I know today it Saturday and I should, if I follow my “schedule”, be writing a story or something. Instead, I am posting an article I wrote after going to the conference I had told you all about the last time I posted over a week ago. It has been an amazing week! I learned so much! I will work in some of what I learned over the next few weeks as a I write. Here is what I learned about myself this past week.
I had gone to this conference. Alone.
I go lots of places alone with no problem. I am not afraid to go most places, alone.
This place though, I struggled.
You see, I had no one to hide behind, no kids were with me. No friends who were also there for the conference that I could hide behind. Just me.
I felt so dumb.
I tried to stay pretty quiet about who I am, and for the most part did that fine. I guess a part of me still wanted to hide, so I hid in that way. It’s a defense mechanism I guess. My safety net maybe?
Then I would look around me and wonder why in the world I thought I could do any writing anyways. These people are all learned people, they had their ideas of how or what to write. One a TV producer. One a scientist. Several had already written their books and were revising or waiting for publishers.
Honestly, though, it had nothing to do with the group. They were all encouraging, kind and I enjoyed every minute of being around them.
My perceptions needed changing.
One I need to change. The idea that I need people around me to hide behind, or no people around me and I can hide in the crowd or in the aloneness, is not needed.
My friend, she is so sweet, gave me the thought that I needed to do research for her so I could hide behind that idea. It helped some, but in the end, it was still just me, sitting at that table, trying not to be noticed. Listening to the others stories.
Yes, I did talk. I did not remain silent. I told some vague things about me. Being out of my element, I didn’t know how to connect. I totally enjoyed every minute of the week. I had an amazing time and met some truly inspiring and amazing people. I learned so much. I have so much work to do! Both in writing and in learning that yes, I still do fall into that “hiding” mode.
I guess I hadn’t before noticed how much I hide in the crowd and the ways that I do it. This time, it glared at me like a grinning specter. I kept quiet and lacked self-confidence. I would answer a question, but from the safety of the audience. I, for the most part, only told a few people that I had 9 kids. I even hid who I am!
I thought I wanted to do that to be just me, but in reality, was just another way to hide.
Why. Why do I feel the need to hide?
It’s a self-image issue really. Why would anyone want to know me?? Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say? And I suppose, I am a bit of an introvert, especially in places or crowds that are new or different.
Now that I recognize it, what do I do with that? How do I change it?
I suppose making myself go out into more of these kinds of situations would help. I suppose practicing and learning that who I am is good. I suppose recognizing those sorts of issues are still alive and kicking in me, and killing them off.
I like to be alone with my family and at my house with the long driveway. I need to go invite others in. Go out and meet some others and talk. Its so easy for me to not and I like Not. I am comfortable with that. But in order for me to not fall into the default hiding mode, I need to make myself get out and go.
Kicking and screaming if I have to.