That was me. I looked the same as now, I was busy and seemingly bright. I laughed, made dinners, hosted parties, told good stories, had lots of friends and lived a lie. Not the obvious lies recollected in this blog, I'm talking about the "core lie." We all have one. It either stems back to childhood, heartbreak, trauma, or some construct we were taught but never thought to question.
Mine was that I was doing the best I could, given everything I had "suffered", I turned out OK. I told myself I was flawed but whole. I gave birth to myself, in a sense, last week. It happened without witnesses, but I wrote: "What makes a woman." I wrote so I wouldn't choke on my own reality and suffocate to death in the consequence of denial and in-authenticity. "Authenticity" a word so often underrated and even more rarely truly understood. I can't go back. So I stumble forward.
Some people noticed. My mother called and said: "Happy Birthday, dear Lulu!" One of my friends wrote to me: "Hi, My name is ______, Nice to meet you again, it's been so long." I acknowledge it with levity. I annihilated my core lie. I faced myself: The ugly, weak, vulnerable and so very NOT whole, nor doing her best version of me.
Everything has imploded, exploded or collapsed around me since. (give or take a week, labor takes time.) In the post event dust-storms, my hair blowing, granular pieces of my life obliterated stinging my eyes and getting in my mouth. It hurts, but I adapt. I do a heart, soul and mind check each time assessing damage. I learn quickly. I'm smiling as I write this, because they are just as funny as they are going to be ignored. I've learned that too. But I'm throwing it out there so now you have been warned.
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:
1. What you see/hear directly from ME, is what I really mean. In the past I could be passive aggressive or sarcastic. I'd assume you should read my mind or I'd try to seem "OK" or adjust to whatever most pleasing mood I thought was appropriate, at the detriment and cost to myself. Ya, nope. No. Can. Do. This takes a certain amount of fortitude from me and my friends. Its sad but true, most people don't REALLY want to know how or who you are. Or at least not to the point where they are expected to stay comfortable when I say: "I'm so disillusioned. No one really lives authentically, REALLY. Its so lonely, and I am so shocked how misunderstood I am, even when I am so very clear."
2. Please do not LIE to me. Say nothing if you like, but don't pretend to be, say or have different intentions than those within. The whole "don't bullshit a bullshitter?" Hi. That was me. I'm your worst nightmare. Not only was I so beautifully trained in my childhood to "adapt or die" moving country to country, school changes, cities, 7 condos in 8 years, lack of stability, ever-changing or absent role models... these built a perfected craft at being a chameleon. I am not shameful. It is called survival. I'm here. Problem is, I have a huge repertoire to pull from for reference. I can also literally feel what you are emanating, and that sense is keen, and hasn't proven wrong yet. So if those words coming out of your mouth don't align with the rest of you, I'm repelled, and that is coupled with my "No-filter" polar specter of truth and authenticity....so real relating is a huge challenge to say the least.
Historically, I am that friend who would vomit my feelings all over the place, before I even decided if they were temporary or remaining. I would tell anyone who would listen, and have sounding boards, and read faces and reactions like tarot cards.
Now, I go inward with all my thoughts. I digest, and spin, and stretch them. I'm very quiet. It's spooking people out. I learned the very hard way, once you say something, it can't be erased. Truth is best delivered well-packaged and with humility and tenderness. NOT in a fit of epiphany or sudden clarity. So I'm monkish in my silence lately. Just being!
4. If it's not simple, it's not for me right now. There is no other way to describe it. I never thought I had a "capacity limit." Well, it turns out I do. My life is on fire and so am I. So anything remotely complex is a no-go, right now. I am completely transparent. I am here. I am mothering. I write. I will usually answer a text, email or the phone. That is it. Anything stringy or hairy in the emotional arena is too much for me. Note: NOT too much for me to listen, care and support. I'm saying I can not engage it myself. (now, if Owen Wilson or Adam Levine showed up....I'd have to re-evaluate.)
5. Completely disregard Rules 1-4: I mean it. I am the one that changed, re-shaped and became a bit of a puzzle. I have absolutely no illusion that my journey is not my own. So I will adapt. It's my responsibility to learn how to embrace changes better, communicate and forgive anyone who might be shocked, warming up to me or be outright scared of me. I really can see how that is possible. Laugh at me and with me, but know that at the very least, I am just as freaked out as you and I can't go back.
So I keep eyes wide open, and walk forward slowly into the great unknown.