Getting My &*#@ Together Series: I, Too, Can Catch These Hands

I’m the baby of the family.

I’ve always been a high achiever academically; never had to work real hard to get good grades in school.

I don’t believe in mediocrity.

I’ve always been the type to make goals, smash them, and then move on to the next one.

These may seem like self-appreciating, yet insignificant facts about me, but they’re not – at least not for the purposes of this discussion.

Because of this mixed bag of stats, I can be a little bratty at times when I don’t get my way.

That’s right. I’m spoiled.

I said it.

It’s one of my truths.

And like I said, as I’ve walked through this journey to get my &*#@ together, I’ve had to confront my BS.

Now, I’m totally grown and can buy my own material things, so when I say I’m spoiled I’m not talking about throwing a fit because someone didn’t buy me what I wanted. What I’m talking about is how being spoiled has manifested itself in my life in how I can react to disappointment.

Let me tell you a story. (Ya’ll know I like telling stories!)

Recently, I’ve been painting and drawing. It’s not a gift I was born with, so I decided to take a class last Friday to help me with some basics (i.e. how to shade without it looking like the character I’m drawing has been rolling in dirt).

I get to class, sit down, listen to the instructor, and get to creating … well my best attempt at it anyway. After the first exercise, the instructor told us to turn our easels around so the entire class could see.

And it was at this moment, my inner child threw herself on the ground and started kicking and flailing about like she was told she couldn’t get a new toy.

Not only was I disappointed with my performance by itself, the little marks of charcoal I made on my sketch pad paled in comparison to what everyone else had done. The instructor came over to me and asked me a question and as I opened my mouth to answer her, I could …

… Feel my eyebrow furrow;

The corners of my mouth turn down to my chin;

And the attitude monster begin to creep up the back of my neck …


Then …

I had to catch these hands.

It felt like I stepped outside my body and backhanded myself while screaming, “Is all of that really necessary, sis?”

And just like that, I could feel myself calm down a little bit and begin to take inventory of my BS.

While I knew my negativity was misplaced, I couldn’t quite place why I was mad or who I was mad at at first. What I did know, however, was that whatever it was had nothing to do with the instructor.

What I later came to understand was that I was mad at myself … for not excelling; for not achieving on the first run because I’m spoiled and used to achieving some things with marginal effort.

I think the best part of getting my &*#@ together is understanding that it’s ok to take my time and figure out what’s going on. Sometimes I think we react too quickly and end up pointing fingers at other people when we should be pointing at ourselves.

In other words, I had to catch my own hands for projecting how I felt about myself and my insecurities onto the outside world.

Everything is not going to come the way you want it, when you want it, Erin.

So I straightened my brow and pushed the corners of my mouth into my cheeks to smile, knowing my issues with the pursuit of “perfection” and acting out when it doesn’t happen are mine, I need to fix them, and giving this poor woman attitude wasn’t going to change them.

I’m proud of myself for being able to identify what was happening with me and being able to correct it.

While your BS inventory list may be different than mine, trust me it’s there, because we all have “our &*#@ with us”. But there has to come a time when we check ourselves, our emotions, and our reactions to the things going on around us.

So the next time you feel yourself getting out of character, give yourself a few seconds to think about why you’re really upset. With some patience and thought, you may find it’s not what you think.

Remember, we can’t control what kind of people others choose to be, but we can control who we choose to be.

Until next time, be kind to yourself.

Love and light,



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