Two of my greater concerns in life. I think it's the "no future" part that has spurred me on to face my fears and forge ahead. I have nothing to lose and am scared shitless that I will die without having left any mark on the world or really helped anyone in any significant way. (I'm not talking about winning the Nobel Prize or even assisting a birth in a stuck elevator, but maybe a few selfies that can't be deleted?) I also am convinced in the back (and front and all around) of my mind that no one is ever going to really read these words, so I'm safe. And right now I'm not behind on any bills, so I'm indulging a driving need, and doing this instead of pounding the pavement and searching for a 9-5 corporate job while I can. Next week might be a different story. And if by some miracle you happen to find yourself here and still reading (anyone other than T, that is!), I'm sure you will not only forgive me my tedium, but perhaps you will find one tiny thread to which you might relate.
I am an odd mix of personality traits...a classic introvert in many respects, as I hate going out, hate group activities, dread parties, small talk and meeting new people. I overthink, observe everything, feel deeply, love being alone, re-energize through solitude. However, I've worked so hard at trying to fill this need to be accepted (fighting my natural inclination at every turn), that I think I have fooled most of the world into thinking that I am this confident, accomplished, pulled together woman with a full calendar and a super happy family life.
Though my ploy may have been successful, it ultimately left me feeling empty, unsatisfied and even MORE alone. It has since taken a ton of work, uncomfortable at times, to align the life I was living with my authentic self (hell, simply FINDING that authentic self wasn't easy under all the years of disguise). I continue to need daily reminders (meditations) to stay on track, but the life I am now able to create for myself is worth it all.
I had been a stay at home mom for about four or five months when we decided our new addition was ready for the exersaucer. I set him in the bouncy seat and opened the box to start putting the damn thing together. I don't know if it was lack of sleep, some PPD, loneliness or any other number of things I faced at the time, but I couldn't for the life of me understand the directions or get the pieces to fit together. My typically overly analytical mind was failing me and I felt like the dam was breaking. I cried for over half an hour on the floor of my living room wondering what the hell happened to my life and how I got where I was. When I finally stopped, I decided to reach out to a new friend. She was open and kind and had just had her second child. I hoped she'd be able to talk me back to normalcy. As soon as she answered and before I could say a word about my situation..."I'm so glad you called! I am so worried about Stacy. I think we should do something for her. She seems to be struggling tremendously with parenting and she's so fragile. I mean, she's the opposite of you...you have everything under control and this parenting thing comes to you so naturally. I'm worried that Stacy is going to break. What can we do?" Well, that stuck. How is that the way that people see me?! I was falling apart and reaching out for help and this is how I'm met? Stacy had full time help and family coming in all the time! I couldn't even put together an exersaucer. It felt like a slap in the face, but somehow it was under my control and I had to merge the inside with the outside. Nothing changed dramatically then, but that was the conversation that made me first realize that what I thought I was portraying was not at all what people were reading. And it made me re-evaluate a number of things from my past. Many of which will likely come up here in the near future, and ALL that helped make me who I am today.
Once in college a friend asked what was wrong, and I looked at her and somehow out spilled, "I'm always afraid I'm too boring." She looked so relieved and gushed, "me too!" They were the sweetest words I could ever hear. I wish I had learned the lesson at the time that letting my guard down just a bit could let in an exponentially greater amount of sunshine, connection and acceptance. I'd love to say I never worried about it again after that, but that would be a lie, though perhaps one I've told myself now and then. I'm constantly on a journey to find others who not only find me (even somewhat) interesting, but actually like me too, and I, them. I have found people find me a lot less boring when I am not afraid to show my true colors, because that's what they are--colors! You may not like my colors, but I am willing to bet you won't ever call The Real Me boring.