that I've learned. I truly believe that God is able to change even stubborn, odd, mediocre me and make me something grand. But for now I have to content myself with just knowing who I am and relinquishing over and over again the control that I seem to think I have over these weaknesses of mine.

L said...

I have been thinking about this post since I read it. It's very powerful, and inspired quite a lot of thought. I hope you'll let me share a few jumbled-up thoughts I have on these same issues.

I hope you won't be offended by this, but I don't think you're nearly as dysfunctional as you think you are. ;) I would also challenge your statement that you are unemployed. You are actively employed in writing and photography and in honing those skills, yes? The fact that you don't draw a paycheck for that work--yet?--is only important if the money would be important to you. Aren't most writers technically "unemployed"?

I spent a lot of years torturing myself about my weaknesses, and messes, and how things never seemed to go just right. I seemed to feel that if I could just be a little bit better at... something... then things in my life would go smoothly. And then I had this epiphany that life was supposed to be messy. If it's all about how we deal with adversity, then it goes without saying that things have to go wrong. I've learned to be a lot gentler on myself since then. (And I've learned that you are not allowed to beat yourself up for not being gentle enough with yourself!)

"Mediocrity" only exists in comparison with others. It says nothing about your ability to contribute, only that if you compare yourself to everyone else, there's usually someone a little better at something. I find that strangely comforting--it means there's someone out there who can teach me and coach me. It doesn't excuse me from contributing to the world, but it does mean I escape the pressure of being the very best all by my lonely self.

I also feel very inadequate because of my weaknesses, but I am terribly frightened of feeling adequate? What motivation would I have to learn, to push myself?

Someone told me once that she was a "recovering perfectionist." I've tried to adopt that same attitude. Of course, I'm not perfect at it (ha!), but it's a work in progress.

And as for lacking missionary zeal, I used to think the same thing about myself. But now I'm convinced that I have a cause, I just haven't found it yet. Maybe that's true for other people, too?

Those are my rather incoherent thoughts. I think you're great, and apparently a lot of other people think so, too! And, as you can see, you're definitely not the only one to wrestle with these feelings.

Have a wonderful trip! Look forward to seeing you when you are back!

hip hip gin gin said...

I hope you are feeling better. The trip home is sure to lift spirits. Just know that you are not alone. Your list of faults? I picked out several things on there that I struggle with as well. Big important things. Some days it honestly feels like drowning but other days it's all okay. Sending happy thoughts your way!!

sarah sample said...

i love you beautiful anna.
take care of that heart.

Matthew Selman said...

commonalities. we got 'em, sure as heck.