Friday, May 14, 2010

branching out

Never, ever, ever have I been comfortable going out on limbs. And, for me, so very many things constitute going out on a limb. There's much I can say on this topic, but I'll keep it short(ish...I think).

I'm think I'm truly a wall-flower. I've spent much of my life figuratively beating myself up about this, and I still swing between wanting to either just get over it or just accept it about myself. I'd very often like to disappear into the background while others shine. It's not that I don't want the recognition or that I don't want to bask in the spotlight, it's just that, well, I don't. At least, I have myself convinced that I don't.

And, here's the problem: Life doesn't just go around handing stuff to us. Well, not to me, so much. Sure, she's treated me incredibly well, but when I truly want something, I have to work for it, or at least ask for it. That's just how it goes for everyone, I know. And, at least very often Life works with me when I'm willing and able to put myself out there. It's just that I have such a skittishness, such a fear, that I'll ask and Life (more specifically: those I'm doing the actual asking of) will kick me down and laugh at me and leave me crying in a dark corner. I have no real idea where I obtained this sense of self-doubt, but it's been with me for as long as I can remember.

Lately, I've been understanding my parents so much more. My childhood parents. The ones who were worried about providing for us financially. The ones who wanted to be able to do more than provide food and shelter. We are certainly not lacking anything, but I am feeling the need to get over whatever it is I am going through right now and figure out how I am going to be a better provider for my family.

Today, I allowed myself to be hurt twice. I allowed myself and my integrity* to be brushed off twice -- once by someone who ultimately doesn't matter all that much to me and once by someone who matters a great deal to me. I let myself wallow in my hurt for a while. I took off in anger and sat in silence. Then, I came home, ate a late dinner to fortify myself and then I climbed out on that limb. One limb. And, I'll be hanging here for a while. I somewhat expect this limb to snap and I'm not sure what I expect to be waiting for me at the end of my fall, but I'm out here. I'm trying to be the best parent and member of this family I can be, but lately I've been screwing it up. For now, I'm hoping that this tree has a lot of limbs and that some of them are strong enough to support me.


* I don't think "integrity" is quite what I want here. My pride? My sense of self-worth? I'm not sure.


Kat said...

It actually took reality television to teach me how to get up after falling. I didn't think that I should fall. I thought the limb should always hold, but it doesn't. It sounds dumb. But, it took watching reality contestants like those on American Idol, Project Runway, and The Biggest Loser fail to understand how to get up. I thought if you failed, you should just pack up your stuff and quietly leave the room Sometimes the really great contestants on these shows will have disasterous weeks. Sing terribly, forget ingredients, gain weight... but they don't always go home. Sometimes they fight. They fight to stay in the game. And sometime the next week they shine. Sometimes not. But, I really didn't get that.

All that to say. Good luck with your limbs. And if you do fall, well, it doesn't have to be the end of the game.