The second prompt of Saturday’s writing group was this: What holds me back…
My parents’ divorce left me with a loving but depressed Mom and a father adored from afar. My parents loved me, and fully, but as a young girl I felt bereft – like a car low on fuel, I needed filling. And different things worked for a while; blocks, fingerpaint, comic books, girlfriends, boyfriends. Yet, in time, the emptiness returned. I’m not sure people will stay if I am me. So I get nervous. I’ll step out, but if negatively responded to, I need reassurance.
It is my hope that as I age I get more comfortable with myself (and I do believe that is happening). But I liked coloring inside the lines as a kid and I suppose I’m more comfortable inside the lines of life (though I don’t always fit).
I like to feel safe – which isn’t what adventurers feel when they explore the outer rims, on roughened seas, in wooden boats that may break in the next storm. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to look at myself objectively although I still love and respect me.
Perhaps it is me who holds myself back, for fear of being different, odd, the outlier. Until I am ready to peel the onion layers bare, I’m not sure I’ll ever know. Don’t misunderstand – I am me – just not swords drawn, guns blazing. There’s a level of reticence, civility and social conditioning that holds me within the walls of my own making. It requires a bravery or insanity I have yet to tap.
After the prompt the group took a break to share an apple, pear tart bought at a French Patisserie. The snow was falling fearlessly and after finishing my tart slice, I stood, put on my boots, and decided to leave. Then I started to cry. Seriously cry, not controlled little tears, but lots of tears with breath that came and went in emotional waves. In my unwieldy embarrassment, people I hardly knew outside the writer’s group stood to comfort me. Spoke reassuringly. Made me laugh. Hugged me. Writing friends are different from regular friends, it doesn’t take the same amount of time to get to know one another because we share ourselves in serious, heart heavy stories. Even when we use humor.