I know who I am. I may not know all I am capable of yet.
I know I don’t possess a large amount of confidence…at least I have never thought so. I am often scared, unsure, worried. Sometimes, just flat out sick with fear. I fly by the seat of my pants with no mat and no net, well aware of the risks. I don’t do this because I am secure, or love the thrill, or have hidden resources to draw upon should I fall. I have none of these. I don’t reach for things beyond my comfort zone because I am brave or daring or have a lot of balls. I am a natural worrier and I don’t enjoy the sleepless nights this has caused me. I will never be comfortable with the kind of risks I seem to need to take. I have too much need to know what’s happening, and safety means too much to me. I dislike the unknown.
The reasons I can do what I do is simple. I know if I don’t, I will never have, do, or create a thing. Because the willingness to risk and my imagination is all I have. That, and my instincts. My ability to smell an opportunity and my tendency to connect with other people and read them well puts me in the way of too much to ignore. I am not calculating; just transported by possibilities. Really, possibilities are my toolbag. I am not optimistic; just memerized by ideas and things and people. The stories we are living are what makes me tick. I look at all the captured moments in photos, movies, song. They are real, whether fiction or not, and we are all living moments and pictures and songs, every day. I cannot resist making the moment, and cannot turn my back on the beauty of it.
So, I reach. For the moment, the person I will learn from, the buy I cannot afford but may profit from, the beauty that won’t be lived without being lived, seen, and felt in a rush of possibilities and chills and spills. I reach for the opportunity, the chance, to be and feel and know; I did something, loved someone, made something good or awful, but I was here…
This creates for me a frequent condition of being in over my head, unsure that I have whatever it takes to do the job, whatever that may be. Often, I have no flight plan or toolbox; I am just following my nose and making it up as I go along. A very smart friend tells me the best things happen this way. But I am not so sure. I just don’t have another way yet. If I’d waited ’til I did, I’d have never gotten started. When the instruction manuals, maps, tool bags and sack lunches were passed out, I may have been around the other side of the shed, smelling wildflowers, because I never got any of those things. I think it may be too late for that sort of thing now. Everything I learn now makes me feel like the large kid who is too big for his desk. It’s awkward and embarrassing sometimes that I haven’t learned some of these things a long time ago, at least if I was going to end up doing the things I do, because now they are hard lessons. They are like breaking bones when you are older…it’s not like when those bones are young and soft and heal quickly. Now, I fall hard, and heal slowly. But I cannot keep from the jump. I put myself in the arena, and it hurts like hell when the bull throws me off. And he does. And for some crazy reason, when I am done crying my ass off, I do it again. I just don’t want to sit in the stands.
What does this say about me?
I was born an introvert. But I am not one. I was raised to never take chances, taught to listen to the others that knew better, but I have become unwilling to let others choose for me. I must choose now, regardless of the choice being a good one in their eyes, or a bad one. Because the choices of others have never been the right ones for me, and have never been the ones I could live with, in the end. No, I will take the bumps for choosing badly when I have, for at least I have chosen to act. I don’t know everything, but I know enough to know what I know. What I know is what I want, who I want to be, what I want to give, what I feel, what I love and hate. No one else knows that like I do; how can they know what I need?
It is a new chapter now. What I do, right now, will be what future is ahead of me. I don’t know how much there is, but I no longer feel the future is endless; not in this life anyway. I don’t like to say I have wasted time, but I have spent so much time trying to adjust, to the world, to others, to the expectations of anyone who ever meant anything to me, and I am not your average girl, so there has needed to be so much of this. Just to keep people okay with who I am to them. So much that I could forget who I am. But I never have forgotten, because I cannot. I am a girl that dreams. This is troubling for people, sometimes. Dreams are okay, but I don’t know the difference between dreams and life. I want to live them, even if in moments.
So, I am a dreamer… and somewhere when I wasn’t looking, I guess I started choosing, rather than waiting. Waiting to be ready, waiting to know how, waiting for some kind of stability, waiting for someone to tell me how…
I don’t have much. I told you; confidence and resources and know how, I don’t really own. My gut, my passion and my eye and my connection to others; my imagination, my nose and my hunger and thirst for something more; my refusal to miss any more of my dreams; these are the things that drive me and keep me alive, keep me breathing in and out when I want to quit and there is no more. Something always shows itself to me, makes me imagine, and then to believe, the something more.
Along the way, there are the moments that forever live inside me and fuel me to try again. The look that lasts a moment, and says everything that’s never said. The impossible find that showed itself when I shouldn’t have seen. The words that were only for me, the ones that were so beautiful I could never make them up if I tried. The picture that I never shot, but I hold anyway, as if I did. The understanding that none of this matters; the toiling and lack of sleep and the throwing of the dice, the messiness and the broken heart and the loneliness, because it’s the journey I’m on that brought me here, and if I miss it I will miss everything. I don’t want to miss the ride, even while I know the bull is bound to throw me, even while I know I am still scared, even while I still don’t know how, even while I know it might end up hurting like hell and I might wish I was dead. Because I want the beautiful moment more than I fear the pain. I guess it’s that simple.
