Feeling Gray

Feeling Gray

I’m not looking for sympathy or advice here, I just want to put my feelings into words and this format seems to help me. Of course, I would welcome any comments. When I express my emotions in writing they don’t seem so overwhelming and I can start to move through them.

I tend to hold in my feelings and even dwell on them, rather than share them as they come up. I’m always concerned about how other people will receive what I have to say and if my sharing will be off putting to them. I’ve written about being sensitive before and I’m well aware that I have a “unique” way of interpreting interpersonal relationships. There are times when my feelings consume me and I just have to share. Unfortunately, the “getting it out” takes precedence over my tact and I can say things, well, rather bluntly.

My focus lately has been on sharing more of who I am, being more authentic, and having the self confidence to express myself and my needs,  IN A NON CONFRONTATIONAL WAY.

Let’s just say, I need some more practice in the finesse department. I shared something recently and really hurt someone’s feelings that I care a lot about. I had been holding it in for a while and it came out all wrong. I apologized, but I can’t take back the confusion and hurt I caused, and I know I was extremely off putting (exactly what I’ve tried to avoid my entire life).

I’m feeling pretty embarrassed, misunderstood,  and very, very sad. This makes me want to abandon the whole idea of authenticity and go back to being slightly detached so I can keep my emotions to myself. This way I can never hurt anyone’s feelings and know I won’t be judged for sharing mine.

But this morning I read “The Story of the Hummingbird,” as told by celebrated Kenyan environmental activist, women’s rights advocate, and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai.
“We are constantly being bombarded by problems that we face and sometimes we can get completely overwhelmed. So it (the hummingbird) flies to the nearest stream and takes a drop of water. It puts it on the fire, and goes up and down, up and down, up and down, as fast as it can.”

Rather than get discouraged, I will take a lesson from the hummingbird, who tries to put out a fire with droplets of water from its tiny beak. I will continue to do the best that I can in moving towards my personal goals even when they seem daunting.


“Still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild, a million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

(Turn and face the strange)”

~David Bowie

I’m still trying to find my footing as I navigate through the last few months. So many changes including an empty nest and the loss of my dad. I know it sounds dramatic, but without parents, I’m no longer a child. That role was familiar to me and even though it changed over the years as my parents aged, I knew how to be someone’s daughter.

Another role that I’ve defined over the years, through trial an error, patience, anxiety, consistency, heartache, education, love and support from my husband, son and daughter is “mom.” The only thing I’ll ever brag about is how perfect my two children are. I’m pretty confident that I did the best job I could as a mother to my children. I never took this job lightly, always put their needs before mine and never lost sight that I was a major influence on their development.

If anything, I took my “job” too seriously and could have lightened up a little more as my kids were growing up. Thank goodness they have Kevin for a dad! They will sometimes wonder how I can spoil my dogs when I was more strict with them growing up. My response is always that dogs can’t grow up to be bad people. The “heavy lifting” is done as a parent and I can spoil my kids whenever I want now, since they are who they are, and I think they’re pretty awesome.

Since I’m no longer a child, my children are living independently, and I’m looking for a new career path, my day to day life is no longer defined by my role as a child, parent or teacher. I’ve been stripped down to just me; “So I turned myself to face me.” It’s an interesting, yet terrifying time in my life, but I must embrace it. As Bowie says, I must, “Turn and face the change.”

My dad with James and Adella

My dad with James and Adella