Does your childhood ever sneak up on you, smack you down to the ground and laugh uproariously as it arouses emotions you thought you had put to rest, a long, long, time ago?
A few posts back, I wrote about ‘feeling left out’ of work meetings I was told about after the fact. Since then, I have been struggling with the demons of resentment and not being fully my usually cheerful self. Yesterday, another employee mentioned how I did not seem as happy as I normally do. After a few days of pondering I finally figured out why.
First, let me answer the question posed in the beginning of this post…I would resoundingly say, ‘YES!’
Ever since I was a child I have been what some may label a ‘loner.’ Keep in mind, I have rarely felt lonely. Let me pause here for a moment to differentiate between the two…
Loner can be defined as any of the following: a person who prefers not to associate with others but does not entirely reject contact with others; a person who is often alone or likes to be alone; a person who prefers solitude; someone who is content with very limited social interaction; a lone wolf.
Lonely can be defined as any of the following: sad because one has no friends or company; solitary; rejected; abandoned; solitude; absence of human company.
Interestingly enough, I have always had jobs where I interact with others, be it children, teens or adults. And, I am extremely social in situations that call for it, with friends and family or when I choose to be. Ever since my divorce, this social ability has become even more so because it seems anywhere I go, someone always stops me to talk. It is amazing all the live stories I have the privilege to hear! And for some reason, I have an innate ability to get people to open up. Sometimes, it is overwhelming and I used to get a bit perturbed at appearing to be so ‘approachable.’ However, I have come to realize lending my ears may bring just enough light into another person’s life to give them hope and know a stranger cared enough to take time and listen. But I do digress…that is what happens when I let my heart write the words and my fingers do the following!
Back to my childhood…seldom lonely, always a loner. You see I am proudly, what some may label and what my youngest son has laughingly called me, ‘WEIRD.’ I have never been one to stay in the boundaries of a box, but tend to think WAY outside of it. I find life, most of the time, quite funny. And, I tend to laugh out loud or I should say guffaw out loud almost every day. Not just once or twice, mind you but SEVERAL times. There have been moments I have witnessed something funny but knew if I laughed I would more than likely hurt another person’s feelings. In those times, I have had to talk myself back down to earth. Then when I am back in my car, or in my home or in a place I cannot be overheard, I let loose and crack up! Let me share one time, recently, when it took all I had not to let go and LOL!
The last time my youngest and I made the voyage home from Indiana, where he attends school, I stopped for gas. I went into the station to pay with cash. As I was walking in, a young man, probably teen aged or a bit older, came walking out. He was wearing a T-shirt which according to today’s standards was well beyond the realm of being politically correct. His shirt read ‘I like girls with big boobs.’ I did a double take as I could not believe he was actually sporting a shirt with that kind of announcement or endorsement. However, I silently chuckled to myself, thinking, ‘Well, to each, his own.’ After all, I raised two boys, knowing firsthand how male hormones, especially during the teen years, quickly get excited. I proceeded to make my way to the cash register, standing behind a woman in line. She turned slightly to her right and briefly glanced at me as I was approaching her. It was then I noticed how apropos the young man’s shirt was. Even I was in awe!!! For this woman had boobs so big, not only were they hard not to notice but they were sticking straight at attention, like two mini mountains barely encapsulated inside her shirt! (I must admit, as a grown adult woman, I am still wearing ‘training’ bras. Okay, maybe not that small but I am not well endowed at all! And have no cleavage unless I wear a Wonder Bra or a push up bra with ALOT of padding! Not that I wish my girls were bigger, but I am in awe of how other women, well well endowed deal with it. The ONLY time I had, what I called, ‘Dolly Parton’ sized twins, and on me, they were about that big, was when I had my youngest son, and chose to forgo breastfeeding. Man, did my chest grow!! It was nice for a while but I used to be a stomach sleeper and found due to my chest fulfillment I could no longer sleep in that position per the pain it caused to my two mini hills.)
Anyway, when I saw this woman’s chest, I immediately turned around because I could feel laughter gushing from my stomach up my chest past my throat into my mouth. I literally bit down on my tongue to stifle it. OMG!!! After I paid, I ran to the car, opened the door and began hysterically laughing so much I was crying! It took a few minutes before I calmed down enough to explain what I had just witnessed and why I was happily out of control to my son. His response? ‘Mom, you are weird.’ See? I warned you!
Oh how I do digress AGAIN! Well, anyway long story longer…I have come to accept the reason I have felt out of sorts for not being included in work meetings is because as a child I often felt rejected, was teased, made fun of, and extremely shy due to the fact I was part of a group who pretty much did things to the tunes of different drums. Instead of following the pack, I opted not to conform. Nevertheless, I wasn’t self confident enough to totally be me. Instead of ignoring those who did not get me, I choose to not stick up for myself, not reveal my true feelings and became somewhat of a loner. As a result, I found being a loner was less hurtful than showing my vulnerable side and getting razzed or ostracized or criticized. My feelings and people treating me as they did continued, slowly dissolving when I turned 40. From then on, I began the journey of becoming SUPER comfortable in my skin, with who I was and all my weirdness.
Regardless, despite the fact I believed I was ‘cured’ of childhood emotional angst, last week, all those emotions came rushing back so hard it was like they were flooding the very essence of me I have worked for the last 11 years to lovingly cultivate. It was as if all the wonderful discoveries I have made about myself, all the baggage I have thrown away, all the changes I have willingly made within, disappeared. It was as if the emotions, resurrected from my childhood, were attacking the wings I had learned to soar with, viciously breaking them one at a time. Yes, one rejection caused havoc to storm right back in through the door of my life. Nevertheless, I have been rejected before yet not hit so hard by it. So why this time did I take it so personally? Turn in tomorrow when I tackle the answer and provide tips to get you back on track when you unexpectedly experience a smack down from your childhood.
Stay safe, give your love freely and
Accept yourself as you are…whether you
Are weird or not.
I believe in you.