Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Getting to Know Me...Inside and Out

I'm awake early...and have been up for quite a while already. Normally I'd say it's just my regular insomnia kicking in but today was something husband's alarm clock which, for some reason incomprehensible to me, went off before 4:00; and which, for some other reason unknown to me, was difficult for him to locate before all of the various gradations of warning buzzers had gone through their cycle.  Of course, he fell back to sleep within seconds and it was my usual inability to go back to sleep that then took over.  Oddly, I don't feel like reading yet, but my brain is functioning (I hope!) and my fingers are itchy to do some typing!  So here I am.

Yesterday I received a comment on my blog from a Manitoba friend that I've not yet met; thank you Sheldon - I always look forward to your comments and have a gift for making my day better!  The comment referred to not having met me yet and it got me thinking about the fact that I've not yet met most of the people who are reading my blog - some yes, but by no means all!  Of those I haven't met yet, you have nonetheless become friends and many of you I've known for quite a while already, whether through the yahoo adoption forums or through your blogs or through some other connecting point. It's an interesting phenomenan about today's technology that enables us to carry on this kind of remote, wireless friendship; I guess that means that I have to love technology to at least this degree.

This has me thinking about what is involved in getting to know people.  What do I know about you and what do you know about me?  I have discovered that writing a blog carries with it an inherent dichotomy.  On the one hand, it is a great mechanism by which to reveal bits of oneself - whether by talking about life's daily activities, or by exploring pieces of one's inner life and thoughts.  It's these latter things that get me fired up about blogging, because I like to occasionally share things that have been percolating in my brain.  But there's a flip side to blogging that I haven't yet fully worked out for myself.  It can also be a way to hide oneself from the very people that one is writing for.  It's a way for me, at times, to hide behind words; to cover up selected things about me that I'd rather you not know about me.  It's a skewed perspective of me and something that I've been thinking about for a while.

So here's another something to know about me.  As much as I would dearly love to meet you all some day (sooner rather than later preferably!) it will also cause me anxiety when the day finally arrives.

The reason for this is that I am physically a large woman - overweight - and I have carried insecurity about this for many years...really, ever since Steven Fedorchuk and Kelly Swan of later elementary school years were unkind to me because of my size (though I'm sure they've grown up to be lovely people).  Ironically, when I look back to pictures of myself from those years, I see someone who was pretty average in size - yeah I had a tiny bit of baby fat, but I looked good (despite the velour pants my mother handmade for me - hmmm - wonder if that's why they were hard on me - really, mom, what were you thinking??).  Yet, to know what I was already thinking of myself in those years is so contrary to what the photos tell me.  Oh, the baggage we carry from those early cruelties...

It has taken me a lot of years, a lot of mistakes, and partially working through a mid-life crisis to be able, myself, to look beyond my size to recognize things about me that actually now make me ok with being me.  My size doesn't have to define me.  I would much rather be defined as a woman who has a big heart for other people; who loves to get to know other people and who will have a zillion questions for them; who is sensitive to other people's emotions and the 'climate' of a room; who is committed to learning - about herself, about others, about life; who is willing and able to take charge when others can't or choose not to; who is fairly intuitive and can often identify when someone's not doing as well as they appear; who happily carries about extra change to give to people waiting for help on the sidewalk or at street intersection; who loves to laugh and has a good sense of humour; who is a good mom willing to make sacrifices to do this job well; who loves to read and absorb other people's thoughts; who is ok taking risks once in a while; who is more than willing to let household tasks go in order to accomplish other people-related things that feel more important; who is tougher on the outside than on the inside and who is working at harmonizing the two.  These are just a few of the things I hope you get to know about me, too.

So let me say this about myself...

It is true that I am a large woman - it is the first thing you will see about me when you meet me. You'll also notice that I'm just slightly taller than average at 5'7",  have shoulder-length brown hair that I have highlighted once in a while, and that I like to wear black or brown (usually with a bit of colour added to soften the look).  What I hope you next experience about me is the smile that goes right up to my green eyes and the arms I have which would love to greet you with a hug. And then, whether you've known me for a week or for all 43 years of my life, I hope that over time, you also get to know the inner me better - the parts that I'd love for you to get to know.

I'm going to work at reducing the variance between what you read of me on my blog and the person I am in my day-to-day life.  Because I'd like for you and me both to get to know me better.


  1. Excellent post.

    Of course, now I feel all this pressure to make sure I post or email something regularly :) j/k... Still looking forward to meeting you someday... hopefully not too far into the future.

    And just so you know, I have a few people back in the day that gave me a hard time for the fact that I was hard of hearing... Caused me quite a bit of grief until I learned that it just doesn't really matter if I don't let it matter... That doesn't mean that I don't think about it often, or stress about it on some (quite rare now) occasions. This is the life and situation we've been given... Now we've got make the most of it to please Him.

    Keep up the good posts, but stop putting pressure on me:)

  2. Thanks for the smile Sheldon! No pressure re: commenting - only as you feel like it. :)

    And I appreciate the wisdom of your comments - I guess we all carry baggage with us. Hopefully we all learn to deal with it at some point in our lives in a manner that leaves us free to explore/become the people we were created to be.



  3. You're right about blogging and the ability to hide behind words. I never speak to people I don't know, in real life. If I had a choice between approaching a stranger and making small talk, or jumping off a cliff, I'd choose the cliff every time. Blogging gives me the ability to think about my words, hide behind my keyboard and protect myself from potential rejection. While it's pleasantly easy, I do think it can be unhealthy to some extent.

    I have, however, made a very close friend through blogging. We hung around each other's blogs for many months before finally meeting in real life. And.... it turns out that we've become wonderful friends. In this case, the buffer of the Internet gave me the chance to get past my shyness and meet a new friend.

    If we are in ETH at the same time... let's go for coffee in real life! :)