Here is my shame. Here is my weakness
I have a reputation. As the girl you will find dancing on tables. As the loud one at that party. As the one who tried to take the boy half her age home, you know, the one who she met while intoxicated waiting for the night bus. The girl who had that embarrassing incident in the toilets of that club. The girl who fell in love with the wrong guy. The girl that snogged a boy she sat next to on the Megabus to Manchester. The girl who did “that thing” that time… you know… THAT GIRL….There are deeper and juicier stories than this. Some of them you may have witnessed first hand but most of them you would have heard from my own lips. Straight from the horses mouth. No holds barred. No apparent shame. No filter.
Well that girl is no longer a girl. She is a big woman of 42. She was a woman when a lot of that stuff happened and she has finally figured out that chatting all your business to the world and its mum is not cool. She is embarrassed about her honesty. She has come to the conclusion that most people have not earned the right to hear those tales. Those memories. Those deep thoughts. Those shameful life lessons and all that history. She is aware that sometimes a funny story can light up a room but she now wonders why so often, it has been at her own expense.
I can’t always blame intoxication either. I am a trusting person. I naturally expect everyone else to be as honest as I am. I have given pieces of myself away to people whom I am still getting to know. People I am still sussing out. I have poured myself out for people regularly only to realise after that I should have held some of me back. They didn’t need to know all that about me. Maybe these people were not really my friends after all. For the first time I understood the responsibility that you hand over with this kind of trust. You are saying “Here is my shame. Here is my weakness.” Maybe they don’t want it and I don’t really blame them.
Some people will hear that history and smile in your face. They may feel uncomfortable. They may sympathise or even tell you a story in return. You may just get away with it. But sometimes and without even being aware of what they are doing, that person may hold that story against you. They judge you. From that moment onwards they may only see your weakness. It opens a door that was not open before. A door that invites a person in to take advantage of you or to lose respect for you. Even if they don’t intend it. Even if they think you are the bees knees. They like you. They may even love you. All this information you have given them. All of this truth. YOUR truth. Is a weapon you have placed in their hands for them to use against you.
It’s a tough lesson to learn and a long one in my case. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and I have been paying the price for it my whole life. I have given people ammunition. It happened when I was a kid, it happened a matter of months ago. It could still happen now.
Honesty is good. I am all about honesty and keeping it real. And it isn’t all bad. I have made some powerful connections with this brutal honesty. But there is a certain magic in mystery. Mystery is a mighty and powerful force. Mystery is sexy! But I cannot be mysterious to save my life. I am a Tannoy system constantly on the ON position. I am a klaxon in your ear. I am a boom box blaring. I am fog horn of the year. Or I was… Once , not so long ago, and I will be again. Sometime soon…. maybe.
Its not like you wont ever see me dancing on a table again or telling a loud story at a party or baring my soul to someone who I don’t know very well but I have definitely changed. There has been a shift and it’s hard to think that nobodies noticed. Its hard to accept that some people will always have me down as the loud one or the one fucking up in public or the one telling a room full of strangers about their private life.
In reality I listen more than I talk these days. I’ve become quite wise with age. I have learned a thing or two and I share that wisdom freely but only with people who ask for it or whom I feel would appreciate it or people I care about. I think more before I speak. I became aware of my instincts and now I am learning to trust them. I can read people. I can see people. I can see the truth behind the mask they wear. It is a gift. I have given myself enough space to recognise these strengths. I have given myself room to utilise these gifts.
I have been at a party and sat quietly chatting or playing music all night and after the event I’ve had people tell me how loud I was “You were mental the other night” erm… no, YOU were mental, loud and drunk, dancing on tables and falling over. You were basically the version of me that you have in your head.
But that’s cool. I earned that rep. I put the hours in. I guess now I have to earn a different rep. I’m cool with that.
I am probably being a wee bit hard on myself. Thats definitely a thing with me. But I am trying really hard to be better and learn from my mistakes. To save the juicy stuff for the people that matter. To put my trust in people who will not judge me or treat me differently. I am not a dickhead but I certainly act like one at times so I still make those mistakes and who knows……maybe I’ll tell you all about that in the queue for the toilets at a party some time. But you might have to earn it first
Originally published at clarkeanthea.wix.com.