Preferring to

Sunday, October 16, 2011

93% of my email I ignore.

It is a terrible, terrible habit - made worse when I am not feeling up to par, or when my confidence is low. And My confidence, we all know, wavers between:



"what? me? Avert your eyes, I'm HIDEOUS."

Sometimes both in the same day. Hour even.

But I also have a somewhat gender typical issue with praise - insomuch as I don't always understand how to process it without suspecting that I don't really deserve it. Or that it isn't sincere. Or I am about to be hit up for something that I will feel guilty about saying no to, but should because I really should be doing something productive. Like making a rug.

And compliments? I have been known to burst into tears at compliments...Seriously. Part of me wants to inquire what excellent drugs you have ingested when I am paid a compliment. I also don't think you really mean it. Or are saying it to be polite. Or you want something.

Ergo, Avoidance.

Crossed with this is the one year anniversary of the great grief tsunami that swept me up and under, dragging me far, far from my home.

As I have begun my awkward dog-paddle to shore, my simple survival of the grief is, while predictable, also something which leaves me flabbergasted and at a loss. I can only ascribe it to my unerring survival instincts, a left over from my childhood. Survive. At. All. Costs.

Being a quirky hermit means that I also have very,very few friends. Opening to friendship is not terribly different in my mind to opening to love.

It is dangerous. It must be avoided. It must be denied.

In both cases I can not be disappointed when the inevitable hurt comes if I simply eschew the opportunity. In so many ways, a fail proof scheme.  Beautiful in it's simplicity and elegance of design.  I am the Bartleby the Scrivener of the Blogging world; I would prefer not to.

Yet, this year....I have not preferred not to.

I have stretched - slowly, inexorably slowly - out. I've made a friend. Maybe two!

I work on saying Yes when saying No is so much easier, so much safer.

I force myself to write academic articles, that ever-so-slowly, become something more. I have pushed through my research plan and ethics so that I am actually nearly at the Research phase ( interviewing sites now). I am writing abstracts for conferences because I realize that while safe in my insular world, it is also not enough.

Not enough for me to lie in this tepid bathwater offering no resistance, no opinions, no anything.

I was content to do this for the past few years, at my own expense. Deeply at my expense.

And while - even as I push myself Out - I occasionally have panicked thoughts and want to retreat, I no longer can. The protective part of me is frantically building walls Up...Around....Over...Everything, Anything that feels exposed or vulnerable, while the other part of me walks behind and kicks the walls down, speaking soothing words of calm logic.

I can longer not prefer not to.

1 Baleful Regards:

2amsomewhere said...

The paradox of existence is that although you can preserve yourself through protection, the things that make us feel alive... to be truly known by someone (be it a friend or lover)... to do something that matters... often mean taking risks that make us feel as if we are endangering ourselves.

Our time here is fleeting. Would you rather spend it staying alive or truly living? There is no one valid answer for everyone, for we make our choices in the context of tradeoffs and commitments to others, but rarely do we lack some margin of choice.

(no ulterior motives were involved in the creation of this post)

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