Monday, July 11, 2011
I've Always Said...
When I was a little girl I always said that I wanted to be a person I wanted to meet. I don't know when I first thought this thought but I can say that I was pretty little. I also had the thought that I needed to care about other people known and unknown. Big ideas for such a little person! I remember sitting in my bedroom not really knowing how to write well but having these thoughts about the world and how I was to fit into this space. How is a girl all of maybe 5 or 6 supposed to make sense out of such thoughts but not having the writing skills to express her thoughts into words? I am no little girl any more but I still vividly remember laying in my bed at night thinking these things. I always wanted to know me and I guess this was the beginning of my self-reflecting quest to figure out who I was and who I needed to become.
I thought that I would know it all as an adult and that my puzzle of life would be somewhat finished but quite the opposite has happened. I have no clue as to what my puzzle is supposed to even look like never mind having the borders completed and the major items pieced together. Nope. Not me. Not now. Not sure when!
I still think back at that little girl I once was and how my thinking was so clean, crisp, and fresh. I wanted. I dreamed. I hoped. I reached. I reflected deeply. I am still that little person but with a hardened soul due to life's lessons and experiences I've gone through. See, I am a sensitive person and quite shy. Chaos stresses me out and gives me headaches. I like the simple in life. I like things to be somewhat predictable and routine but when things need to change I want to and need to be the one in control of that change. I struggle with being told that you now have to do this! Frustration sets in and I start to shut down.
All my life I've felt misunderstood by people. People I know and people I don't. When I was in school I was often referred to as a snob because I didn't join into certain behaviors that made me feel uneasy. I was not prissy and entitled. I did not go around thinking that I was better than other people, quite the opposite actually. Snob I am not. Quite - yes. Shy - yes. Conservative - yes. Watch from a distance before I form my opinions - yes. Perfectionist - yes. Snob - no. I do not judge. I do not look down on people. I don't think others are better than or less than I. I just always wanted to meet me. I aimed to be the kind of friend I needed in my life. I aimed to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. I aimed to talk to people the way I wanted to be talked to. In school this is frequently referred to as "The Golden Rule" and it is a "rule". However, in school it is overused, misunderstood, and lacks respect by those preaching. But reaching way back to my little girlhood I always said I wanted to be the person I wanted to meet.
Have I become that person? Do I still think the same way some 30+ years later? Do I still believe in that dream?
I would like to think that I still want the same thing for myself and how I am to treat other people but I am a little tarnished and bruised. Why do I feel tarnished and bruised? Because....life happened. I don't always know how to handle my thoughts and feelings about things and often shut down and go numb; unable to processes what is going on inside and how to come to a coherence that would articulate my ideas. I also think that fear has always played a role. I do fear failure, disappointment, told "no", rejection, and being told that I don't live up to someone else's standards.
Today I realized that I need to stop comparing on all levels. I always wonder what other people would think if they knew X or Y about me. Often times what I think they will say dictates what I will do and how I go about doing the next thing. I don't like it. Why do I feel the need to get validation by someone else? Why can't my own approval or disapproval be enough to motivate me to move on or encourage me to slow down? I weigh to heavily on the opinions of others and I had a tough life lesson I had to learn that revolved around others opinions. What have I learned? I don't care what "you" think. It is so cliche but "you" don't know what is best for me and because "you" don't, "you" don't have a say regardless. This is hard to say and even harder to write about it. Why? My heart cares about people. I have deep empathy for others and what they go through. I sympathize. I feel compassion. I don't like to see people or know people are suffering for whatever reason. But in order for me to propel myself forward I have to not care as much about your opinion about me and my dreams.
So, I always said I wanted to be the person I want to meet. I like this thought and I hope that because this memory has revealed itself back to me after all this time, there is a place now for it to live and exist as a reminder to the path I need to take to achieve the greatest happiness I can.
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