I am suffering from a wicked bad case of stage fright when it comes to this blog. Perhaps it is just garden variety “writer’s block”. It could be a combination of both. OR it could be a deep seated neurotic thing. You know, now that I mention it, that neurotic thing maybe could use a little investigation.
The Wiz et al invited me to join the war a couple of years ago and I have since contributed twice. I think. My entries got me a few mini-accolades and I patted myself on the back a bit. “See, self? You ARE cool - you not only KNOW what a blog is, you’re ON (in?) one!” And then I went ker plunk. Yes, that is a highly technical clinical term – ker plunk. The wheels ground to a halt and I froze.
None save two of you ladies in this corner of interweb knows who the actual me is (maybe there’s a third, but I’m not sure the third knows she knows what she might know). That right there should create an inviting safe haven of self-expression - a veritable deep glossy pool of writing opportunity, a tantalizing creative outlet (I crossed the line there, huh). Well, nope. I’m still chicken. I just can’t seem to open up and just be myself. You see if I post something that is dear to me or apparently in my case even something that involved what I ate for breakfast yesterday (toaster waffles with peanut butter, bananas, and rice cripsies on top – whew I did it!), I will be exposing myself to you. Somehow ONE of you will figure out who I am, realize I’m in your ward, you will whisper my identity to so and so along with your take on my writings and somehow that will kill me. Or at least it feels like it.
How can someone who is armed with the knowledge of the gospel be so incredibly insecure? Am I not doctrinally assured of my worth? Am I not a daughter of God? Why am I so afraid that I’m not good enough to share pieces of me? These hesitations edge in to all parts of my life, not just this blog. I just can’t seem to open up and put myself out there. Is it narcissistic to dwell on this? Is it a mental luxury for my worries to be like this rather than the real worries of say whether or not I can feed my family? Is it silly of me to think that what I say or do will have an effect on anyone one way or the other? Or is it that I’m worried that what I say or do will have NO effect whatsoever and I will be forever relegated to an existence of being completely unimportant and expendable? Hmm…This has been driving me nuts for a while now so I’m going to run with it.
I am undereducated. I’m short, I’m a little overweight, I am a 32 year old with zits and have “only” one child in a multi-childed (yes I invented that word) community. I don’t run triathlons, marathons, or do any “athons” for that matter unless you count the “athons” like the kind Nick at Nite or Bravo has. I’ve never been Miss Anything. I don’t fit in with the “pretty girls” in my ward. The “brainy” girls are professionals who likely don’t have time to hang with the likes of a SAHM and/or they have so many letters after their names that I get intimidated and hide. I am not currently employed outside of my home, yet I totally suck at most of the important domestic arts. It’s been nearly three years and I still don’t feel like an adequate mother. I’ve been married for almost 9 years and still feel like I fall miserably short in the wife department. I really thought I had it together there for a little while (first half of my twenties) – was I just deluded? To sum up: Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m 13 again.
As far as the education thing goes, I can converse eloquently enough that most people are surprised to find out that I have no degree. But I feel a real stab in my gut when other women begin sentences with “when I was doing my undergrad work….” Because clearly that translates into “I did GRAD work, implying that I GRADUATED”. I’ve been in the room when gals begin to give their two cents about women who don’t get their degree before they become moms and I’ve felt like sinking into the chair and dying. Not unlike when you get your period in junior high school at it leaks and you pray to high heaven you can scooch out of the room rear-end first with something tied around your waist so no one knows. “Please bless that I can disappear right now and never be seen again. By anyone. Ever.”
So does everyone go through more than one emotional puberty? Do we all fear that we will be discovered as the hapless insecure thirteen year olds we feel like inside or am I the only one? Do we all long to be “invited to the sleep over” (insert appropriate activity here: playgroup, shopping trip, book group, vacation etc..) and have the popular people like us? I don’t dot my letters with little hearts anymore so why am I so terrified of being “out”? Who is “in” anyway?
Not to sound like a broken record, but some gals really DO seem like they have it together. I can act the part on the outside (“Well helllleeew there, sister so and so how are you doing? OH, I’m doing okay, thanks for asking.” *runs away desperately hoping sister so and so “likes” me*). Are you all acting too? Logically I can see that very few, if any, of the people I perceive to be in/with it/together/popular think they are as fantastic as they appear to be. For example, I know a gal who runs a marathon shortly after the birth of each of her children and is still of the opinion that she is somehow out of shape. I know women who get up with their husbands at 4 am to make them breakfast and pack them a lunch everyday and they STILL consider themselves slacker wives. My husband is lucky if I roll over and grunt in his direction when he gets up at 4 am.
Look, I realize I have my good points, but they feel so small and fragile and hard to detect sometimes that it feels like I have to protect them by building a wall around them. Much like a solid brick shed built over a vegetable garden I think this formidable yet ill-advised defense mechanism of mine is killing the things inside of it.
This has been an exquisitely difficult thing to write. If you’re reading it then I clenched my teeth and posted it.
Basically I’ve left my bra out - please don’t put it in the freezer.
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