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Meet Wendy the Worrier.

wendy the worrier

a little sketch done on my iPad.

 

Meet Wendy the Worrier.

Wendy has the same haircut that she’s had for years.  She would like to try something different but she’s worried that she won’t like it.  On her feet, she wears a classic shoe – something considered stylish but practical and safe.  Wendy owns at least three pairs of jeans that are exactly the same (she likes how they fit) and hoodies are often her top of choice.  By layering, she can be ready for any kind of weather. What if it gets too warm? What if I get too cold?  Wendy likes to stick with what she knows.

Her nails are often painted a nude colour.  She bites them all the time and doesn’t want the chipped paint to stand out to others.  Wendy carries around a simple looking backpack that looks like a Boy Scout pack inside. In the many compartments, she has everything from breath mints to a lint roller.  You never know what can happen; you need to be prepared for anything.

Wendy doesn’t do sleepovers like the other kids.  She’s worried about sleeping somewhere different and what might happen if she needs to pee in the middle of the night.  She’s just one of those kids who sticks to herself. You don’t have to worry about being hurt by others when you’re on your own.

 

What does she want people to know?

Wendy wants to live a little. Worrying all the time is exhausting. It feels like she has such a doomsday attitude.  It holds her back and keeps her quirky and fun self contained.  No one knows how much fun she is.

Wendy wants to wear beautiful clothes and accessories – and to have her own sense of style. She wants to be brave and try different things, but she worries about…everything.  She doesn’t mean to be negative; she has just experienced some pretty upsetting things in the past that make her leery.

 

What has she done for me?

Wendy has tried to protect me.  Thank you, Wendy.  Thank you for trying to anticipate what could go wrong so I could try to prepare myself.  There was a time when that was helpful. Now I just find that it’s holding me back from doing what I really want to do. Instead of worrying, I’m trying to say, what if…

 


If you are finding this post strange, I totally get it.  It is weird.  To hear the back story, read Meet Protective Patty.

Meet Me First Melanie

mel.jpg

 

Me First Melanie always sits in the front seat, so she can be the first person off the bus.  She always rushes to be near the window, sitting proudly with her chest out and talking loudly for all to hear.  She is a confident girl who loves her some Melanie.

Me First Melanie is the queen of selfies and is forever updating her social accounts. Here’s Melanie out shopping.  Here’s Melanie out with friends.  Melanie. Melanie. Melanie.  You will know what she’s doing at all times.

Me First Melanie is trendy.  She’s always wearing the latest clothes and accessories, full makeup, and carrying around the newest iPhone to take her photos (her parents bought it for her).  Everything she owns is the best and she lets you know all about it.

She’s often so busy talking about herself that she doesn’t ask how you’re doing.  She’s already planning what she’s going to say next.  And your birthday?  Well she might remember it a few weeks later.

She’s the one who makes the plans and has others follow (they are usually planned around what works or is convenient for her).  And when you are out with her, she has no problem leaving the group to hang out with someone she sees as better.  She puts her wants and needs before others.  It’s all about her.

What does Me First Melanie want others to know?

She wants people to know that she feels socially awkward.  She says the wrong things and then kicks herself for it later.  Why did I say that?!? I meant to say… Now they’re going to think…  Me First Melanie also gets excited about things and doesn’t know how to share them in a way that doesn’t sound like bragging.  She ends up saying it as she sees it, which is usually taken in different ways.

Me First Melanie comes across as overconfident, arrogant actually, but she’s really insecure.  She constantly compares herself to others and doesn’t feel like she measures up.  She’s just trying to fit in and belong.

What has Me First Melanie given me?

Thank you, Me First Melanie.  You have given me the courage to shape my own life and make my own decisions.

You made me strong enough to leave my small town of 1, 200 to go to a university 20 hours away from home (where I didn’t know anyone).  It was what I wanted and was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I ended up meeting my husband, my closest friends, and I came out of my elementary / high school shell.  It was exactly what I needed.

Even decisions like our wedding were shaped by what Eric and I wanted, not the expectations of others.  We were married up at my parents’ cabin, standing beside the lake.  We ate Dairy Queen ice cream cake (as our wedding cake) and danced outside under the trees.  I later ditched my dress for a pair of jeans and a hoodie.  There was no aisle or his/her sides; instead, our friends and family stood around us casually at the shore with drinks in hand.  We loved it.  Me First Melanie is the voice that tells me to go ahead and do what’s right for me (and in this case, us).

And yet despite all that she has given me in terms of finding my own way, Me First Melanie is also a part of myself that I am so ashamed of.  She brings me so much guilt, especially now that I’m a mom.  It’s become a crazy clash.

I pretty much feel guilty all the time.  I feel guilty when I’m frustrated after one of our kids has a cat nap instead of the usual 2 hours (because it means the end of some quiet, alone time).  I feel bad when I sleep longer than my husband in the morning, leaving him to get up with the kids when they wake up.  I feel selfish going out for an hour to write before Eric goes to work.  Maybe he would like to go to the gym…if I was home then I could keep the kids busy while he got breakfast ready…Me First Melanie and I are not getting along lately.

