I love readings and my readers, but the din of voices of the audience gives me stage fright, and the din of voices inside whisper that I am a fraud, and that the jig is up. Surely someone will rise up from the audience and say out loud that not only am I not funny and helpful, but I’m annoying, and a phony. ~Anne Lamott
If I could get away with it, I might have posted the Anne Lamott quote above and called it a day. This is how I’m feeling today. It was how I felt yesterday, and the day before.
Sometimes, I read through Facebook statuses and marvel at the lives people live. Because I’ve known some of them since we were all young teenagers, I wonder if this is where they saw themselves heading… back then.
In some cases, I remember conversations and think… yes, she wanted to be a teacher… yep, he was headed for the military, for sure… or… I always knew she’d make an awesome mom.
Maybe my problem was that I never had a plan. I graduated high school mid-term (in January) and immediately enrolled in what was affectionately called “Jr. College” back then. In two years, I changed my major so many times I ended up with nary enough credits to show for one year, let alone two.
I’d thought about speech pathology… which was my first major. This was chosen after a suggestion from my beloved Dr-grandfather. (Sidenote: The man was a genius. Seriously. And psychic. This would have been the best possible outcome for me. She says with the benefit of hindsight.)
But… back then… I was busy having too much fun. I spent most of my college experience sleeping late and trying to slide through like I had in high school. I’m one of those people who usually didn’t have to study to get passing grades. Uh, no, that wasn’t gonna fly in the big leagues of Jr. College. It didn’t help that my college days were finally and permanently derailed by a nasty bit of trouble with an instructor. Yeah, I was through.
Then I met and married my first husband and began having children right away. Boom – boom – boom. Three kids in not-even four years.
I had no idea what I was doing. My 20-yr-old husband didn’t either. So, we had our kids, tried to make ends meet, loved and fought each other passionately and just tried to get through.
Twenty years later, having done pretty-much everything to that point without a thought of the future, I felt lost and afraid. I went into therapy. I wrote in journals. I read books. I divorced. I moved thousands of miles away. I remarried.
I was not where I expected to be. I was not who I expected to be. I was envious of people who were.
Eighteen years have passed and I am now in the last year of my fifties. Who am I? I finally have an answer.
I pulled out this photo. There are very few of me as a child but this one survived and even better, somehow got into my collection.
This is who I am. This is my authentic self.
I had to go back to the beginning to find me.
Look at her. She has a Joie de vivre! You can see it in her face… her eyes… MY eyes.
The Self-Help Whisperer is also me. I not an expert. I am, simply, a traveler on this path with you. I have a light… it lives in my eyes… and my smile. Let’s walk together.
God bless you on this Easy like Sunday-Sunday.
PS: My fuzzy little hat rocks!