I’m ready to share my thoughts, and so you might not like me, but that’s ok.
Thoughts. I’ve always had them. My nearest and dearest would jump in at this point and agree wholeheartedly, as they’ve had to put up with me verbalising my opinions at every chance, as if me keeping it in would cause me physical harm. They except that in me. They don’t always listen, but that’s fine. I just have to put it out there. I really can’t help it.
But to share my thoughts with the outer-world. Frankly, you lot. Well that’s scary. I’ve always been afraid that, if you knew me, you wouldn’t really like me. But, for goodness sakes, I’m approaching 50 and I’m getting a bit bored of that. I am far from perfect. But it’s time to push myself out of my cozy, loving comfort zone, where I’m excepted unconditionally (and yes I do love it so).
Why do it to myself? Well, there is a nagging thought, that as I tell my daughter to be brave and get that higher paid job (she’s sooo much better than she thinks she is) and my son who is stoically taking on new challenges, that I’m really not much of an example. Yes, in the parental way, I am. I’m good at that. But I’ve always been a bit afraid of people and it’s kept me hidden away, like a tortoise poking out it’s head to look at the world, liking what they see, but retreating it’s neck back in again, just incase.
I was bullied at school, as so many other kids were. But, it really shouldn’t of gone on so long. That part was really down to me. You see, I really had absolutely zilch coping skills. No back chat, no banter, no sass. I just hid. Every day from Junior to 6th Form. I also had a biological father who gave me up as a baby. It was no biggy. I was still with my Mum, and I had a man who bought me up as his own, my Dad. But, there has always been a self-doubting fear in me that whispers, ‘you weren’t good enough’. Whatever ‘good enough’ meant.
That fear has established itself over the years whenever I’ve come across ‘haters’, as Kim Kardashian would put it.
So, I’ve wrapped myself in a big family blanket and enjoyed all it’s had to offer. I have worked. Various jobs. That was easy. It was the socialising afterwards I dreaded. That’s when I was afraid that all these wonderful people I enjoyed at work would get to know me properly and change their minds. Would they judge me badly? Am I enough? It was always harder when I admired them so much.
Then, as part of an Open University degree I was taking, I had to head off on my own on a weeks long course. I was nearly besides myself. Not that I let on. I must have come across bright and chatty. But inside I was pleading, ‘Please just like me’. Mostly, I think they did. But there was one young woman, who HATED ME. My worst fear was playing out and my family comfort bubble was half way across Britain.
She had M.E., this woman, and had to carry around a blanket with her for when she needed a nap. I was impressed. There was me stressing over something that may or may not happen and this woman turned up prepared with a blanket, not letting her condition stop her taking the course. Don’t get me wrong, she was a complete bitch. But she was also courageous. I quietly suggested if she got tired I’d be happy to carry her blanket (we were 1/2 way up a steep Shropshire hill). She took offence, like some women do to men who hold the door for them. I’d simply shared my thoughts, but for her this was a huge thing and I had insulted her.
I looked hard at myself over the next few days and realised that perhaps I came across a bit Mummsie. Well, I was a Mum, my greatest passion in life. I’m even a bit maternal with my three younger sisters, especially the twins who are thirteen years younger than me. My hormones were coming in as they were being born! I still have to sensor myself to this day.
The thing is I didn’t intend to ‘mother’ this woman on my course. I was being compassionate. But it taught me one thing. That is despite your very best efforts, you will never make everyone like you, and that’s OK. The worst had happened. I’d put myself out there and in the eyes of at least one person, I wasn’t good enough.
I survived. I went back home having passed with scores worthy of a high five and promised myself NEVER to leave the bosom of my family again.
Well, it was so easy to do! But now here I am, 10 years later, stepping out of my favourite comfort zone once again. Wanting to give a little bit more of myself.
I don’t consider myself expert at much more than my own life. But, if you enjoy my ramblings, there will be more. And if you don’t, that’s OK. I wish you nothing bad in the world. But, I’m still stepping out, as I see my adult children are doing.
If you’re with me, hi, stay tuned, there’s more to come.
As I share my thoughts, I’d love to hear yours. Leave a comment below to keep the conversation going.