Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Alone In A Room Full Of People

Have you ever found yourself alone in a room full of people? Is that even possible? Why yes, of course it is. If you have never experienced it, count yourself lucky or more of a social butterfly than I consider myself to be. It's happened before, thankfully so long ago that I almost forgot what it felt like to be invisible. Not the invisibility that you would love to have as a Stan Lee created Marvel super power. But the invisibility felt that coincides with feeling ignored or not wanted in the room in the first place. It happened just last week in a room full of people. When I say full, I mean one busting at the seams, where extra seating was brought in and there were still people sitting on the floor. I sat there in a still shot of a movie with the room rotating around me in slow motion allowing me to pick out and tune in to all the conversations that filled the air. But when I opened my mouth to speak it was as if in a dream where you are trying in panic to scream but there is no air to fill you lungs and no audible voice to be heard. And I sat there holding it all in to a point where I wanted to fold up and melt within myself. I'm not blaming the people in the room, it may have been me that put myself there by building walls of protection amongst all the emotional hurt that lingered within me, the emotional hurt that weighed me down in place despite my longing to run away. Again in that dream where you are trying to run but your legs are heavy, limp and unresponsive.

Kind of depressing right? Sorry, this is my emotional purging moment, my blog, so I can write what I feel. Well not everything I feel or I would probably have more enemies than I possibly have now, but a candid yet controlled amount of my feelings that I can purge safely. Why am I doing it? Because in speaking with others over the years, it's not a uncommon feeling to have, but when it's happening to you, you can tend to feel like you're the only one in the world to experience it. I was recently told in conversation with someone who has been reading, that the person could identify with what stories, thoughts and insights I had wrote about. She said it was similar to the thoughts she had, she just never found the words for it. While I love to write the encouraging, mind provoking posts, some days just aren't that encouraging. Some days you feel that you will be lucky if you just make it through the next hour without having an emotional breakdown, let alone make it to completely through the day. Some days you find yourself alone in a crowded room, that's real life and this is why I do it, this is why I will allow myself to be vulnerable.

There were many years in my life that I would look at other people, women especially, that had this look like they had it all together. They were beautifully dressed, accessorized and juggling marriage, kids, family, work, friendships, home and obligations with perfection and grace while even finding time to bake a batch of cookies for the new neighbor. In watching them, I created this fantasy that they were doing it all without failures. I created an unachievable image of something that never actually existed in the first place and beat myself up worse when I couldn't measure up. Those beautify family pictures that come in the frames at the home decor store are models, make believe, they don't exist! Yes, models and they have been make-uped primped, posed, photo shopped and everything in between before being put in that gorgeous frame. The last family photo we had was years ago at our church and my then 18 year old step daughter showed up with bright pink hair. Not a cute little strand or two like I honestly thought would always look great in her beautiful blond hair, but bright, bold, dark pink for family photos to be put in our new church directory. Yes, I was mad, did you read this was to be forever documented in our church directory? At the time, I was on the women's ministry team, the MOPS team (Mother's of PreSchoolers), and a few other leadership church teams. Church teams that would much rather have had the picture framed family from the home decor store rather than the mom with the bright pink haired daughter. While the color was fake and did wash out over time, the family is real. We still have drama, problems, issues, tragedies, tears, triumphs, laughter and good times. It's called reality and that is where real life lives.

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