Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Are You Tired Of Me Yet?"

Back when my husband and I started dating, I was rather surprised about how well it went. I was seriously bad at dating—awkward, shy, average-looking, and, honestly, a little scared of the whole going-out-with-a-boy thing. It was difficult for me to believe anyone would want to spend time with me of their own free will.

This sounds rather sad, I know. But then I met Nick, and everything was easy and wonderful and as the months passed I just couldn't believe he still wanted to be with me.

I would constantly ask him, "Aren't you tired of me?" Or "You're not tired of me yet?" And even "I just cannot believe you're not sick of me yet."

One night, we took a walk around the local park. It was still warm from the hot summer day, and gnats swarmed us every time we walked under a lamp post. But this didn't seem to deter us, since giving into the bugs meant going home and going home meant not being together until the next day. Ah, love.

I don't remember what we were talking about, but, as had become my habit, I ended up asking some version of "Are you tired of me yet?"

My husband isn't easily ruffled. He's probably one of the calmest people I know and rarely ever gets upset with me. This was the first time in our relationship that I actually saw a little bit of frustration in him, and he said, "Will you quit asking me that? I'm not, and I don't plan on being tired of you anytime soon."

*pauses to swoon*

Isn't he the best?

Well, I stopped asking. But eight years later, sometimes I still can't believe he's not tired of me yet! My husband taught me a really important lesson that night: I was letting my insecurity get in the way of something wonderful. And I hate to admit that I still do that sometimes, especially in my writing.

Sometimes I still have that urge to ask my crit partners, my agent, my editor, "Are you tired of me yet?" I still have this fear that my book deal was some kind of fluke, that I've not lived up to expectation, and that, worst of all, people just don't like me but won't own up to it. How sad is that? And rude, too, since if I really believe that I'm essentially accusing all the people I know of being big fat liars. Which they aren't. And I shouldn't project my issues on them.

I've learned not to believe these lies my brain tells me, but at times this insecurity still impacts the way I act and work. It makes me reluctant to write. It makes me question the merit of my work. And it stops me from having fun, which is probably the worst tragedy. Writing can be so fun—I hate when I make it an ordeal.

I guess I'm mostly writing this post for myself, as a reminder to stop with the "Are you tired of me yet?" and to just enjoy my work. Doubt can be so crippling in a creative profession, and I really don't have time to cripple myself and angst. I have a book to finish. And edits to do. I'm determined to approach both with confidence.


  1. Oh, Natalie. Thank you for this honest post. *HUGS*

  2. Thank you for posting this and for for so many other posts. Also, I don't think I've ever told you that two of my four regular CPs are people who made interesting comments over here, so I started following their blogs. So, thanks for that as well. :o)

  3. Oh, man. As usual, you write the things I'm thinking about.

    Whenever someone tells me they enjoy my writing, my first reaction is to wonder if they're just being nice. I handle criticism way better than praise. Like Golden Words Syndrome, but in reverse. I've gotten better over the years in dealing with my insecurity, but that jaded, doubt-crippled person is still inside me, and will probably never go away. Best I can do is work hard, have some faith in myself and my work, and probably most importantly, keep writing.

    It's what I love to do, after all.

  4. Your sweetie sounds as patient as mine! Thank you for this post: I do the same thing, but I'd never thought of it in terms of basically accusing others of're right, insecurities can get in the way of beautiful things.

    Not tired of you yet!!

  5. I know exactly what kind of self-perception you're talking about, Natalie. I drove my hubby crazy with my insecurities too, went into the relationship with more baggage than I wanted to carry in the first place. But I got over it, got over myself. I outgrew that quivering, frail thing that gnawed at me from the inside, and I really hope you'll get to know yourself too---your real self, the one that's strong and courageous, the one who fights and who believes, the one who is deserving and worthy and beautiful, the one your closest friends and loved ones see. :)

    And if you's like, I would heartily recommend this awesome book. It was one of the best investments I've made in those darker times.

  6. This reminds me of your earlier post about how some people have a default assumption that everyone likes them until they see evidence to the contrary, while others of us assume that people don't like us unless we see positive evidence that they do. And that the latter mindset is especially common in people who have been bullied or abused.

    The first step for me was questioning those negative assumptions. The worst case is not always true. The other shoe is not always waiting to drop. Another thing that helped was when I started depending less on other people's opinions, concentrating more on being happy with the way I'm living my life.

    And I think you're fabulous, but more than that, I hope you know for yourself that you're fabulous.

  7. My question was a slightly different variation, ”WHY? Do you love ME?” Drives my husband crazy! I haven't grown up and quit asking yet, though! ;-)

  8. Sounds like you have a wonderful guy.My husband is very supportive and hard-working.

  9. Thank you for this post. The scary thing is I could have written it myself. I couldn't understand why my now husband wanted to date me and I wonder most days why my CP's put up with me and if they're being honest when they say they like my writing.
    Must get over this. You post reminds me 1. I'm (semi) normal :) 2. the book deal I dream about isn't going to change my doubts.

    I'm the one that needs to change me. I don't need them crippling my life or my writing either.

  10. I do the same thing, but in cycles. There are times that I assume everyone is expressing how they real feel about me, my work, etc. and then as soon as something happens that shows someone wasn't being sincere, I second guess everything everyone is saying, and worse, go back in the past and start second guessing the intentions of everyone else, even if I had full confidence in their sincerity when it happened. I slowly overcome my issues, restore my self-confidence from its latest blow, and the cycle begins anew. Thank you for sharing this. It makes me feel less alone with these thoughts. BTW, you aren't average in looks or anything. And reading/following your blog assures me there are great reasons your hubby will never tire of you!

  11. Sometimes I feel the same way. I am shy until you really get to know me and even then I have trouble opening up all the way. I also hate showing my work to anyone because I am so critical of it myself. Thanks for posting this. I think it will assure others that there are people who feel the same way.