For some reason, I just feel like this is the word of the day for me, the only thing that sounds right even though it may not be. Today’s post should be classified as “all the rest” in terms of topics because sometimes you just need an outlet and for someone else to say – yah, I get you. I hear you. So, not my usual style today, but I just need to write this out, cryptic as it may sound.
I watched the first few seasons of a show called Parenthood (amazing!) – I still need to catch up on the most recent season, so no spoils please. But I remember one of the episode titles “I Hear you, I see you.” It zoned in on the semi-broken relationship between the mom and dad who were there matriarch/patriarch of this huge family. The mother often felt like her voice didn’t really matter in their relationship and it obviously impacted many things in her life and of course, their relationship with each other. (This post is not about me and my husband – just FYI, we are good to go.)
I feel like sometimes my voice feels stifled in parts of my life. Growing up, I was (and am still) the middle child and sometimes I felt overlooked. Overshadowed by the big personality of my brother and the dramatics of my younger sister – not all the time bad dramatics, she just had a more interesting life than i did, I think. Not that they didn’t deserve attention – I love them both dearly, but I was always the thinker and the typical middle child if you read any birth order books. You know, the one who sort of rolled with the punches and tried not to make a scene. Anytime I did raise my voice to cause a scene, I remember feeling guilty – as if sharing my true feelings would be a burden for the others and I should just keep my mouth shut. That’s probably why I have an entire Rubbermaid bin in my closet full of journals, scribbles, drawings, short stories, and letters that i wrote just for myself starting from like 2nd or 3rd grade all the way through college. Because I desperately needed somewhere to say things, but didn’t want to deal with the consequences of actually saying them out loud in case I hurt anyone’s feelings or worse, had to own up to how i really felt publicly.
And even though I’m on the brink of being 31 years old, I still struggle with this feeling every now and again. And I think for the most part, I ignore it until something tiny happens and it sends me over the edge and I’m just overly upset about something that I do know is silly, or is out of anyone’s control. I usually pick the wrong battles in these cases, and then end up looking stupid. Or at least that’s how I perceive the situation. Mostly, I just end up apologizing for ever saying anything at all. Because, I end up being upset about the WRONG thing and I don’t realize it until later…which is exactly what happened to me today.
I’m just feeling upset today in general, and after talking it out with one of my co-workers over lunch, I realize that me being upset about this one tiny thing is just a by-product of what i’m really upset about. *sigh* You never are done with emotional growth – as much as I’d like to think I’m super mature and wise for my years, things like this happen and I feel like I have the emotional maturity of a 5th grader. Aren’t I old enough to know myself a bit better by now?
In a letter I wrote to myself (and put in a time capsule which my mother delivered to me secretly some 10 years later) I actually told my future self:
I didn’t think this would be such a hard project to do. But i’m sitting here in the basement almost crying. I’m so scared to grow up. I mean, I’m just not ready for the world yet. Are you still scared? What’s it like to fall in love, what’s it like to hear someone call you mommy? Right now, school just seems to drain me. Four more days till I’m out of sophomore year. I’m scared to get older. I hope its not so bad……
…One thing. I hope that now that you (we’re) older we/you/i still have lots of pals. Remember not to keep everything to yourself…let it out. Don’t forget about poetry and writing stuff either. This year i compiled my poetry book, Mirror, Mirror. Hope you/i/we still remember. Remember to play the piano a lot too! I love the moonlight sonata and endless love by Lionel Richie.”
So even my 14 year old self knew I had a problem with keeping my emotions contained and that I had to find an outlet – whether that was through poetry, writing, playing the piano – those were all ways I coped so I didn’t let myself get like this. And I guess, having this blog is a way for me to do that even though I don’t want this blog to be an on-line diary with all my inner most thoughts. But perhaps, today – it can be my outlet or at least I’m considering that I need it to be this once.
My way of just saying (admitting publicly) – I’m upset and it’s okay. Saying to myself – I hear you, I see you and it’s okay to feel this way and it will pass. And instead of just hiding my thoughts away in a journal to be buried in the bottom of a bin in the back of a closet, I’ll allow myself to let someone else in to say, “I hear you, I see you” – and I’ll believe it.