Tuesday, February 12, 2013

walking alone.


If given the chance right now (okay, well most days, if I'm being really honest) - I'd walk that beach alone.

I'm a quiet person, and tend to keep to myself most of the time. Even with the best of friends and family. Sure, I'm a girl and talk about my feelings and all that girly stuff, but only with a small, small group of people - like maybe three at the most.

I tend to mirror those around me. Put me with an extrovert and I'm just as chatty and conversational as the next gal. Sit me down with someone quiet and shy, and I'll quietly sit there wondering what in the world to say to that person.

I don't like hanging out with big groups of people. The bigger the group, the bigger my insecurities - and the quieter I get. Even if that group contains really close friends. And let's not even talk about big groups of women...(scary!!)

One of my best friends from my first couple of years at college, once told me that when she first met me in business class she thought I was a totally snob because I was so quiet and didn't talk to anyone. That was when I realized that my quietness could come across the wrong way. Of course, I did think the same of her at the time. I wonder how often my quietness comes across as aloofness? I have heard it again from another person I recently met. I suppose I need to think about that a bit more and maybe make more of an effort to be friendly.

I enjoy the company of others, but really like to be alone. I've especially noticed this about myself since Eric has been working in California. Sure, Max and Sammy are in the house and around, but it's not quite the same in some unexplainable way. I notice I'm a happier version of myself when Eric is home. Even if we aren't doing anything together - it's nice to have another adult in the house. I guess it's just nicer to be able to be alone in the company of others. It doesn't feel quite as lonely. (I realize now I might not be making any sense...)

And while I've said all of this above about me enjoying being alone and all, the "little kid"(and yes, we are all still nurturing the little kid inside us) in me wants so desperately to be the girl that everyone wants to call, and make plans with, and email. I guess that's that human need to feel wanted, to feel important (and not in the "you're important to your son" kind of way. I know I'm very important to my son and parents and husband).  Perhaps years of not being the girl who people are just dying to call and email and make plans with, has ever so subtly turned me inward - part survival mechanism, part coping mechanism. If I become the inward person and start laying down the bricks one by one, then perhaps I will convince myself that I don't really need to feel wanted by others. And that the "popularity" the kid in me seeks, is childish and silly. If I take control of the keeping others at arms length, then it becomes something I have chosen to do, and feels a lot less like others having the control. Right?...

Just some thoughts on vulnerability on a grey, Northwest Tuesday afternoon. More to come on all of this stuff later. Why I'm choosing to work this stuff out publicly on this blog is beyond me. I guess it's a step toward being more vulnerable.  You can join me on this journey, or just skip these personal posts.
For those of you who have taken the time to read with an open and loving heart - I thank you.


PS - and if you are remotely interested in really digging deep and getting down and dirty with your vulnerabilities  I urge you to read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

And no, that's not me in that photo above, walking alone. That's my sweet friend, Heather. :)

And a thank you to my sweet friend, Karli, for the emails today that prompted this post. ;)


Michelle said...

aww yes. wall building as a defense mechanism. i know that strategy. love that you are digging deep. i got the book tracey recommended (Why You Do The Things You Do) and look forward to sitting down and gaining a little insight on my own isolationist tendancies.

Carla said...

Putting it out there publicly makes you more accountable. It makes it harder to fail at getting better.
I TOTALLY understand that little kid feeling of wanting to be that girl, to be accepted. I think people see me as an extrovert (I'm always the one trying to make people laugh, I can usually talk to anyone - that sort of stuff) but I definitely have my introvert tendencies. There are those times that I can talk to anyone but at the same time I feel very awkward with new people and sometimes clam up. Maybe I'm the introvert/extrovert oxymoron. Happy to go on this journey with you. Let me know if you need anything. :)

Marisa said...

Makes perfect sense to me! I'm the same way. People often find me unapproachable, even though it's just shy little me being quiet. I've always been this way, but I feel it more strongly since I've had kids and been out of the "grown up" world. I fear people will bore of me talking about my children and education and baking. I don't follow the news enough to feel comfortable talking about current events. (What if I get something wrong??) I fully expected these insecurities to go away with age. . . they have not.

Janet Kay Goettsch said...

Well, you certainly hit the nail on the head with this post, this is Me! I envy people with friends that regularly get together, and I do have friends that I could do things with, but I enjoy being alone. My daughter is the same and I feel that she is missing out on having fun, but she is happy being alone. Both of my boys would wither and die if they were forced to live like my daughter and I.
I understand how you can be happier with your hubby home, even if you aren't together.

Heather M. said...

hey look! a photo of me i like. :) had no idea you took that one. so good to see a photo you took from our trip. :)

i know what you mean about wanting to be alone. i'm very much the same way and have to push myself to live in community. it's hard but worth it.

i've got that brene brown book on hold at the library. can't wait to read it.