I hate feeling vulnerable, like I feel right now. I just hit send on an e-mail to a colleague regarding a work issue. I cannot talk to this person as I have never met her nor do I know where she lives. It is a long-distance working relationship within which time and space are dimensions that work against, rather than bring alongside. The issue of which I write pertains to a misunderstanding, and I have tried my best to explain my side of things through the written word.
The written word. It lacks the nuances that are afforded with body language. A smile can soften the blow when words become serious. A touch, inserted in the heat of the moment can turn an argument into a discussion. Eye contact means everything. Body language is a close second.
So it is with great trepidation that I send off that letter. Vulnerability is not a covering I wear well.
I have been in this place before; the written word has failed me too many times to count. So, it is to the readers who are privy to this post that I will reveal some things about myself.
I am very insecure. I hate being misunderstood. When I think I have been misunderstood, I will move heaven and earth to explain myself. I also want to understand everything. Everything. I hate not knowing. I want to know what, who, how long, how much, how often and where. And I want to know why.
Because I question and analyze and turn things around, I am easily hurt myself. I read into things. I cannot accept simple answers. I always think things are far more complicated than they really are. I am often suspicious. And very, very sceptical.
I use humour to mask pain. If I write about it in jest, you can bet your bottom dollar that there is a pile of pain behind that story. My life is not nearly as funny as I portray it to be, but the humor lifts me to a place where I can accept that life is not perfect. In the imperfections, we find grace and acceptance. We find courage to carry on.
I am resilient. I have a story within a story within a story. Some layers tell of very painful things. Other layers tell stories that are light-hearted in spite of the pain. Some stories are unbelievable, but all are true. I do not write fiction. I tried. I could not find anything of worth to right down. The only stories I can tell are those that are real. They are my stories, for better or for worse.
I am tenacious. I do not tire easily when I am working towards a goal. Most goals are bigger than myself, and possibly unrealistic. I have dogged determination that I can do that which my minds sets out to do. I will make myself finish things even if it kills me.
I believe in truth bigger than myself. I am not the be all and end all of my life. There is more for which I live than myself. I am self-sacrificial to a fault. I live my life for others, but in doing so I hope to gain it all back. My purpose. A deeper reason to live other than that which is self-serving. God, my family, my friends, myself. In that order, most of the time.
I’m only human.
When all is said and done, I am simply a girl, not a mother or a wife or a daughter or a friend, teacher or colleague. At the end of the day, I’m just a girl. That girl wears her emotions inside out most of the time, but she is honest and real. I will be that girl until I breathe my dying breath and let her go. She is the essence of who I really am inside.
That is the best I can really hope for in this life. This imperfect here and now.
To be human, damaged yet perfect, just the way I am.