Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I guess I decided not to disappear from my blog for too long. Apparently I have things to say even though I'm very much still licking my wounds.

One of the folks I follow on Twitter posted a link to this article today and it got me thinking. Okay, fine, what doesn't get me thinking? In this case, I started thinking about courage (If you don't want to read the whole article, at least read the last three paragraphs) and how it relates to my life over the past five years.

For most of my life I haven't let people see my vulnerable side. God forbid someone should think I might be weak! My answer to "are you okay" has usually been to paste on a smile and reply with "oh, I'm fine, thanks for asking." Very few people have actually seen me cry and I cry at everything, books, movies, music, commercials, you name it I cry at it. But I can't remember the last person I cried in front of. Might be Ms. Ex during one of our many, many, lengthy "discussions."

When Ms. Ex and I were having our issues during the 18 months it took for us to get engaged and then finally split up I kept everything to myself for the most part. All the screaming matches. All the "discussions" during which she repeated the same few phrases over and over and over again. I think I talked about it, really talked about it, with just one of my friends. Who lives 3,000 miles away. I might have shared bits and pieces with others, but no one really knew the full story. I kept all the pain and anger and shame and embarrassment and feelings of complete failure inside. It boiled inside me, bubbling to the surface only when I could no longer contain it all without exploding. But never in front of other people. It slowly ate away at me, making me feel small and broken. And so very, very, utterly alone.

When FMHW and I broke up I was more open with my pain. I started to open up about what I was feeling. Started letting my friends see my vulnerability. Sharing what I was feeling, letting them help me through the rough times. I was starting to understand that vulnerability didn't equate to weakness. I let people in, let them see the side of me that was messy. And for the first time in a long time I didn't feel quite so alone anymore. I even started this blog to share my story with anyone who might happen to read it.

What I've learned in the two plus years since then is that it's okay to be honest about how you're feeling. It's okay to have a bad day for no reason. It's okay to be sad or angry or hurt and to let people know how you're feeling. People will still like you. In fact, they will put their arm around you (metaphorically speaking) and listen, really listen. They won't turn away from you, leave you there raw and exposed and alone. In fact, they will begin sharing with you in return. All of this takes courage, not the heroic kind of courage we're so used to hearing about these days, the kind where a fireman runs back into a burning building to save an infant or a kitten, but the original meaning of the word courage, "speaking one's mind by telling one's heart" as the article says.

It also takes a bit of coming to terms with the fact that, no, in fact you aren't perfect. No matter how strong you might be there is still a weakness inside of all of us. A vulnerability which should be shared with friends and loved ones. The messy side of each and every one of us is a beautiful thing. And in that imperfection is where you find perfection. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I say the wrong things. I do the wrong things. I make bad decisions. I quote song lyrics in an attempt to win someone's love (okay, so it was just that once, but it still haunts me). But all those things make me who I am, this perfectly imperfect mess of a person.

The hardest part of being vulnerable, of letting people in, is realizing that it's okay to just be me. That me, as I am, is enough. I am enough. Took me 30 plus years to realize this. For a fast learner I can be really obtuse sometimes.

No matter how broken I might feel, and believe me right now I feel so very very broken, deep down there is still a little part of me that knows I am enough. Knows that I am exactly who I am supposed to be and you know what? That's more than good enough.

So, yes, right now I feel broken. I'm hurt and angry with myself still (for fuck's sake I KNOW better!). There are tears (hey look, I admitted to the entire world that I've been crying!), tears for something that wasn't even really anything to begin with. Tears for the possibilities. I'm a sensitive soul. I feel deeply, very deeply, and these things, well, they cut me to my core. Always have and always will. It's just part of who I am. I don't think I'd want it any other way.

But, I will be okay. I will be more than okay, I'll be amazing again someday. Because I am an amazing person. Ever since I wrote this post I feel like I have to qualify my posts by saying I'm not in the tunnel. And if I was I would reach out and I know that there are people there to help. People who don't care if I'm messy, people who love me as I am and who just want to see me get better.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me, those both near and far, new friends and old. You guys are awesome, I don't know what I'd do without you. You are all very special to me and I cannot believe how incredibly lucky I am to have you all in my life. I don't tell you all that nearly enough. So, thank you, thank you, thank you. And should you ever need anything in return just ask and it's yours.

Oh, and if anyone has seen my focus and concentration could you please send them back in my direction? I'd be forever in your debt.

Lyrics for this post...there weren't going to be any when I first started writing, but as I kept typing all I could hear over and over and over in my head were these lyrics from Good Enough by Sarah McLachlan. So, here you go:

Hey your glass is empty
it's a hell of a long way home
why don't you let me take you
it's no good to go alone
I never would have opened up
but you seemed so real to me
and after all the bullshit I've heard
it's refreshing not to see
I don't have to pretend
she doesn't expect it from me

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