The Doubter.

My name is Lauren, and I am a doubter.  

I’ve had this long-standing issue of never giving myself or other things enough credit. I may never change, but I figured I’d talk about it. People talk about the things they know, and in the words of G.I. Joe, knowing is half the battle – which means the other half is up for grabs. So let’s get to it.  

I often doubt that I’ll succeed at something, therefore I don’t put myself out there as often as I should – in many areas of my life. Writing, music, love. Inevitably, when I do, I wonder why I waited so long.  

I tend to think that being rejected is more likely than being accepted, so instead of investigating and dipping my toe in the water, I shut down and figure my doubts and my assumption of rejection are, in fact, truth.  

I sometimes doubt that I’ll be enough for someone. So many seemingly strong marriages crumble; I struggle to identify what works in the ones that stand the test of time, especially when I see so many flaws in myself. Why in the world would someone else want them?  

I consume my fair share of optimistic writings and positive quotes each day, but I find myself sometimes doubting that many others across the country and around the globe do this. It feels like if the number was staggeringly high, the world might be a better place. Then I wonder if I should stop.  

When I buy, I buy most everything on sale. I try to “save money, live better” and am a spreadsheet-user when it comes to tracking my finances, but sometimes I doubt that I’ll ever be in the financial position that I want to be in.  

When I recycle, I wonder if it will make a difference. I crush my yogurt cups to try to “protect wildlife,” as Yoplait’s fine print urges me to do. I rinse out my plastic containers, my aluminum cans, I snip through the six-pack rings which hold my sodas together in a tidy clump and I toss the cardboard tubes from spent paper towel rolls into the recyclables. I picture the recycling people at the local facility coming across my bag of offerings and having a good laugh, amused that there’s someone out there who thinks they’ll make a difference. In this case, I wonder what to doubt more: that they actually laugh, or that my efforts will matter.  

So if knowing is half the battle and the other half needs an identity, perhaps it can be known as hope. Maybe? One might argue that 36 years of getting to a particular way of thinking can’t be undone overnight, but we’re human, and by nature we are often wrong. So here’s to trying, and here’s to letting hope take the lead. It might be a 51/49 split at first, but it’s a start. And of that, I have no doubt.

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