Before M and I began this journey, I’d begun a long journey of my own. I’d lost quite a bit of weight, was feeling much better about myself and felt ready to finally begin to shed some of that old, counter productive thinking. I’d begun to come to terms with the way I was operating and was ready to begin the task of reworking my entire framework.
As I began to shed that armor I used as self preservation, to keep others at a distance, I found myself feeling more and more exposed, and not just to M. I was letting go to him, but I was also internally feeling very raw as I challenged and changed. My self confidence seemed to take a nose dive. It wasn’t just my looks I was feeling not so confident about. I was lost and frantically trying to find my footing as I reworked that foundation, building it with all the ways of thinking that work for the real me, the one I’d hidden, the one I want to be. I was scared, for the first time ever, that I would be totally exposed. That if I couldn’t don that armor I’d begun to shed, I could get HURT. And, I had to face the feeling that maybe the real me that I’m uncovering might not measure up. No one has ever met her before. No one but M, and until we started this journey, I know there were parts of me I protected with him too.
I can’t say that feeling is gone, the feeling exposed and raw and unsure, it’s still there. I haven’t been able to sit with a single person outside of M and feel like myself, partly because I’m still figuring out who I am and how this me relates to others. I am shy at first, worry about what others think entirely too much and suck at small talk. As long as I can remember, I’m not sure I’ve ever entered into a single interaction feeling as if I bring an equal amount of anything to the table, I always feel as if I have something to prove. Actually, I seem to always be drawn to the people I feel like I need to prove something to, if that makes any sense. The ones I feel might be true friend material. I always imagine the other person scrutinizing me and that I’m not measuring up in some way, no matter what they say or do.
I’m not sure some of that will ever change, it is in my foundation. But, the more I feel comfortable in my own skin, moving forward and being the true me, the more willing I am to being open to others, with less and less of that old armor. Just being genuine. Just being me.
And, look out, because if we are to be friends, I intend to be all in, I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. Take or leave it.