*I started this blog post early this summer. It’s hard when something presents itself to you that’s so heavy that your stomach feels as if it’s bottomed out and given way to a big ball of nerves. I’m better now, but when looking through drafts, I did want to share something a bit more raw about me. I’m sure some will see it as pandering, but days in the houseful aren’t all rainbows and butterflies y’all. I cry. A lot. Over little things. Over big things. Over nothing. I spent a lot of time this summer crying. At more friendships that I have to mourn, and over lessons learned. Here’s the beginning of the post, and I added my finishing thoughts at the end.*
I just spent an entire week among bloggers from all over – including Australia – and while I’m SO full from things that I’ve learned and connections that I made, I just wasn’t myself during the entire time. I’m not sure what’s going on in this body of mine, but I can tell you that I’ve learned to listen to it when it signals me.
In full disclosure, I haven’t seen my therapist since June, and I can tell. I’m not down in the dumps (now) or even deep in the throes of horrible thoughts like I was around this time in 2013. However, the overwhelming emotions that I felt all week long caused me to burst into tears at the Southwest terminal counter, and their wonderful employee to tell me “Whatever it is, it’s going to get better. I promise.”
While fully functional Natasha would have thought that statement to be overstepping of boundaries, I needed to hear that. To know someone who didn’t know me from a can of paint could actually take time from their job and offer words of support. Solidarity of sorts.
I’ve realized that I don’t have a strong tribe. Wait a minute. It’s not for lack of trying either. This is not to say that all of the folks who reach out to me a couple of times a month aren’t appreciated. But I do not have a small group who I can flush out things with and TRUST that what I share, or do in their presence is sacred. I learned that in a very hard lesson recently. Being vulnerable with someone and then having them share it with someone who wasn’t there isn’t just shady, it’s so immature. Now, I won’t be comfortable trusting that person with anything else of mine.
This feeling isn’t just relegated to the blogging universe either. It eeks over into my church life as well. Never really fitting in, because I’m not meek and humble, I’m loud, and I tend to share when something just isn’t right. I don’t have a strong group of church friends because most are so worried about appearance and not rocking the boat. It’s a sad way to live if you ask me. I know that there is a certain decorum that one must have in order to hold positions anywhere, but where is the fun in that?!
I’m writing now from a place of earned peace. I started this post several months ago, and now I’m adding to it to show that I do grow. I have to try very hard to protect my peace. I’ve found that thinking that I need a full tribe wasn’t the way to go for me. Clinging to the newest phrases and ideas in the world wasn’t and isn’t working for me. I need two or three people to bounce ideas off of, and they don’t need to live in the same city as I do. I can feel alive and well from telephone conversations of people who enjoy talking to me, and not always lamenting how much of a phone person they aren’t.
That was my issue. Trying to turn people into what I needed them to be instead of finding the people who already were what I needed and connect with them. Do I still get lonely? Yep. I do. Being an extrovert that’s sensitive takes a WHOLE lot of energy. Energy that I can’t afford to expend because I have to live. Yep. I have to live, and when I see the likes of my friends living it up – in their own way – it makes me both happy and sad. Happy because they are doing it! Sad, because I haven’t even managed to perfect the art of doing it. Ha!
Also, this is SO not a feel sorry for me post, but one to flesh out the fact that a “tribe” doesn’t have to be 15 people deep. I can be happy with three or four folks that I trust. They just won’t look like the people that I thought. I can take criticism. I can take correction. What I can’t take is criticism with a side of mean. There is a time for sarcasm, and when you’re dealing with someone’s well being, that isn’t the time. Give me sarcasm when you talk to me about my love of Benedict Cumberbatch and Bruno Mars, not when I’m telling you how I feel jaded by a situation, contract or person in our industry. It’s even worse when I later find out that you funnel information that you’ve obtained from me under the guise of caring just to do revisionist history of it.
Blah. I’m feeling lost. Like I felt trying to traverse the days and weeks of grade school, except this time, I’m doing it with a husband and kids and an obligation to make sure that they don’t wait until almost 40 to take a stand. Lord help me.
The problem is, I’m spending too much time looking in my side and rear view mirrors. I’m not looking ahead and embracing what’s to come. People out here are living their lives, and I’m busy slowing down so that others can pass me up. Missing exits and whatnot. Now if you have had the honor of being a passenger in my real car, you know this isn’t how I operate. So I need to have my life match my driving.