I'm changing. I can feel it. I can sense it. Something is going on around here. There is a part of me that's maybe been hiding for a long time now and that part is getting the courage to come back out. Recently, it has been testing the waters ... poking out here, giving an opinion here, sneaking out of me before I can realize what is going on. As I'm calculating the perfect thing to say to people, thinking about the perfect way to speak and the perfect tone of voice to use, worrying about every little minute detail that I can control (and a whole lot I can't control) to mimic perfection and portray this inaccurate image of my life ... this part of me says "Stop worrying! Don't say that .. tell them how you really feel .... talk about what is really on your mind .... who cares if one hair is out of place ... relax a little ...."
It catches me by surprise. This part of me, she's been hiding for quite sometime. Her hiding used to serve a purpose. It protected me from a lot of pain and suffering for quite some time. But then it started to feel comfortable to keep her hiding, to lock her up in a closet and only feed her the bare minimum of bread and water to keep her alive. And there she stayed. Hiding, locked away, but slowly, slowly, starting to fade. And it scared me when that happened. What if she just disappeared one day? What if I couldn't bring her back? I was starting to forget her, to not know her anymore, to try to burry her deeper and deeper, even though it no longer served a purpose. That was just the way I had lived so long and it just the mere thought of change made me push her down ever more.
But then I got scared. I feared her being gone forever. I pictured me at 60 years old, she was missing, the kids were gone and grown, and I had no clue who I was or what I was supposed to do, lost in this world becuase she was gone. That's not what I want! I don't want to become that. That scares me ... and fortunately it scares me more than the thought of changing to let her back out. And so slowly, slowly, I am trying to let her come out more. To let her bask in the sunshine, to feel the raindrops hitting her, to smell the scent of spring sprouting, to enjoy the laughter of children. It's still scary to do that. It's still forced and not natural. It's still frightening. And part of me wants to push her back down, slam the closet door and lock it from the outside so she can't open it again.
But part of me is enjoying this. Part of me is growing and changing. Part of me wants to throw a party celebrating her release, to shout out everywhere "She's here! She's here!" And that, my friends is the good news. It means I haven't forgotten who I really am deep down inside. It means I haven't yet turned into a statue ... a person who can look the part, sound the part, be the part, but yet, not feel anything by numb inside. And that means there is hope. And slowly, slowly, she will come out more and more, little by little. And someday, and hopefully not too far down the road, someday, I will feel comfortable being me. I will enjoy living my life. And I will feel good inside my own skin. I'm getting there ... slowly, but surely ... I am getting there.