Oddly enough, I wanted to write something meaningful tonight and yet, for some reason, I couldn’t focus to save my life.
Then out of the blue, a thought came to me about writing and how and why I write and how different I feel I am than so many of the other writers I know.
By different, I mean sometimes I feel isolated and not as good as they are but it’s self imposed.
I am from the outside, a confident, efficient and independent woman. I’ve been this way for a long time but I haven’t always been this way. I am also guarded, reserved and if I’m being completely honest, I keep most people at a comfortable distance. There are many reasons for this that maybe someday I’ll explain but for now, I just want to focus on how this plays out in my daily life and how I relate to others.
I love people. I love watching people. I love listening to people. I love learning about them and what motivates them. I love sitting down with someone and hearing their story and taking mental notes of things unsaid, innuendos and body language. I’ll tell a bit of my own story too if they want to hear it but more often then not, I’m more of a listener but when I do open up, I go all the way. Usually though, I open up through my writing via telling a story.
Figuring out who we are takes a while. It is a rare and precious gift to know early on in life who you are and what you’re meant to do. I didn’t and it took me a long time to finally figure myself out and I had to do it in the midst of raising children and being married to someone who for a long time, didn’t behave as if they’d made the right decision. I made choices when I was young with my heart, not my head and I paid dearly for it time and again. Many people say don’t regret your mistakes, learn from them.
I certainly did.
I learned to back away. I learned to internalize things and through those internal struggles, I kept journals and created art. Sometimes I was honest with both my words and pictures but often times, I wasn’t. If I was honest, I’d never share it. I’d hide my journals and poems in the bottom of closets or dresser drawers as if they were the family jewels. I’d paint flowers and write poetry about love and hearts on fire, not weeping willows and unrequited love…only the pretty things were for sharing.
As a novelist, I can share everything from the ugly to the beautiful. Writing for me is most certainly therapy. So much passion and reality escapes through my writing…as long as it’s fiction I can share it with the world.
When I was younger I was always so caught up in worrying about what other people thought of me, how I looked and how smart I was that I never stopped to think about what I thought of myself until I was in my forties. One day I just woke up and didn’t care anymore. I was good enough for me. Unfortunately, that was around the same time that I started to pull away. I’d come out of my self imposed cave when I knew I’d be surrounded by people I am comfortable with–people I trust–people I love and who love me back and who I believe really do.
Betrayal is a horrible way to wake up but whatever it takes to finally make you look in the mirror and say that dreaded phrase, “I’m good enough just the way I am,” is worth suffering through to get there.
Those closest to me understand me–I think. They accept my gopher like behavior and get it because well, I’m an artist. We aren’t supposed to be like everyone else right? We’re a bit different to begin with so when I hide in my cave for weeks except for going to my day job everyday where I’m comfortable and I am among family so to speak, in my eyes, I’m still in my cave–my comfort zone.
Like a genie in a bottle.
Out in the real world I am:
In my bottle I’m:
Out in the real world, I feel good enough for me but not yet good enough for you. Out in the real world, I still can’t take a compliment because deep down inside, that girl, that stupid, insecure girl who never felt good enough still lingers. It isn’t humility or modesty. She plainly and simply still doesn’t believe she’ll ever accomplish enough to be able to grow up. She always thinks people are just being “nice.”
Maybe someday she’ll look in the mirror and finally believe people aren’t just being nice. Maybe she’ll stop being afraid of letting people back in…all the way and come out of the bottle for good.
Then again, maybe she’s fine, just the way she is.
I hope this made sense. It’s very late. Goodnight my lovies.