Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The end of lonely girl

All my life I have struggled to fit in. In younger days, I was chubby and awkward. In middle school days,I was chubby and in foster care. In high school, I was chubby and had a drunk mother roaming the halls of my school, or was in foster care.None of this endeared me to my peers, as you can imagine.

I know....dooooooooowner.

But seriously. Always. Awkward. Socially inept. Not a talker. Serious. Afraid to show myself to anyone.

I thought I would just always be that girl. The one who cried at night from loneliness. The girl who wasn't so much disliked...but invisible. I gave up on myself, and my ability to make and keep friends.

Then, I met up with a group of moms. I joined Stroller Strides. I went to get a workout. I was ready to sweat and jiggle in front of people. Being myself came pretty naturally after that. I mean really- once somebody sees you sweat and grunt and hobble through an hour of intense workout, what's a little conversation.

And I became free. Free to say what I thought. Free to be open. Free to care for other people like I wanted to.

And I hit my stride. Hit it. It opened up a whole world to me that I had never ever known. A world where women love and care for other women. Where judgement is just not an issue. Where we love each other, and each others babies. We trade phone calls and go for walks and watch each others little ones. We bring food to our mama friends when they have a new baby, when they are grieving, when they are sick.

But last night I joined my mama friends for dinner. 16 of us mamas, eating loads of calories, swilling cocktails, and talking about men and babies. Crowded around, laughing with each other. Laughing until our stomachs hurt and cheeks were sore. And somewhere in the midst of the conversation and joking I realized that that lonely girl was gone for good.

I was finally there, at the place where you love more than yourself. Where your friends triumphs are shared, and their miseries halved- because you exist. I am at the place where I can be entirely myself- goofy and sarcastic and inappropriate. I can be vulnerable. I can reach out in sadness. I can share the burdens of mothering, of married life. I can exist for more than my little sphere of life.

I made a promise to myself a long time ago. I was going to "say it". What I was feeling was going to be there on my lips. I was going to be open. I would say "I love you." I would say "Let me help", "I'm so glad we met." "You are special to me." No matter how it tugged at me, or how much that lonely girl inside yelled- "Don't SAY that! What if they laugh at you?"

I was still going to say it. Because if my last day on this earth is today, and you exist in my world, you will KNOW without a doubt that I love you. That you are important to me. That you are cared for and held in a place in my soul reserved for sacredness.

Last night, I dreamed about lonely girl. I told her she could go. I didn't need her to guard my words, to try to tell me not to look stupid or be vulnerable anymore. Because I am going to keep putting myself out there, continue growing as a person. And to me that means that I will not sit silent because I am afriad of my own words. I will give and care and open myself to the world.

So lonely girl, take a hike, will ya? I've got it from here.