“The intention and outcome of vulnerability is trust, intimacy and connection. The outcome of oversharing is distrust, disconnection— and usually a little judgment.” – Brene Brown
Isn’t that the truth?
There have not been many people to know me as I truly am— this has caused me considerable grief over the years. Building walls and hiding my feelings was simply how I made it through most of life. I don’t know why.
In some ways, I never felt as though I belonged anywhere…belonged to anyone. A walking, talking, living, breathing paradox. Unpredictable. Inconvenient. It seemed as though people only liked me if I’d fit their mold. Oh, I played along sometimes. Then I’d go home, soak my pillow through, get up and prepare to do it all over again.
Contrary to what would be a perfectly understandable and acceptable assumption, I have not fallen off the weight loss wagon. I can just imagine it now: Me, rolling down a hill of cupcakes and conveniently landing on the sofa…right next to a box of chocolates. (Sigh) If only.
No, my good friends, I have actually done my best not to ditch my weight loss goals for an entire carton of Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. Of course, this wasn’t the easiest task for me, what with moving and the flu and all. It’s not been what I’d exactly hoped, but I’m still here and still trying. Surely that counts for something, right?
Well, even if my efforts are actually complete crap, I’m here to update you guys on what I’ve been up to post-flu. I mean, let’s just be honest here…I didn’t do jack all in the span of time between my last update and two weeks ago. But don’t worry! I’m back in the game and I’m here to win. 🙂
Once upon a time in a place far, far away (okay, maybe it’s only the next state over), I used to save particularly funny AOL/Yahoo/MSN messenger chats I would have with my friends onto flash drives. Yes, chats. Meh. Okay, so I’m getting old. We’ll all get over this fact eventually.
The initial idea was that I would go back and laugh at these conversations one day. In reality, I forgot they existed as soon as I saved them. I actually have a terrible habit of losing my flash drives, which accounts for why I have so many of them. This doesn’t irk me normally, but last night was an unusual case. You see, I’d lost the latest typed copy of my novel…and it was on one of my many missing flash drives.
I know, I know. I’m not exactly sure how someone loses something as important as that, but we’ll just have to write it off as a highly exaggerated and most likely non-existent side effect of my aging. But that’s truly not the point here. The point is that I didn’t find my book, but I did stumble across my saved chats. Win-win.
Life can be such a dizzying enigma.
At the best of times, it can bestow us with beauty and jubilance of poetic proportions. Yet at the worst of times, life’s circumstances can administer lashes so severe that we’re left limping for years. When I was a child, I never could get a firm grasp on the concept of life’s fickle ways. From time to time I would hear people retort, “Life’s not fair”, but it wouldn’t be until much later that I would learn just how true that adage was.
Thinking back to early youth, I now realize just how fortunate I was. With the exception of a few minor hiccups and one major death, I enjoyed a fairly charmed childhood. No major illnesses, no serious injuries, no instances of bullying and no family turmoil. In comparison to many of my schoolmates, I was very lucky. My parents did a terrific job ensuring that I grew up in as peaceful an environment as possible, but perhaps that is just the trouble. Perhaps I was too sheltered, too ignorant of the possibilities that would await me later in life.
I knew this day would come, and though I’ve tried to mentally and emotionally brace myself, anxiety has overtaken me. Today’s post may be the hardest one I will ever share. There is so much that I want to say about what you will soon read, but…I’m not entirely sure that I’m up for it right now. I intend to post further commentary in the days to come, but for tonight, I will let my former words speak for themselves.
As far as Adam is concerned, he genuinely lived up to his namesake by being the first man to accomplish so many monumental things in my life. For instance, he was the first man I ever truly loved. That alone speaks volumes, but I also believe that he was the first man to genuinely love me back. As beautiful and precious a gift that was, it only makes perfect sense that we couldn’t have lasted long.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of today’s post, I just want to say thank you.
Over the course of the last week or so, I have been fortunate enough to gain new followers. I have received a number of likes along with the most gracious comments, which couldn’t have been more of an encouragement. If you were one of the kind individuals who took the time out to follow my blog, or read, like and share my content—thank you so very much. Your feedback has motivated me to continue on this journey when I’ve genuinely wondered if I should give up, so words cannot express how valuable our small (but quickly growing) community means to me.
It has been a tremendous blessing to receive any attention for my work because in all honesty, I do not promote or share my content at all. I don’t utilize social media for this site and no one in my personal life knows this website even exists. On the two occasions that I mentioned this blog to complete strangers, it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do. Despite desperately wanting to showcase my writing and potentially open new doors for myself (professionally speaking), self-promotion is simply not my gig.
For some reason, today’s throwback post really caught me off guard. I’m unsure if it was because I hadn’t remembered this particular event until I read it, or if it was due to its eerie similarity to the night I tearfully screamed, “It’s over! Don’t you ever call me again, you “blanking” (expletive)!” into my phone’s receiver.
Oh, I was so dreadfully dramatic at that age. It makes for wonderful reading though, so I won’t spoil the end for you.
It is amazing to see how something can go from looking like the best idea ever to looking like a dire mistake in the short span of 24 hours.
After publishing the first of my old blog posts last night, I spent about three to four hours going through the entries that followed it. When I exported my posts they were spat out in XML, which rendered them poorly formatted for copy and pasting purposes (you know, the easy way of doing things).
Naturally, I couldn’t leave it looking like that, so I had to get to work editing out the nonsensical characters and organizing everything by date. I also needed to remove any blatantly personal information, typos, grammatical errors, unintentional redundancy, certain individual’s names, and excessive expletives (I was quite fond of sailor’s speech back in the day).
Sure, the work ahead will be positively tedious (I’ve only gone through 2.5 posts so far), but I strangely enjoy searching for errors. What I haven’t enjoyed as much is reading the things I had to say about myself. This is why I now wonder if I’ve made a mistake in thinking that I should share these old writings. I am afraid.
I’ve been blogging since before I knew what I was doing had a formal name. If my memory hasn’t failed me, I started my first blog back in 2001-2002, respectively. A very good friend of mine at the time knew I loved writing and suggested I join her in posting on Livejournal. It was one of the best things I ever did.
The Internet has changed a lot since the early 2000’s, and blogging is no exception. For that matter, a lot about me has changed since then. I was about 13 at the time I started writing about my life online, so I have an extensive collection of blog posts that span the last 18 years of my life. Outside of a handful of my closest friends, I never publicly advertised the fact that I had a blog (heck, I don’t even promote this blog), so my posts have been seen by very few—until now.
Secrets. Quirks. Well concealed personal facts. We all have them.
For some people, these tidbits of information may be far too embarrassing, too reputation-bruising to share with their closest friends and family. They may go to great lengths to hide their idiosyncrasies from the world in hopes of them ceasing to exist simply by ignoring them. However, they may get caught in a perpetual cycle of bondage, finding themselves wearing masks and hiding the fullness of their being from the world.
For others, the act of consciously calling attention to their greatest fears, oddities and failures as a human being can be liberating. No longer is there a fear of someone finding out that you aren’t as squeaky clean and perfect as you try to appear. No one can “expose” you or your secrets because you’ve already sufficiently ruined your reputation all on your own. At least, I think this is how unfiltered self-disclosure works. I’ve never tried it, so I could have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about right now. It sounded pretty convincing though, huh?