OP-ED: Talking about parenting: Overcoming personal challenges to grow, succeed

Published 6:06 am Saturday, December 12, 2020

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Chris Kovatch

I feel like awkwardness is my middle name. I wrestle internally with the reactions I have in social situations. I love being involved in different things, but I feel like I am much better working in the background versus being out front.
Some of my challenges may seem funny or insignificant, and honestly, they are. I know that.

This year has definitely been a year of change. Most of the changes haven’t been fun ones. I think we can add some positive things to this equation. Personal growth is something that we should all focus on. We are all a work in progress. It’s how we approach that process that makes all the difference.
I have found that putting my challenges into words and putting them ‘out’ there truly can help me as I try to grow and get past them. So here goes.
As insignificant as it seems, in this world of masks and maintaining space, I truly struggle with this one. Handshake or fist bump? I am honestly okay with either. The issue is when I walk up to someone and pick the opposite of what they intend to do. We then go through the awkward rotation each adjusting to the other form of greeting. Again awkward. I feel like this should be an easy thing to master, yet I still make it a big deal.
Speaking in public Is my next challenge. I absolutely love being involved in things and leading projects.  It’s honestly one of my favorite things to do. If the situation requires me to step in front of a large group and all attention is on me, the overthinking begins. The words I have on paper or have prepped in my head always seem to come out jumbled. This may be a fact or it may be something I am overly sensitive too. I put a lot of work into preparation and then I feel like I fail every time.
Finally, I am the most awkward when it comes with dealing with the loss of a person in my life. My heart wants the family to know how much the person that passed meant to me and that I am truly there for anything they need. I mean It. Any need that arises; all you have to do is say the word. I love being able to serve people.

When I attend a funeral or visitation, I struggle with getting past signing the book. I want the family to know I am there for them but I am so scared that I will say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. My head tells me that the family is dealing with enough and dealing with me isn’t something that I need to add to their plate.
I share these personal things for a reason. I believe putting these things out into ‘the universe’ is important. Admitting our challenges isn’t bad; it isn’t weak; and it isn’t something that we have to face alone. My goal as we move towards the end of 2020 is that I face these things head on. If I don’t, I will never be able to overcome them. They are a varying array of things to be sure. But they are all things that I won’t allow to define me. I have many things that I need to work on and I truly believe that with my faith, family, and friends I can be successful.

Chris Kovatch is a resident of Orange County. You can reach him at news@orangeleader.com