Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Mask

I'm leaving Thursday morning at 4am to Austin for the Together 4 Adoption conference and well....I'm not excited. I keep asking myself and God, "Why am I going, really why?" You know besides the obvious..like great speakers, time to fellowship with like minded people, seeing one of my favorite blog friends, selling BEMM headbands at the Project Hopeful booth. The truth is, I don't like group settings, not to mention sleeping with a ton of people I don't know...More than that..I hate seeing the masks people wear or feeling like I need one too. The last time I went to one of these things, I knew nobody. Sure I knew people from blogland or reputation, but know any of them...no. I was so uncomfortable the whole time. No one would know it by looking at me. I'm outgoing, I adapt easily. But it was awful. I hated feeling like the 5th wheel, or the "who's" that person. I hated seeing even in such an environment as Orphan care..that there were cliques. The "in" people. The people "you just have to know"! I hated being forgotten the moment I was introduced. I had just finished fighting typhoid fever, Hep a, incredibly sick twins that had only been home for months, Gedese had just left..the last thing I wanted was to feel alone amongst hundreds of people. I had spent the first 36 years of my life the oddball, weirdo...I didn't want to spend the next 36 years lonely. So..there began my journey for acceptance and belonging..I think I spent the next year trying to get to know as many people as I could. I joined yahoo groups, twitter, facebook, I blogged more often. The more involved I got..the more feedback I craved. And guess what? It worked. People responded, I felt accepted... This barely known by anyone girl managed to have 520 friends on FB, 736 fans on Because Every Mother Matters...I felt so good...I felt safe...I started opening up about me, the real me, my REAL struggles...not just the ones I want the world to see...not the ones that will earn me brownie points, the hard stuff...revealing stuff. The more I opened up, the more fake I felt. Even though my true self was pouring out and I was genuine...my motives were wrong. I realized I had WAY too much junior high in me still. In the midst of all of this truth, I am committed to going to the conference and feel just sick to my stomach. There are many people who this time will "know" me and I won't be the 5th wheel. I know I am feeling so angst because I hated all the masks I saw at the last one and I was so close to willingly wear one myself...all because I want to belong. So, the day before the conference I sent out a post proclaiming my fakeness, then I closed my Yahoo accounts and am soon to leave Twitter. I have spoken more about my weaknesses in the last few months...mainly to connect and thus be accepted. Did you know being lame is the new cool? LOL...This time I really am calling myself out. I needed to do this before T4..and if it means, I will once again be the forgotten, the lonely, the unknown, the "who's that"...then I will embrace that the way I should have from the beginning...It's not about me. It's really not. The more I seek out approval and acceptance the more I miss out on truth and growth. At 38, I don't have time to play pretend. This is me...and like I have said before..I qam a beautiful mess.


Jaime And Drew said...

GREAT POST! I get it I REALLY DO! It sucks that I really get it but it's nice to see I am not the only one sitting at the lunch table ALONE :)

missy said...

oh, my heart sister...my kindred spirit. i love you. this time around WILL be different because you are with me and we are with 3 other amazing women who will all refuse to wear masks too. i know i won't fit in with masses there....and that's ok with me. maybe i will wish i did at some point, but then, i will look over and see you and annee and anne and amber and know that i am truly loved and accepted by a few....and you will do the same.

can't wait to see you thursday.

love, m

Paula said...

Well, I HAVE met you in "real life" and I like you A LOT. I am that outwardly appearing outgoing person who feels awkward in social settings too. I wish you lived nearby so I could hang out with you and really get to know you better. You are a blessing to the world. Try to enjoy the conference; wish I was doing something as cool as that.

Amber G. said...

oh, steff... i think we're all a beautiful mess inside. being a mess is being human. we all need His love and grace. ♥
LOVE you, friend... can't wait to meet you in person.

GulfCoastOilSpill said...

Some people are just better at social situations, they are called extroverts. I envy their abilities, but at the same time the nerdish type of introverts are my favorite.