It’s something I’m working through and some days I feel better at it than others.  But Me First Melanie and motherhood have taught me that I do care a lot about other people, and that often it’s not me that comes first.  I just need to channel my Me First Melanie for good – to take time for myself when I need it and to be aware of when I’m wanting it too much at the expense of others.

 

I should add that with my little bus people, I don’t totally see myself in every characteristic of them. If you asked my friends, I remember birthdays (or think that I do). I don’t talk loudly for all to hear and taking selfies makes me super uncomfortable.

I care about asking people how they are doing.  And if you were to see me on the street, I am not wearing the latest clothes, very likely no makeup at all, and I wish I had the newest iPhone.  But there are definitely parts of myself that I do see in her.  By writing about her, I hope to accept who I am and stop being so hard on myself.  Self-awareness can be quite a gift.

If you want to know why I’m writing about this stuff, I’ve explained it in a post I wrote called: Protective Patty and My Why.  If you want to meet my other bus people (and get to know me a little more), check out:

Perfectionist Pippi
& Fake Francis

 

Thanks for reading,
Lainie 🙂

Meet Fake Francis.

 

fake francis.png

 

Meet Fake Francis.  She drives me crazy and totally gets under my skin.

She has curly red hair.  She wears jeans and a t-shirt.  She doesn’t stand out in anyway or have her own unique style.  Fake Francis just buys what everyone else does.

She has the biggest fake smile you’ve ever seen.  When people walk by her on the bus, she gives this over the top, high-pitched “OOOOooooh, Hi!!!!  It’s so good to see you…blah blah blah…fake fake fake.”  The forced pleasantries sound almost sing song, and then once the person has walked by, the smile is instantly gone and she rolls her eyes. She’s two-faced.

Fake Francis says one thing and then does another.

People often keep their distance because how can you trust someone like that?  She does have a little following of three other girls though.  They like to giggle and talk about other people.

What does she want others to know?

She doesn’t feel like she fits in with everyone else. She is interested in different things and is tired of trying to go along with what seems acceptable. She doesn’t want to offend other people.  Fake Francis just wants to speak her mind without having to sugar coat it. She wants others to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Fake Francis feels that people don’t see who she really is.  She is two faced in a sense – one face is presented to others and the other face is her true self.  She’s safer that way. There are a few people that know the real her.

 

What has she done for me?

Fake Francis has protected me for a long time.  Thank you, Francis.  By keeping my distance from others and presenting a version of myself, I don’t have to worry about being hurt or disappointed. It’s a comfortable place.

But I do think that it comes with a price.   I think I end up coming across in a way that’s more polished and fake than reality.  How can people connect with me when that’s not really who I am?

So I’ve started showing more of myself in my writing and through my Instagram.  It’s the g-rated version (those who know me, know that I can swear like a trucker).  I’ll keep that part of Fake Frances a little bit longer.  I’ll keep it classy 🙂

 

If you’re wondering what this is all about and why I’m writing about random people riding on a bus, I’m not losing it.  Promise.  Here’s something that explains it.

Meet Perfectionist Pippi.

pippi

 

Meet Perfectionist Pippi.

Her appearance is immaculate.  She has a stylish haircut that says she went to an expensive salon.  She wears beautiful designer clothes and is always fully accessorized. She has silver bangle bracelets, glittery earrings, and painted finger nails.

She prefers to sit alone and places her expensive handbag on the seat next to her.  Inside, her bag is organized into different compartments so she can always find what she needs.

She doesn’t have many friends. Who wants to hang out with a perfectionist?  She’s always so critical and talking about how things could be better.  Instead of joining conversations with others, she’s often sitting alone looking out her window.

 

But what does Perfectionist Pippi need?

She needs others to know that she doesn’t see herself as perfect at all. She’s quite the opposite. She’s actually exhausted from the ridiculous expectations she puts on herself. She’s never enough.

She worries that she comes across as a know it all who thinks she’s better than others. When really, she thinks it’s her that doesn’t measure up.

She wants people to know that she has good intentions. What comes across as criticism is actually her thinking about how things could be made better for others.  What comes across as bragging, is her excited to share something new.

In the end, Perfectionist Pippi just needs to slow down and rest.  She needs to be okay with things being satisfactory (which makes her cringe), because she always strives for her best.

 

What has Perfectionist Pippi done for me?

Thank you Perfectionist Pippi for encouraging me to be ambitious.  I care about doing my best, especially when it’s for other people.  The little details matter and hard work is a given.  I also appreciate thinking about something new and imagining what could be.

And…I do need to rein myself in at times.  I need to enjoy the present and manage my own expectations.  I’m working on it, for myself and my family.

You need to cool it a bit, Pippi (I say this in the nicest possible way).

 

And if you’re wondering, what is Lainie even talking about?!? Check out my previous post, Meet Protective Patty.  I explain everything there.


 

Meet Stay at Home Sally & Sue
Fake Francis
Me First Melanie