I have struggled for a long time with authenticity. I am a master of putting on a face of strength and confidence and whatever else it is that people sometimes say that they see in me. As I have mentioned before on this blog, the environment in which I grew up rewarded strength, strong opinions, education, maintaining appearances, and objectivity. All of these things, while perhaps worthy goals for many, and while useful at times in going about day-to-day life, have not always served me well. It's hard for me to express emotion, particularly in the moment, and it's hard putting bits of my inner self out there for public display. It's both habit and fear of rejection, I suppose. It continues to be a learning process for me to be ok with myself as I really am, and to allow that inner person to claw its way out where she is visible to the world. I can tell these days that I've made progress over the last few years: I blog about these issues and my struggles now; in recent weeks, I've cried on the shoulders of friends; I can talk about how much it hurts to have lost the children of our first referral; I can accept support more easily.
My blog has been significant for me in my quest for authenticity. Though many of my posts are light in content, it's become much more than that for me; it's afforded me the opportunity, at times, to dig a little deeper into myself, and then risk vulnerability with others by sharing with you what I'm thinking.
When the spoken word fails me, when the masks of a lifetime take control of my face, the written word is a conduit through which I can express the stuff that's really going on inside. Thus, for me, working through the grief of our recent loss can be done, in part, through this medium. When I write some of my thoughts down, it teases out of me the emotions that I would otherwise be tempted to bury pretty deeply; it prods me to be honest about my need of people, which again I would otherwise deny in my quest to be seen as self sufficient and strong; and it gives me the opportunity to test out on others whether I am worthy of friendship and acceptance, rather than rejection. The person inside of me, I've been discovering in very recent years, is a person of strength and certainty...just, perhaps, in different ways than I've often projected myself to be.
So...I'm going to keep working on my blog. Maybe a little less frequently than in the past, but with a desire to talk about, and work through, some of the stuff that's hard for me to talk about...most recently, things such as grief and guilt.