This year has been filled with many learning experiences, and obstacles. I laugh sometimes at how "Perfect" things have just fallen in to place; one event leads to the next. Over the last 10 or so years I never thought this would happen. Even though I am not exactly where I want to be, and sometimes feel that I am taking two steps backwards, I know my head is in the right place.
One other thing that has happened this year, more so than any other year of my life, is people are curious about me. I'm not going to lie. I have a wall up. Brick by brick I am starting to take it down but it is overwhelming. My life up until this point has been "strange" and there are many things that I am embarrassed or ashamed to admit with regards to my upbringing/marriage/personal life which have all helped (or not) form me into the person I am and the reason I keep such a barrier up. It sounds so stupid but I am most grateful for the people that have pressed until they were blue in the face and not given up because those people have helped me start to be more comfortable and confident with myself being myself.
I've always hated talking about myself. There are reasons for that but through all these eye opening experiences just in this year alone, I've learned that I need to open up a more. At first I opened up too much and scared people away. Then my self consciousness kicked in and my wall went up again. After a little while I started opening up again but this time more slowly. And the outcome has been better than I imagined. It becomes easier the more talk about things. Recently I've had to open up about stuff I don't normally don't talk about. My heart races, I sweat & my words usually come out in a big jumbled mess. I feel like an idiot afterwards but it also feels like a weight is being lifted off my chest, little by little, each time I open up a bit more. I usually cry afterwards because I felt so vulnerable, imperfect and stupid. One thing I've realized but it's still hard for me to accept is that it's okay to vulnerable and imperfect because I am HUMAN.
Revealing myself if very painful and I cry or get emotional, mostly out of fear. Fear of judgment and fear that I would get special treatment because someone would feel bad. The last thing in the world is for anyone to feel bad for me and treat me differently. I'm pretty good at handling things for myself, almost too good because over the last decade, I've slowly shut everyone out of my life. Part of that has to do with upbringing and the things I've carried from that. The other part has to do with the relationship I was/am in. For one reason or another, I just keep everything in but what I've found more recently is that people are more accepting and understanding than I was made to believe most of my life.
One thing that I've had such a hard time talking about is my divorce. I know I wrote about it here but I removed that post and a few other more personal posts out of fear and vulnerability that someone I know, or could potentially end up knowing on a personal level would know such personal things about me, that I am okay with revealing to perfectly good strangers in hopes that someone can relate and won't feel as alone as I have felt in the past.
Up until about a month or two ago I've only told a select few about my situation and why I am getting divorced. Or even the fact I am getting one. For about a year when people would ask me questions about my life or my husband I would act as if nothing was happening or changing. That got exhausting and was starting to give me anxiety because it went against everything I want to achieve on this journey to the "New Vanessa". So I decided to open up about that too. I was terrified honestly. I thought because I am 30 everyone would judge me and tell me I am making the wrong choice or give me lectures on how wrong divorce is and how hurtful it is when you have kids or all these other negative things. The opposite has happened actually and most people have been very supportive and that helps me tremendously knowing that everything I had feared was just a stupid story made up in my head.
Its a step. I know things aren't going to change overnight. I'm still very self conscious, especially now at my job. I try to act confident but then I hear my coworkers around me and I start to think that I am doing everything wrong, so I double, triple, and quadruple check myself to make sure I've done everything perfect "the way it's supposed to be done". I have a few more responsibilities and while I love work more than I probably should, at the same time it makes me doubt my abilities because I am so new. I write things down in 3 different places so I wont forget. I still glance at my phone script even though I know I don't need it. I know I need to say certain things in my phone conversations that I haven't added in yet for fear of saying the wrong thing and looking like a fool. Not even just work, its with many areas of my life as well. I know what I am capable of and I really do love my job, but sometimes I have to reassure myself that I am doing it right or saying the right thing, even though I KNOW I am....I just have to be sure. I don't like being a failure.
This year has been the year of the change & getting unstuck (super funny, because that was the beginning topic of a meeting at work. Different context but similar to what I have been working on) I've made a huge dent but I still have a ways to go. What I do know though is I'm headed in the right direction.