Put on your fucking big girl pants

I will write. I will perform some sort of gesture. Otherwise I don’t verbally express myself well, when it comes to myself or feelings.*

I was nationally ranked, a silver and gold medalist in debate and extemporaneous public speaking in college, yet when W asks me a question that is personal or that I am unprepared for, I give an answer that is, maybe, two sentences long and far from eloquent. I can’t speak. It feels as if any means of verbal expression has vacated my body.

I think most of us are aware that we show different sides of ourselves on social media, sides of ourselves that we might not otherwise allow others to see. Some people polish up shit to shine like a diamond. (This is not the non-sequitur that it seems to be.) In some cases, the worst of people comes out. I was reading in another article in the Economist that social media can also help others express themselves. For example, it allows the introverted and the more socially isolated come out in a way that they otherwise wouldn’t. We show different sides to different audiences. We edit; we clean up our lives. We preen, and we pose. What we show on LinkedIn will differ from what we show on Facebook**, which may differ from what we post on Snapchat. What I post on here is starkly different from what I post on all of my other other social media accounts.

While it may not seem like it, I am finding that it is easier opening up to W.*** I think it is through the writing, through THIS blog. She is halfway around the world, and this is my main way of communicating with her, between bursts of IMs here and there. The fact that I do reflect and self-edit has something to do with it. I realize though that I need to be more comfortable with phone conversation that goes beyond the superficial. Put on my fucking big girl pants and have a conversation like a fully functioning adult. Otherwise, it isn’t completely authentic. A true friend deserves the authenticity. Right? Isn’t that what I would want?

The fact that I am so measured and deliberate in my actions and thoughts is fine at work, but in my personal life, with those closest to me, I should be a bit more spontaneous. This should be a part of my “let it go” plan, right? While W and I are alike in the best of ways, we also complement one another. I think that is one of those ways.

My parent were never great at expressing themselves. They gave us things, operated through gestures. As a result, that is how I have demonstrated my feelings/appreciation throughout my life. Even as a kid, I did this. Buy something or pen a letter or card. So after decades of the same practices, I am slowly trying to shift away from what I have always done.

It’s funny, I can find my voice for so many other things, for other people, particularly if it is standing up for them. I can never seem to find it regarding myself, especially if it is for myself. I think that is common though, right?

All of this is an interesting exercise in personal growth.

-S

* I can be physically expressive, so I guess that counts, although obviously it doesn’t fit all situations or people.

**If your LinkedIn looks like your Facebook account, then you need to change that because it is unprofessional AF, unless you have a super-sterile FB account. Don’t be THAT person.

*** I think a sign of progress is that the last dream wasn’t flat out sex, but just making out in an inappropriate place! Yay! (Thank you for being understanding and having a sense of humor about this.)

 

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