I feel like I did a little bit of vague blogging earlier this month…I apologize about that, but I’m not quite prepared to share exactly what I’m up to.
Last summer, when my garden was coming to its end…man I miss my garden, I wanted to replace that gorgeous fulfilling hobby with something that I found just as enjoyable. Hence, this blog was born.
I have loved writing since I was a child. However, when I took my first actual writing class my junior year in high school, it was my most difficult class. While I enjoyed expressing myself through writing, the actual process of pulling out what I wanted to express was difficult. Throw in a healthy heap of self loathing, and that was it. Procrastination took over.
I would end up writing my essays for hours the night before they were due. It was pain staking and gut wrenching. I could barely make eye contact when I would turn in my essays. Ms. Holt was my teacher, a young woman in her first year of teaching. It was a first hour class, and on one particular morning right after Thanksgiving break she stopped me after the bell rang. She had just handed back graded essays.
“Bibi, I just wanted to let you know that I save your essays for last…I can hear your voice coming through on the page. You’re a good writer.”
I thanked her, lingering for a few moments. Not really knowing what else to say, I rushed on to my next class. I had been waiting to read her comments at a time when I wouldn’t have anyone around to look over my shoulder.
One might think that this solidified my resolve to have an illustrious literary career. One would be wrong. Instead of accepting the compliment and thinking, that I had a skill that I could build on, I thought I had somehow hoodwinked her into thinking that I was good at writing when I clearly was not.
I’ve been noticing lately that I have the uncanny ability to shrug off a compliment. I add a little asterisk next to nice things people say, a caveat about why whatever I’m doing isn’t that great. I can almost hear my Papa asking me at this very moment “Where did you learn that?”
Bear with me while I go a little spiritual. I do think that I have the tendency to self deprecate, possibly from some karma that I’m dragging around with me from a past life. However, a big portion of this self doubt comes from the loss of our spiritual family at the age of 15.
I was raised in 3HO. Please don’t google it. Okay. Go ahead. I could go into all the gory details about why we were kicked out, but it’s exhausting. It’s old news. However, over a period of about a year, my parents lost almost every single friend that they had made over the past 20+ years. And at the same time our family went through a period of unemployment. It was horrible. We went through times of not knowing where we were going to live, or if we would have enough to eat.
It was dark and scary. I learned for better or worse that it was best not to rely on other people. Other people let you down. Other people can give false friendship over decades and leave you.
I remember dating Tommy in college, and him telling me that I should have called him for a ride home from the library after studying until midnight. My response: “I don’t ask people for things.”
It was my defense mechanism. My relationship with Tommy has taught me so much about how to trust people outside of my family again. I often marvel at how carefree and open he can be with his friends and family, and even strangers. I’m learning a lot about that. Learning to accept a compliment is a huge component of this for me. So last week, I posted about advice I would give myself as a first time mom if I had to do it over again. However, I honestly don’t think I was even capable of accepting help from others at the time. I couldn’t have even accepted a compliment.
However, through it all, I have made friendships. I even still have friendships that go back before the rift. My papa taught me as a child that you don’t end friendships. You work things out. His exact words were something like “When you offer your hand in friendship, you give your head before letting go.”….that might have been a little morbid for a five year old….But I did get the point, and took it to heart. I don’t break off friendships. I just don’t. Sometimes I don’t know how exactly to reach out, or if reaching out is appropriate.
My trust has built up a lot over the last few years of my life. I appreciate all of you who engage with me in this journey (even if that engagement is just reading). It can be very difficult to put yourself out there. I get that. I did just start a Facebook page for the blog, I would appreciate it if my readers who are on Facebook would like the page. Thank you for reading.