I am up late.
I drank the 5pm coffee, on the back porch, legs swinging in rhythm with our old, white wooden bench swing, my head nestled into the crook of his arm. I chatted and breathed in the fresh, dewey air. I felt the cool breeze against my skin. My heart was content and I smiled.
The warm cup, shared with my love – it was worth it, to be up now at 11:44PM, restless and alert.
I tried to journal. To read. To breathe in and out slowly. To distract myself from the ideas and thoughts and hard looks I give myself when it is dark and quiet and I become so obvious I just can’t help it.
I feel a bit like a hunter, looking for some prey. A bored kid turning mean, looking for someone to pick on. Here I am, vulnerable and alone and questioning who I am. Ripe for the kill. I tear into myself, sending uppercuts to my gut like a big ol’ bully.
Some of it is good. I ask myself what I want to be doing. What is important. What I should be speaking out against or for or who I should be reaching out to. I try to evaluate how I spend my time and what I am working toward.
Then I begin to question my abilities, talents, gifts, art. Is it all meaningless? What do I have to offer? Why should I ever promote my work, my accomplishments? Do I just brag?
And then, my value. What do I bring to the table? Do other people even really like me? Tolerate me? Am I just a friend of convenience – the one you call up when no one else is available to hang out with? Do I come off as preoccupied and busy, or is that just everyone these days?
So, I get up and flip up the monitor on my laptop and let the lights from the screen wake me further and hope that if I just write, I will relax and tire and sleep will come.
But it doesn’t seem to be working. Words lead to more words which lead to deeper and bigger stirrings in my heart I can’t express here. Words that desperately want to leap out of me. But I am too scared to write any of them here. I save those ones and type them occasionally into a Word document. One that grows slowly and feels too raw to share. Maybe one day.
I can be vulnerable with myself. I am mean, but not that mean. It is hard to let others see me. To let them know my true opinions and thoughts.
I would rather be quiet.
I would rather hang on to some mystery.
I know the doubting won’t ever stop. This is what pushes me to grow. This is what keeps me from becoming complacent. But, it would be nice to learn how to not be quite so concerned with myself. To turn outward and just be and let people think what they will about me. They will anyway. Everybody does.