I felt like the outsider of an exclusive club.
Although intellectually I know that I am no longer “young”, my mind and soul feel much to the contrary. Sitting among those women, mothers, I felt like a little girl and one coming from a far different world than they. I imagined them looking me up and down, taking in my hair, outfit, shoes and purse, and my mind filled in many blanks as to where their thoughts went from there. I felt judged and looked down upon; I felt less than I thought they appeared to be.
I, of course, realized how silly I was being, but the rationale wasn’t enough to wash away my insecurities. In that half hour, as I sat waiting for Makiya’s class to end, many forgotten feelings came back to me, and I thought that I had an epiphany. I thought I had put a name to the missing piece of the puzzle about myself. What I didn’t realize at the time was that this was just the beginning of a serious revelation about my life and where I am right now.
My mind strolled backwards, remembering the different times in my life, the many faces I have worn and the circumstances that surrounded me during those times. I have bounced between being the “wall flower” and the “social butterfly”, swinging back and forth. I have spent seasons preferring the company of myself to the energy sapping game of socialization, and then, there were times that the mere thought of spending another moment alone would bring on an anxiety attack. I wondered what the difference really was; how is it that I have been able to pull off BOTH persona’s and, yet, not truly feel at home in either?
It was obviously necessary, whichever mask I chose, to be who I needed to be in that time, but why? Was my personality a response to circumstance or were the situations dictated by the current role I was playing?
I suppose it was both.
Then, I got to wondering what had brought me back into being the “wall flower” I currently am… and I thought I finally got it.
I decided that past actions, undesirable ones, were keeping me clammed up. I told myself that because I wasn’t proud of what I had done, years ago, I was afraid to chat, make small talk, introduce myself to others, because I didn’t want them to know about my mistake or to judge me for it.
THAT I claimed as my truth.
A week later, after struggling to write through what I had felt that day, I began a conversation with a very insightful woman about it all. Even as I began to let the words spill out, I knew how ridiculous of an excuse it was; pretending that I was afraid of being judged for a past mistake! That’s all it was, another feeble attempt to ignore the truth. So, when she, unwittingly, called me out on it, putting a name to what it really was, I wasn’t fully surprised. But the name, the truth of what I was feeling, wasn’t what I expected either.
Suddenly, it was glaringly visible, and I was instantly frozen by fear when I recognized what I was really dealing with.
It now made sense WHY I was having such a hard time writing the piece on discovering a new truth; it wasn’t true either.