If you were to look at me you wouldn’t see any change at all. Oh sure, my hair is longer than it’s been in a long, long time, but other than that same old Trueself.
What is different maybe is all inside of me . . . a new attitude for one thing . . . and that’s a big thing right there . . . and maybe the intention to live a bit more genuinely . . . to be the real me. That last part is just something I’m working on and am certainly not achieving with any consistency just yet.
I have this long history of going through a certain cycle over and over and over again. It goes something like this:
Step #1: TS gets really interested in a certain activity/cause/project.
Step #2: TS learns all she can about this interest and builds much enthusiasm.
Step #3: TS gets ideas about becoming more involved and in helping in some form of leadership position in an organization dealing with this interest.
Step #4: TS shares her plans with people who are important to her.
Step #5: TS gets shot down by people important to her as they remind her that this will require a lot of commitment and time and energy, that it won’t be easy, and they will discourage her participation.
Step #6: TS reminds herself of what a failure she is and decides she better not try because she will surely fail anyway.
Step #7: TS mopes while those around her encourage her to “be happy” and remind her how good she has it and how much easier her life is without the hassles of the thing she wanted to do.
Step #8: TS finally shakes herself out of her funk, starts to feel better and starts taking interest in life again.
Step #9: Return to Step #1 and cycle through again.
I have lived far too long being afraid to do the things I want to do just because I don’t get the support of those close to me, most notably my parents as I was growing up (well, and even in my adult years when I’ve chosen to share with them; is it any wonder that I don’t very often?) My parents always took it upon themselves to bring me back down to earth whenever I tried to have “grandiose plans.” They discouraged me from being too independent and tried to rein me in so that I could be protected from disappointment in case I failed. As long as you don’t try you can’t fail. You can live with the belief that if only you had made that effort you would have succeeded.
My parents never believed in the method of learning that requires sacrifice, hard work, failure, or bravery. They believed in providing their children with the easy life, the life they had not had the fortune to have when they were growing up. I never learned from them the lesson that “anything worth having is worth fighting for.” Instead they taught that you shouldn’t have to fight for things, and the more you accepted the way things are the less you would feel the need to fight for anything. They never taught me that “one person can make a difference.” Instead they taught me that one person is pretty helpless, and while it’s “cute” to get all worked up about a cause it isn’t worth the effort to really do anything about it because it isn’t going to change anyway.
Anyway . . . all this whining simply brings me to now, the point at which I have reached the point where I feel ready to stop repeating the never ending cycle. The steps from #6 on must change. Oh I know you’re going to say “Why not just eliminate step #4 so that you don’t give anyone the chance to bring you down?” Good question, and I have an answer. Even if I don’t tell them, and sometimes I don’t, they eventually find out and continue on with step #5. Therefore, I am working to change the remainder of steps to something like:
Step #6: TS reminds herself
Step #7: TS
Step #8: TS
That’s where I am now. I am trying to change the cycle. I am heading up the adult education team at church and representing the church on a local LGBTQA community resource group. I am becoming involved in activities and causes which are of particular interest to me. I have completed step #3, and am ready to deal with whatever fallout there may be from step #4, whether step #5 is criticism from readers here, my parents, W or anyone else with whom I may share. And when I feel myself falling into the old cycle I’ll come back here and reread this post and remind myself that I am capable and that even if I fail I can learn from it and become better from it.