Saturday, September 5, 2009

Just write, okay...

It is easier said than done. I have always wanted to be a writer. I have always expressed myself best in words. But at the same time was afraid to write. Why? I think it was because I was afraid I would reveal myself too much emotionally. That everything I have wrapped up inside me would come tumbling out. People would look and see me for who I really was and reject me.

We all have our faces. We project an image of the part of us we want the world to see, the good part of us that we deem acceptable. We are on our best behavior whether at our jobs or with friends. But who are we really?

I just realized I went to the singular me/I to the plural we. I am hiding from myself again in a group. Strange that I would do that as I have always felt lost in a group and yet I unconsciously write myself as part of one.

Okay… so let’s start again…

I have a face that I put on when I go out into the world. I project the image that I want the world to see, the good part of me that is acceptable. I am at my best behavior whether at my job or with my friends. But, who am I really? That is a question I have never been able to answer.

I recall a conversation I had with my oldest brother Paul on a Sunday afternoon when I was in 25 years old. I was distraught as a close friend of mine had tried to kill herself the night before. I was confused about everything that day. Her actions had rocked my world. It shook me up so bad that I questioned everything, my life, my friends and who I was.

Paul had met me for breakfast, but stayed with me the whole day. He listened as I talked. We walked all over SE Minneapolis. I don’t remember a lot of the conversation, but one piece, one idea stayed with me all these years later. I questioned who I was. I honestly didn’t know anymore. I could not find myself or my purpose. Paul told me that the way I could find myself was in the reflection of others, maybe not in those exact words.

I remember feeling quite worthless at the time. I had been unable to help my friend. I was lost and empty inside. He in a sense told me to find myself in other people. How they reacted to me. But doing that would require that I came out of the hard shell of hurt I had wrapped myself in. I did as he suggested, I reached out to other friends who were also hurting from the attempted suicide. I paid attention and saw myself through their eyes. I filled myself up again and moved on.

I have always had a problem with being emotionally honest. It is a fear of rejection. I disappear into myself many times before the rejection comes so I will not be hurt. But I am hurt regardless because I do not allow anyone in. I am always alone. I am lonely.

I have a fear of strong emotion. I shut myself inside and don’t allow anyone to get to close. When I was young I had a very bad temper. My brothers used to tease me for sport, just to make me mad. My temper is one of the traits that I shared with my mother. I hated when she would become angry and shout at whoever was there. I became angry with myself when I saw myself in her. I learned to bottle up these angry emotions and hold them inside. But the anger wasn’t the only emotion I held inside, all my emotion became trapped within me. I could not feel. I could not show it. It would all come tumbling out.

I know what I need to do. But it is difficult to undo years of hiding, from myself and who I really am. I need to come from behind my mask. If I don’t I will never be the writer or the person that I could be.