Do you like me or is it my insecurities?
Eggs are never a substitute for chicken.
This has been running through my mind of late.
Who speaks when my voice is raised? Is it me? Or is it those insecurities?
I’m not trying to be poetic, it’s actually a question I’ve been posing.
I’ve noticed my adaptability to situations. I’ve noticed how quickly I can make a person feel comfortable and my desire for them to feel comfortable around me, but at what cost?
Do people in my family know me? Or do they know a sensored version of me that I project to make them feel comfortable?
At my grandmother’s funeral a few years ago, so many people told me what a sweet woman she had been. But she wasn’t really, not all of her anyway. My earliest and fondest memories of her are fighting with her. She could be a royal pain in the ass (an inherited trait) as well as warm, kind and cuddly… But sweet? Nah. Feisty. Spicy even, and yet none of these traits were celebrated.
How often when I was growing up did I hear about what a sweet young girl I was?
But that wasn’t me, not all of me anyway.
I’m a lot of things…
Stubborn, opinionated, pigheaded, lover of dirty jokes and very bad words, drinker of wine, clumsy, hater of The Beatles (they killed rock and roll) and of eggs (especially jiggly ones) and a fucking pain in the ass in my own (inherited) right quite often.
And yet when offered recently, I ate a plate of damn eggs.
I’m not kidding, I was travelling staying with mild acquaintances when I was offered a plate of eggs which instead of politely declining, I ate so as to spare them discomfort. Or was that it?
Was it to spare them discomfort, or to spare me rejection…
And at what cost? The amount of salt I had to put on them to get them down can’t have been good for me much less the fact that I put my needs entirely aside for the perceived comfort of someone else, as though my likes and dislikes didn’t matter. That’s not fair to me, to them or to the damn chicken whose egg I hated.
There are situations where you eat the eggs and are grateful, but I wasn’t in one of those situations, so why? Why were my needs less valuable, to me?
A desire to be liked?
I like me. Yet I often won’t let you see her for fear that you might not like me and then what? What if I offend you with my colourful language? I don’t want to offend anyone — but I really really like to swear. If you invited me to your home and played your Beatles collection, would I say something? Should I?
I work with a lot of women, I have female friends all over the world — and I see these trends in them too. Not so much the eggs, but the placing of every one else along with their needs, both real and imagined, in front of their own. It’s scaring me.
I’m starting to wonder if it starts with the stupid eggs.
Can the person who doesn’t like eggs be loved? Is that what we are worried about? Is it feeling selfish because society tells us we are awful people if we have needs we value?
I want you to like me, but for me.
The kind, opinionated, stubborn, generous, clumsy, wine drinker who would love to tell dirty jokes while listening to anything but the Beatles eating the chicken instead of the egg.
The trick I’m finding is to have the courage to let this me be seen. She’s known by some of my favourites, but definitely not known as well as she could be by others.
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”
― Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
I’ve been hiding behind my work at HJC for quite a long time. The me that started HJC is real and HJC is an expression of who I am and what I believe. That said, along the way I (that authentic me) got a bit lost. I started slowly inperceptably to alter who I was to fit within what people wanted me to be. I was still in the wilderness, but I was tired, hungry and lonely.
To the point that I ate eggs I hated with people I actually respected, without a second thought.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions — but I am one for change.
The eggs were the last straw.
After all, if I don’t have enough courage to been seen as an egg hater — how the hell am I going to find the courage when the stakes get higher?
I encourage any of you reading this to think about the eggs you settled for when it was chicken you were after…
Celebrate that person, not the cardboard “sweet” one but the “spicy” and unique version that is you — I’d really like to meet more of those people. The world needs us.