Sunday, 5 December 2010

Confessions of a control freak

My name is Dani and I’m a control freak. Oh yes and I’m sure if you met me in person you’d also soon come to that conclusion. A lot of people I met this year did and thankfully they told me so. Obviously, I didn’t like that at first. It’s easy to ignore feedback like that if your husband tells you so (because all women are control freaks compared to men) but alas I had to seriously investigate these allegations – turned out, it’s true.
So at the beginning of summer, after some reflection, I came to the conclusion that the need to control comes from fear and that I needed to face my fears. So I did. Amongst other things I skinny dipped into the Thames near Oxford from a little boat my husband and I hired: I discovered that the Thames water is still freezing cold in May and that being covered in sunscreen doesn’t help a swift escape back into a plastic boat. I might have traumatised some locals that were driving past on their bikes as well but hey, I was facing my fears and I'd like to think I helped them too.
Later this summer I felt like there’s something deeper going on, that somehow I’m not really expressing myself or living to my full potential and might actually try to control a part of myself that I’m scared to let out. So one Sunday morning while sharing a bath with my husband I burst into tears telling him that he just didn’t understand what I was going through. When he requested me to elaborate, all I could say (in a very dramatic fashion!) was: "I need to grow my wings!" and he said: “Ah... so you don’t just want to be a monkey (he calls me that sometimes) but a FLYING monkey!” Amidst all the tears I laughed out loud and agreed. My Alter Ego was created. The next day I started writing my blog.
Needless to say that the controlling behaviour hasn’t just disappeared but in little baby steps I've done more things that I never did before and started to do other things differently.
Last month I started thinking a lot about letting go and learning to enjoy being lazy and boy did I get into that one! It was like discovering a new drug. Finally I allow myself to just do what takes my fancy and I have been reading and writing to my heart’s content. It’s been manure for my blossoming creativity. Of course, there have been downsides: our flat is a mess and hasn’t been cleaned properly for over a month now (it normally gets an over-all clean at least every two weeks), I’m way behind with an assignment for my Uni course (in fact I haven’t even started) and it is due in next week, my clothes are getting too tight (and I choose to think that someone secretly takes them in at night) and I’m still sitting here writing this in my dressing gown at lunchtime.
Do I feel bad? Yes, sometimes. When the old addicted voice in my head says: “Go on, get a grip, you know you want to.” But you know what? Maybe I’ll just have to wing it – isn’t that what wings are for?


  1. For readers coming via Sunday Scribblings:
    This might seem off topic but while I have been guided by the need for control in the past, I hope that in 2011 and beyond I will be guided by my wings!

    So I decided that it fits the bill.

  2. Oh, such thoughts as growing wings, flying in the wind, whereever it takes one... well done.

  3. I thought it fit the prompt perfectly..and I am glad you are testing out your wings as a 'flying monkey!' Jae

  4. This definitely fits the prompt. We often seek guidance outside ourselves, when we know best. And those onlookers who saw you skinnydipping were probably the opposite of tramatized; they were probably in awe of your bravery, your zest for life. Finally, it makes my heart squinchy to think of a husband and wife talking about deep things while bathing together. How absolutely perfect and romantic.

  5. I left a comment, but it must not have been right. It's not here, but I came back because I wanted to tell you how brave you are. I'm impressed at the things you have done. And to say, it is hard to give up things, you have had for a long time. Thanks for the write.

  6. I'm glad you think it fits the prompt.
    @Wendy: believe me it's not always that romantic ;-)

  7. I really like this post. reflections of somone reaching for true freedom.
    It also reminded me of the time I walked upon two girls sunbathing in the nude. I turned and walked the other way. I'm sure they didn't care but I felt like a window peeker. Strange reacton I have alwys thougth.

  8. You're probably right and they didn't care. I didn't mind either - I was busy being in hysterics over the whole situation and felt incredibly alive ;-)

  9. Haha! I am so much the opposite. I have been a card carrying, procrastinating, fly by the seat of your pants-er all my life. I think there is a need for balance there, but I have never gotten the hang of it. Skinny dipping at my age would traumatize ME never mind anyone driving by so I believe I will skip that experience. Lovely write - keep flapping those wings :)

  10. This was so inspiring... some real LOL moments there! I have been doing my own version of facing the 'dark side' but I have to say, skinny dipping sounds much more fun! Thank you for your beautiful writing and reflections.... This was great to read.

  11. Good for you. It is a great moment when you realise that the world keeps turning without us having to worry about it. It just keeps on turning.

  12. I have often told people I started to blog becuase I broke up with my therapist.
    Its lovely to build something and make that the THING you can control.
    and baby steps is right. its hard to not get anxious and wish for an immediate overhaul.
    and also? ha! about trying to get in the boat all slick with sunscreen...

  13. @tlwtc: Thanks :-)
    @GTG:I love your thought that the world keeps turning without us having to worry about it. A nice thought to remember.
    @Evelyn: Complete overhaul will be impossible anyway. I'm German and have spent most of my younger, impressionable years amongst this nation of control freaks. I will never get it all out of my system ;-)

  14. takes a big person to face fear head on. Bravo


  15. ...Last month I started thinking a lot about letting go and learning to enjoy being lazy and boy did I get into that one!...

    ...I hear you...on some Saturdays and most Sundays this is me all day! :-D Hope those wings take you where you want to go...respect.

  16. Ah yes, that need for control...I can relate so completely. Letting go of control is probably the biggest challenge of my life. I loved your post!

  17. What a great post! How eloquently put "I need to grow my wings". That expresses perfectly what I'm trying to allow as I continue the battle of "getting out of my own way"!
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note at "Adventurous Mind".

  18. Fascinating insight into your psyche.

    Re the housework: I measure everything on the scale of how I'll feel about it on my deathbed - will I lie there thinking 'I wish I'd done more cleaning?' No. Never. So I do enough to get by and try not to stress about the rest.

    Bathing in the Thames? That's not facing your fears - that's madness! Never mind the cold: you could have been infected with a billion germs. Talk about brave!

    I really enjoyed this post.

  19. Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting.
    @thelaughinghousewife: I like the measuring scale of how I might feel about things on my deathbed and will start using it ;-)

  20. Nice to meet you; Wow, you got your wings wet!
    Brave girl~

    I faced some fears this year, putting myself out there, more n' more. It is scary, but so it lying on my death bed, wishing I had done this or that!

    Oh, you mentioned deathbed, too, didn't see that!
    Time to make a list, not the bucket type, but the kind of little things you can do to take flight and soar!

  21. Bravo,

    powerful piece.
    Hope you well.

    Happy Holidays.

    From Sunday Scribbling.