Stream-of-Consciousness On Self and Self-Acceptance

I am writing and learning and evolving constantly. I am becoming a new person at 36. A better person, I hope. I am finding my way to become who I want to be and allow myself to open doors to the life and the friendships and the love I want to have in my life. There are still doors to be unlocked. I am not relegated to this tiny room I thought I had to remain in. I can grow and change. I can outgrow this little room – become bigger than I thought I was. I can learn, I can evolve, I can be someone better – not different – just better. A better version of myself. I remember when I had my makeup done for my wedding, I told the makeup artist that I didn’t want to look different, unrecognizable – I just wanted to look like the best version of myself that I could. I am learning that it is okay, healthy even, to want the same for the parts of me that aren’t seen. To want to become the best version of myself that I can, while still remaining true to who I am. Because that woman is smart, and caring, and has faults and has dreams, and has scars. And that’s okay. Everyone has scars. Isn’t that why they invented coverup? We all know that so many of us are just “putting on our face” for the benefit of everyone else – to cover up those blemishes, those imperfections. We put on a “brave face”, we put on lipstick, we curl our lashes and put on Spanx and wear wires under our breasts to lift them back to the place the resided in our 20’s. And that is all okay. And I am learning to do that with my heart. I cannot tell everyone everything all at once. I need to let them learn about me, let them ask the questions, let them ask for seconds before I’m heaping more on their plates. Because sometimes they are full, and they may politely ingest and digest what I have served them, but it will likely be too much – and they will leave with a bad taste in their mouths and heartburn. Because sometimes my heart burns people. And sometimes I feel as though I’ve been burned when they inevitably walk away. It hurts. It hurts so badly. Where is my family? My foundation? My soft place to fall? I have been so busy pushing people into my home – trying to build my family, my foundation, my corral of kinfolk – that I am just blindly telling them whatever I think they want to hear. Throwing truths and tragedy and pieces of my life at them in the hopes that they will stay – out of what? Pity? Love? Obligation? What I need to do now is begin anew – building foundations based on trust, and commonality, and friendship that is earned. I need to learn the difference between personal and professional. To learn who the givers are – and also who are the takers. I need to decide which of those camps I want to fall into and live that life accordingly. I need to stop pretending that vulnerability is showing and telling everyone everything all the time – and accept that I have been hiding behind my circumstances in order to avoid being rejected for being me. “Show and Tell” is for children. I mean, who is going to reject the woman who has so much pain and heartache and sorrow in her life, right? So maybe if I tell them all of those things – if I tattoo them on my forehead, and wear a sandwich board proclaiming everything that I am and have ever been, they will stay here. And if they won’t, I will try to keep them here by bombarding them with texts and calls and emails and Instagram likes and Facebook comments. I need to learn the art of letting it play out on its own – of laying low and letting things move at the pace they were meant to. I need to let it be. Let it become. Let it blossom and flourish and grow on its own. I need to learn to be okay with that – to be patient. I need to just be. I need to be me and I need to believe that that is enough.

Comments

  1. lemead says

    Amen to this, Jamie. I hope we all keep growing and learning and improving, not just at 36 but at 72 and hopefully beyond. I relate to what you say about choosing your camp and who you want to be with and near. I know that feeling. xoxo

  2. says

    This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing your honesty. I feel honored to be able to read your transparency! Even if I’m just me and I could be anybody, I think we honor the world around us when we present ourselves truly and fully. Your words resonate with me on the level of how I want to present myself…I definitely have my own scars, but I don’t want them to define me. At the same time, I won’t dismiss their significance. I don’t know if it’s balance I’m after or to rise above the scales altogether. I do know I’m still growing up, and so appreciate the company of others, even on their own journeys. So thank you for this beautiful sharing!

    • says

      Wow, aunnielauren – I can relate to so much of what you say here, and you’ve captured the challenge perfectly – it really IS about the balance of it all. Thank you so much for sharing here… J.

  3. Fern Black says

    Jamie In the “fern Black world” you are too hard on yourself . In the past few years a lot of challenges had to be met and none of them a wall in the park . You have met each one (and I’m sure I don’t know half of them)head on and thought about them with a positive outlook. You are a true example of. “Going through the pain to get the Gain!” At 66 I am STILL evaluating people that ce into my life. Margaret ways says to me. “Don’t expect people to be as giving as you or you are going to be constantly hurt” I knew there was a reason we reconnected both through Wendy and Maddy ..2 of my favorite people . Pleas join the club ! Enjoy the day and the nice weather and think of how inspirational you are to ALL of us Fern

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • says

      Thank you so much, Fern! I can’t tell you how inspiring you (and Margaret!) are to me… You have been through some really tough times yourself, made hard choices, and have come out on top! Thank you for your presence here and in “real life”… xoxo, J.

  4. Angi says

    Um, I’m not sure when you climbed into my mind to find these thoughts, but I hope the mess didn’t bother you. I call my tendency to over-share word-puking. I sometimes bite my tongue, literally, to stop. I feel you. And you’re right about taking our time with people but I feel this overwhelming desire to also say that your heart doesn’t burn anyone. If you see heartburn happening, that’s all them. Their stuff. Seriously. Be mindful, yes, but also know by being your honest, all-in self, you give us all permission to do the same and I, for one, think the world could use a little more passion and a little less restraint.

    • says

      Thank you, Angi! It’s comforting to know that there are others out there like me – like us – that WANT to share everything, and so are willing to take the risk of being burned. But there must be caution sometimes, and learning the difference between when to stop and when to pass go can be a hard lesson, indeed. Thank you for sharing your mind with me – I didn’t even notice the mess among my clutter! J.

  5. says

    I feel your sense of desperation. I have been there. Telling too much of what people don’t want to hear. I have found that when I talk too much about what we have gone through since our daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer actually turns people off and they go running off never to be heard from again. Sad but true. I have learned that most of us have very few real friends. I found your blog through Love that Max. I would love for you to link up over at My blog as well. http://faithfulmomof9.com/friendship-friday-9/. Hope to see you there!

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