Thursday, April 7, 2011

Writer's Workshop: If you really knew me...

courtesy of we heart it

If you really knew me, you would know that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m the girl fumbling around in the dark, trying to find the light switch or even a familiar piece of furniture to rest against and get my bearings. I can sometimes almost fool myself into believing I have some modicum of a reason behind the inner workings of my mind and where my passions truly lie. I can tell you, like a girl who is interviewing for a job, that I’m smart and detail-oriented and strive for perfection and that those same things tend to get in my own way all the time. I can offer up the standard, “work in progress” answer I use whenever I join a site and it requests a bio, but that's about it.

If you really knew me, you would know that my favorite words to use about myself are “work in progress” because I don’t know how else to define this journey. It’s a cop-out. I own it. Aren’t we all that very thing? How does that show how unique I am? How does it even explain anything about me?

If you really knew me, you would know that my friends have a very different view of who I am than I do. I don’t know whose is more accurate or not, but I’m betting theirs is nicer. My friends might say that I’m loyal and funny because I want so much for people to always know that I care about them. I never felt it growing up – always feeling lost and off-to-the-side and alone – and I wasn’t a very good friend to people when I was younger. I wanted so much to be liked that I didn’t know how to be there for people. I’m funny because, well, I’m from an Irish Catholic family that repressed everything. I handled losing my father with humor because crying was wrong – even at eleven years old, I knew that. I handled feelings of worthlessness with a quick joke at my own expense because it doesn’t count if I’m laughing at myself and it proved you couldn’t hurt me. Except you really could and I just set myself up for a lifetime of negative thoughts firing out of my synapses.

If you really knew me, you would know that I really hate and love my mother fiercely. I’ve missed her so much since she passed away two years ago and yet I’m so relieved she’s not my problem anymore. I used to curse my father, wherever he might’ve gone after he died, because not only did he leave me with her, but her whole survival seemed dependent on me. And yeah, even if you really didn’t know me, you would know that the dynamic wasn’t healthy and probably not my fault, but I wouldn’t listen to you about such things.

If you really knew me, you would know that I try to give off a “whatever” or laissez faire attitude about things, but I over-analyze and fret and run around like Chicken Little, “the world’s gonna end! The world’s gonna end!” I take everything to heart. Things stay with me forever and I hate and hate and hate.

I guess that’s another thing you can know about me – I’m not very forgiving. I hold onto everything. It’s filed away on an index-card-like brain cell, fermenting and growing, and you might never even know that you hurt me, but oh the wrath I will feel and the justice I will dispel in my own imagination.

Mostly, if you really knew me, you would know how uncomfortable I am in my own skin. I put a lot of focus on my weight. It’s been ingrained in me for as long as I can remember and it’s a huge part of how I identify myself. But even beyond the weight, I never feel right. Never good enough or funny enough or smart enough - I’m never enough.

It’s a horrible way to live.

So I'm right back whre I started because I really don't know myself. There is this amazing person inside me, fighting to get out and be heard and share her lessons with the world, but she is stuck in the quicksand of “not good enough.” It’s not so much that I’m fumbling around in the dark trying to find the lights, but that I’m too afraid to turn them on and truly see.

In the end, if you really knew me, you would have a one-up on me.


Jane@flightplatformliving said...

well you miaght feel crappy but you sure do write with beauty! Your comment about turning on the light reminded me so much of the words of nelson mandella, i had to share them with you...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

so nice to stop by and say hi, turn the light on, your writing proves there is something incredible to shine upon xxx

Jenna said...

your words are so honest. it was brave of you to write out your view of yourself and share so much. thank you for being transparent on this linkup! *HUG*

Emily said...

I loved this prompt. It was so soul-baring, wasn't it?

Yours was especially well written and I could relate to much of it.

I think knowing ourselves comes with age, and I think it is those who do not question that are not really living life the way it is meant to be. Life is full of questions!