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Who Am I and How The Hell Did I Get Here?

I wrote 3 blogs before lunch yesterday. Everything bubbled up and out it came. I want to say I “deformalized” my writing a bit. I started talking more normally and not editing for public consumption so much. Why? Because formalized writing was a form of hiding for me. It was based on an old need to fit in. The message I’ve been getting loud and clear lately is that it’s not my job to be normal, fit in, or make other people comfortable. Sorry, not sorry.

That was a monumental shift for me. Allowing myself to step out of that cage, even briefly yesterday, to explore life without the filter, caused a bit of an earthquake. As I said on Facebook this morning, I was excited to get to work, but then once I got here, I didn’t know what the hell to do. I was sort of lost.

When I have these moments, I want to erase everything and start again. Obviously, I don’t need to do that, nor am I going to do that, at least not today. But the level up, the earthquake, makes me feel like everything before yesterday is out of date. It’s all expired now. That’s a weird feeling to have about my work.

I honored the change a bit by changing the blurb on the front page of my website. Feel free to go have a read if you like. That was an important step. It took the formality down a notch. It allowed me to express what I do differently, in a way I hadn’t expressed it before. I considered going through and changing descriptions of things, but I think that might wait a bit too. I need to settle down a little before I go breaking things like I usually do.

Of course, when I learn, I share with you what the new understanding is. That’s the balancing game that I play with myself and with you. I’m honest about the fact that I’m still learning. I don’t hide that, not only don’t I hide it, I share it directly with you. I can remember when I began to do that. It was very uncomfortable and familiar at the same time. My teaching career has multiple examples of me trying to teach subject matter I hadn’t learned yet. I was comfortable saying that I didn’t know, but what I wasn’t so comfortable with was the part where I splash my life, my feelings, my personal stuff, all over the Internet. That part took some work.

I’m actually quite private by nature and so sharing was way outside of what I would call a comfort zone that I had. I didn’t want to share how I felt because that had never gone well. My feelings, my thoughts, were never well-received by anybody. My feelings and my thoughts were always wrong. They weren’t how I was supposed to feel and the people around me had decided that they should be able to tell me how to feel. So, naturally, I shut down and stopped sharing. I started going along with everything because it was easier than being told that I wasn’t allowed to feel whatever I was feeling.

The next thing after that was to stop formalizing my work so much, in other words, be myself in my work. I’ve gotten good at the sharing thing but I was, up until yesterday, still hiding the laid-back personality that I have in favor of a more formal approach to what I offer. The formality harkens back to my days of being in front of a classroom. But that’s unnecessary in what I do now. It’s not who I am either. It’s just how I’ve learned to present myself in this more public forum. Well, out the window that had to go too, and here we are.

I’m trying to write this morning from this new energy. I’m editing myself less and letting my normal speech pattern show up more. The insecure side of me wants to ask for your opinion, but we’re not going to go there. Clearly, that option is open on any blog, not just this one. But you see, that’s the need to fit in, to make sure you’re comfortable with what I’m putting out in the world. If you’re not comfortable, then who reads this? Well, somebody else of course. But the mind likes to make up excuses about how if one person leaves, then everybody leaves and nobody will ever read another blog of mine again. Dramatic isn’t it?

That fatalistic, hopelessness, combined with a little bit of powerlessness and insecurity, can cause a person to really try to control everything, try to fit in and be perfect, and not allow themselves the freedom to just be who they are. How do I know that? Because I’ve lived all of it and I’m just now getting to the other side of it. I’ll be stabilizing this energy for a while yet, but in the meantime, I’m going to continue to practice this new old way of being.

Who the heck am I and how the hell did I get here? Those were questions that I asked myself almost 8 years ago when I started this journey. Today, I’m asking them again because I feel like I’m in a different place and I’m still not so sure I belong here. For now, however, I’m going to try to make myself at home.

Love to all and thanks for reading.

Laura

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