Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Swingset, GA, my city of comfort

I write little notes and prayers on pieces of paper, tattered notebooks, napkin corners, newspapers, bathroom stalls, picnic tables, etc... anything I can scribble on with a sharpie. I really should put them all together in one place but they're scattered all over the world and I wouldn't know where to begin. I always feel better releasing my deepest feelings out into the world secretly. When I was younger, I'd write messages to God on loose leaf wide rule paper and then burn them, thinking that the ashes will float to heaven and He'd get the memo. I love listening to people talk about...well...pretty much anything. I love catching those off-guard vulnerable moments that give away the most honest glimpses into their lives. But I have a very hard time allowing people to peek into mine.

It's always been hard for me to open up to people. It sounds so cliche... i mean, everyone has a hard time opening to everyone whether it's due to fears, breakups, traumatizing experiences, etc. Up until highschool, my mum was certain i was going to have to apply for a handicap sticker. The reason? Hello, this is my daughter Esther and she is socially retarded. I was deathly shy and i never had any real friends. During recess, I was the only girl on the swing sets while everyone else was playing 4-square or kickball.

And then, something weird happened and I morphed into this loud, outgoing, candid, social machine that I CAN'T FOR THE LIFE OF ME TURN OFF SOMETIMES. Who knows why or how it happened. I can't even remember an exact time or age when it did. It just did. There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin. Maybe it got too sad and hard for me to be alone and i skipped the whole missing link part and just evolved instantaneously. *shrug*

And now i'm a new, bright and shiny silver dollar. I wasn't the popular kid at school. I wasn't vocal or always opinionated. I wasn't the skinniest, prettiest or the smartest. But i think i turned out okay.

Yet, sometimes amidst all the smoke and mirrors in my chaotic world, I revert back to that girl on the swingset. I shrink into the little kid who was always afraid of people; who would look down at her shoes when she walked and feared looking anyone in the eye. Maybe the reason it's hard for me to really let people in is because i still see myself in her, swinging alone. And when you're that young, you don't know what it means to feel sorry for yourself. you just feel sad. And the world is a terrifying place. It still is! I've come a long way, but I know I still have a lot of growing up to do. What I do know, is that as the years go by, I open myself up inch by inch. With every adventure, I embrace new facets about myself that i wasn't familiar with and I'm always wanting to discover more. The great actor Alan Alda said, "You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."

So au revoir, city of comfort. (for now).

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