I’d like to say I am so evolved, I can choose to not see the painful parts of my life as just that; painful. But I’d be lying. There are things that still hurt, that still impact me so much that sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever fully heal. I have sore spots. I have phobias. I have nightmares.
There are things I struggle with and wonder why I can’t be like other people I see that sail through the same things with little difficulty, and I get frustrated.
And then I remember. I’ve come a long ways from the scared, broken person I once was. And considering where I’ve come from, I’ve come a long, long ways. There was a time when all I wanted was to figure out how to live inside, how to keep myself safe, how to avoid getting killed. There was time where my concern was how to get the next high, and a time I was only trying not to get high. For a long time then, my concern was simply how to survive as a person that only knew those things, and had never known different. I did not unlearn the fear that comes from the street very quickly. In fact, I will probably never unlearn it. You can’t un-see what’s been seen. But you can make peace with it, and learn to use it a different way. I am still learning both. I no longer feel the shame of the past, but am still aware that I cannot share it with everyone, and I share with few. Yet, I am not a secret. You can see me, if you really care to look.
People do look at me. They study me sometimes, and I don’t really know why. Perhaps they can’t figure me out. I stand out, yet am not trying to for it’s own sake. I am still pretty, and enjoy clothing and looking nice, but I seem to have a unique look, as people tell me. Maybe people are curious about me. Or maybe they do see some shadow flitting across my soul that confuses them in light of my playful attire. And some people just like me. Whatever the reason, some scratch the surface. If you want to know me, you probably will, just so long as you don’t decide I am just one thing. I no longer try to explain myself so much, so it’s really up to you if you want to know. Everyone who’s ever known me sees something different.
For a while now, there has been a difference in the people that draw closest to me. They are brave and strong and powerful people who get shit done, make shit happen, dream big and think outside the box. I appreciate these people more than they can know. There is a strong mutual respect between us, and when they speak, I tend to listen because there is always something in it that matters. And I hear the things they say about me. I do not define myself by what others say I am, but I do hear it and I wonder at it. I will admit to being perplexed at times when the words don’t align themselves to what I thought I was, and to what may have been said about me before I knew a different kind of person. To what I felt like inside. Some of these things the different kind of person says, sound like this…
Brave Confident Strong Exuberant Extroverted A life force Fun Friendly Creator Go-getter Tough Passionate [I knew this one] Good business sense [really?] A bad ass Infectious Creative Smart…Treat people well Make people feel good Able to talk to anyone Able to talk to men [Um, they are people...] You are the heart and soul of this place You are the reason people come here People love you You created this [I did not begin it] You make things happen…
The confidence word confuses me the most. I don’t often feel confident. And the confidence they see is not contrived, not a pose I pull on like a suit. I don’t even know how to do that and I wish I did. I don’t know what they see. I think it’s my spirit they see in it’s natural state, when I am at ease, when things seem alright in my world. It’s not mental, and it’s never been a thing I can turn on. It is my greatest weakness, the lack of confidence, yet everyone seems to see this in me, right down to my walk. Maybe I don’t know what confidence is. I know I enjoy people, and I am not afraid to approach them, and will talk to anyone. Maybe that’s seen as confident.
I feel awed by these descriptions. I struggle with them. I want to say, Don’t you see that I’m scared, that I have no idea what I’m doing, that I’m not smart enough strong enough tough enough good enough quick enough to pull this off, to make a business work, to make a relationship work, to make myself anything ever; that I am whistling in the dark and hoping for one last miracle, everyday? That I don’t even know if I can keep from going crazy? Because I’ve been scared forever, have never made anything work, never had anything, never succeeded. Every time I’ve tried to do something great, create something beautiful, in the end it has been ripped away from me, or I have broken. Why would this be different? How can you say I am these things, when everything, always, I have failed at? Ending in heartbreak, a more broken life than I had, a more broken person than I was. How could I be confident anyway, when I know this?
And yet…I listen, with one ear. My heart hears, and I come back, again and again, and they find me. These others, strangers, friends, who believe something I don’t know yet, but am willing to try to believe. I borrow their confidence in me and don’t tell them they lie, as I know they never lie about anything else. And I don’t turn my back on the things I do know. That I don’t want to miss the moment, the miracle, the shot, the love, the words I’d never hear if I quit.
I know who I am. I may not know all I am capable of. Yet.
This is what I started off saying. Maybe I don’t know that first part. I want to amend here, and say certainly I do know who I am, because I know my character. Someone once told me I did have confidence, in response to my issues with that. He told me that I had confidence of character, the most important kind. I knew who and what I was. And I understood. I had to agree.
But I am still confused. My character, my ethics, my knowing right from wrong, my intents towards others…I understand these to be character. The things others see in me; these are things I don’t know, or I didn’t. My fortitude, my ability to make something of nothing, the confident attitude that I don’t even see in myself, the fact that according to one person recently, I am A Force to be Reckoned With…
Perhaps I do not know all of who I am. Yet.