“The man who thinks a thousand dragons sufficient to watch a woman, when her inclination takes a contrary bent, will find all too little; and she will engage the stones in the street, or the grass in the field, to act for her, and help on her correspondence.”
– Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson
I’m really trying not to hide lately but hiding has been my default. In new relationships I was so driven by who I wanted to be with, that I often shifted their perspective of me so I would fit, not giving credence to the fact that my value from beginning to end would always end up more meaningful to me in the end. So far they have all left my daily life, and I’m still here. I lied because I didn’t believe in the value of my thoughts or feelings.
I’m a bookish broad. I love a good story with romance and magic and very little sex. I’d rather read through loads of build up in angsty infatuation than literary porn without satisfaction and a set up for real life disappointment. Besides, not every author’s idea of kink is a good fit with mine. I used to buy Amazon gift cards to hide how much I loved new books. I’d spend an extra $25 on a grocery store receipt to hide the books I was buying. I loved reading and losing myself in novel after novel, but felt that was something to be ashamed of because it brought pain to the ex. I made him jealous because I spent so much time with my favorite authors in my head that his value was then in question. It was like going on a date with your face glued to your phone. It was very rude of me. The insidious irony is I still believe that no matter how much I believe in the freedom to read. There are people that have died for that right. (Are the gaslights dimming, or is it me?)
I wanted to print out pay stubs for the job I had earlier this year. I set up a password for the Paychex system they use and I saved it on the computer, but the computer I saved it on was the one that stayed at the company I no longer work at. As I was explaining this to the person on the phone helping me reset my password, I was laughing about never working for that temp agency again.
I told her about the last interview I went on for this agency. I didn’t want to go to begin with. It was farther than I would want to work. I got there and the people I was interviewing with had this really strong dislike of people in general and I didn’t like being there for the little while I was there. It was like that spidey sense we all get when we are sitting with someone that means us harm. You feel it in raised hairs and tingling at the back of your scalp. You know it without having words to nail it into finality. I bombed the interview. It wasn’t on purpose and maybe it was just my personality. Either way, I was okay with not working there. The agency rep ripped me a new one like I was a child. I took it because that is what you do when you need a job, but we hung up and I decided I don’t want a job where my boss would send me somewhere I told her I didn’t want to be and have her pitch a fit because I wasn’t grateful for her lack of interest in my needs. It’s not servitude I’m looking for but service to a company I want to retire with. The actual company I was at would have fit that bill, but I’m looking forward to the open possibilities before me. I’m okay with the idea of waiting for a company that suits my needs and not just a paycheck. I hit a few beaches that day because it was a day for Beach Days and Bombed Job Interviews. I decided I would no longer go on interviews that I didn’t want to go on and it was a liberating feeling. That was another way I was hiding. I was hiding in looking to take jobs that wouldn’t fit my needs because that’s what family and friends and society as a whole thinks I need to do. It felt good to decide the needs of my children and myself are most important to me. I need to send my boys off to school in the morning and have dinner with them at night. I can’t spend most of my night in traffic and give away the little time I have with them in shared custody. I can live with crock pot dinners, but I will not only see my children as they sleep and every other weekend. My last job showed me that I could find passion in what I was doing. I could wake up excited to go to work. That’s the bar I’ve set and I don’t want to stumble below it any longer.
For so long I hid behind my marriage. I fell into the idea of fate and destinies and I knew I married the right man, so it was so hard to let go even after he left me. It was hard to see that I was wrong. He left and I hid behind the ring I still wore and the marriage license that is still valid. I was hiding behind a vow he broke and a covenant he walked away from. I was hiding behind scriptures and ideals and refusing the norms that are part of who we are as a society. My turning point was in a nonchalant admission of “I’m dating,” and a leg kicked out in petulant defiance that made me feel that dating wouldn’t destroy me. It’s been blogging about past loves that remind me he wasn’t the first forever I was willing to commit to. I’ve had 2 long term boyfriends I would have given forever to, and 3 other boys that strung me along because I was willing to be walked on for the forever I saw in their smiles. There were also many, many Mr. Right Now contenders that aren’t worth an individual mention. I never took statistics, but if that could happen in a span of 8 years before dedicating the next nearly 16 years to someone else, that tells me he might not have been the one, especially when he was happiest with me when I was hiding myself from him. I can accept being wrong because it’s better to have been wrong than to admit that my forever destiny is to be let go.
I’m not hiding today but a lot of times I need the reminder not to. Sometimes the effort for transparency is more difficult than I like to admit, especially when it involves conversations with my parents. In stepping out in other uncharted territory, I’m learning that in doing, I am more capable than I imagined in my fear. The past week has been filled with unfounded terror, and there have been specific moments when my doubts were crippling. I was letting my insecurities harden into bitterness and it was stealing my joy.
Yesterday was a really good day. It was a day of unexpected blessings and encouragement. It was a day that reminded me I can’t be intimidated in a corner if I’m busy being the greatness I choose to live. I’m not hiding today.