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Today D.G. Kaye shares an extract from her memoir The Words We Carry: Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem.
About the book
“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”
What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.
An extract from the book…
This partial chapter talks about the difference between being alone versus feeling lonely. Most of us treasure our sacred space and our time alone, which is a bit different than feeling all alone.
ALONE VERSUS LONELY
Being alone is often misconstrued as being lonely, but it affords an independence I’ve learned to treasure through the years. When I was a child filled with insecurity and longing for emotional attention, I felt alone. Even as I grew into a teen, making several friends, my introverted state didn’t allow me to talk about anything of personal significance with anyone. I felt alone even when I was among people. But when I moved away from home, my newfound freedom, and the deep connections I formed with others helped me grow into myself and shed my inhibitions. With my newly acquired friends helping to build my confidence and making me feel that what I had to say was important, I became the happy, extroverted person I had always known resided within me.
I lived on my own for many years, and I loved it. Sure, I had tons of friends and plenty of romantic relationships, but I loved my independence and began to treasure the time I spent alone. When I was alone, it was because I chose to be. Perhaps I had done it so well as a child that I was quite all right being alone. In fact, I believe all that early independence played a part in my youthful decision to choose not to marry. One can get quite used to living life exactly how she wants to, without someone telling her what she can and cannot do. When I finally got married, later in life, I was set in my ways, and I knew what I wanted out of life by then, which made it harder to adapt to a committed relationship.
At that point, I wasn’t going to settle for anything short of what I expected from a relationship, including the maintenance of my independence. For me to make a huge commitment to marriage, there had to be unconditional love and acceptance for my beliefs and passions. Above all, I needed to maintain my freedom to speak my opinions without anyone telling me to hush up. I knew that was a tall order for many men to comply with, but I didn’t need a man to complete me. I had grown secure within myself.
My life was full. I had a good career and eventually owned my own home. If I was ever going to succumb to marriage, it would be for love, compassion, and respect. I wanted to be with someone who would allow me to continue to grow, someone who would be happy for my accomplishments instead of stunting my growth or hindering me on my path. It took a big man to fill those shoes, but I found him. I know who I am, and when my husband doesn’t understand me, he lets me be, trusts my instincts, and supports my decisions. This is a healthy foundation for a relationship.
Coming from a life of independence, I never wanted to surrender my alone time. You know those times when we may not feel like talking, or we may just feel like getting lost in a TV show or a good book? I also believe in getting away with a girlfriend occasionally for a timeout. I acquired all these preferences while living on my own, and as long as I was giving one hundred percent in my marriage, I could still enjoy doing the things I had always enjoyed. Many times when my husband is home, I’m working or writing, and he gives me my space and never complains. Sometimes I get so lost in the zone that I don’t want to stop and make dinner—and that’s still okay with him.
Everything my husband gives me, all the freedoms he affords me, propels me to give back more. When you can reciprocate kindness with someone, it becomes a very natural gesture. Our human instincts are that like brings like, and discord breeds only more discord.
I’m not lonely when I’m in my alone space, but it’s important to make time to do things together, and we do enjoy one another’s company. Living on one’s own doesn’t necessarily mean one is lonely, and one can be part of a couple without losing her independence.
Alternatively, there are people who, although surrounded by others, still feel lonely, just as I did as a child. If we don’t have nurturing people in our lives who genuinely care about our thoughts and feelings, we will no doubt feel lonely. It’s under these circumstances that we should re-evaluate what we need to fulfill our happiness and take strides to better our relationships.
As we grow older and our lives seem busy and full of responsibilities, we long for and appreciate a sacred timeout. Besides wanting it, we need it. We all need the space to take a breather and do the things we personally enjoy for relaxation. Timeouts also allow us to assess events in our lives and re-evaluate, reflecting on ourselves. A little “me time” is good for the soul.
One of the reviews for the book
In the authors’ words, “We need to love ourselves and respect ourselves before anyone else can. If there’s fire, get out!” is in the core of this unquestionably must-read book.
I wish I’d read this insightful narrative many years ago. Anyone who’ll read D.G. Kaye’s story, I believe, would find something about herself. The kind and “talking with a friend” narrative—not lecturing but a friendly conversation heart-to-heart with us, her readers—prompted me to reflect on myself and admit that there is still a lot of work to do on the way to a happy, self-esteemed person.
Though not a joyous subject, the author tactfully leads the reader to ruminate about herself from the positive point of view. What a wonderful way to learn how not to judge and not to deprecate yourself!
What inspired me—and I trust every single word of the author—is that she tells her own story. Surviving the difficult, denigrating experiences of her childhood and young adult years, she had found a way to restore herself for a happy life. Even more, making it a mission to help her friends and us who got lucky to come across this amazing book.
Would I have a daughter, this book would be my present for her 14th birthday.
I can’t recommend Words We Carry highly enough.
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
Books by D.G. Kaye
Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
and: Amazon UK
More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads
About Debby Gies
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”
“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”
When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.
You can find out more about friendship in Debby’s Column here each month: D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020
Connect to Debby
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