Thursday, January 21, 2010

weakness dilemma

I’ve had to look my weakness full in the face today (no, not in weepy, crying way).
First, was my FaceBook post. It told of a fourth grade boy catching me in the lunch line and telling me that he thought I looked like an Albert and that my tattoo made my skin look like a hairless cat. I followed that story up with, “And I wonder why I’m single…” Well, a few people seemed to understand that I thought it was cute and that I was joking around. Most, however, felt inclined to reassure me that I do not look like a hairless cat and that I am actually cute and my looks have nothing to do with my singleness. While I was very touched at how people were concerned and so quick to try to bolster my morale and self-image, I couldn’t help but take it as, “Wow, people must truly think I am beyond fragile.” In all honesty, it was the highlight of my week. It has been a HORRIBLE week at work. I’ve loved teaching this year more than ever before, but this week has been my worst, ever. This moment with this random fourth grader made me laugh harder than anything in several days. He wasn’t trying to be rude in the slightest. He was just looking at me, pondering, and then shared his thoughts so sincerely. He couldn’t have said anything more perfectly timed. He made my week, and gave me such a great story to tell—which I love. I thought there would be all kinds of witty and sarcastic remarks on my post (thank you AMA and JA for rising to the occasion!)—I never dreamed people would think I was feeling bad about myself and somehow worrying that I actually look like a hairless cat! Either I have been visually weaker than I realized or there must be some truth in the hairless cat comparison, otherwise, people wouldn’t be so quick to rush to my aide. Regardless, it is very sweet that people care.
For proof that I don’t think I look like a hairless demon from hell (remember, not so fond of felines), I think my current actions demonstrate that it is my weakness people are picking up on. I just got done emailing one of my friends that I love the most, asking him if he minds if I skip his birthday party this Saturday. All because I don’t want to run into him or his friends. I want to be strong enough that it wouldn’t matter. That I could smile and not crack. That there would be no tears. That it wouldn’t set me back for a few weeks in my recovery. However, for the past two weeks, the dread in my stomach has been getting heavier and heavier. To the point it has been keeping me up a little at night. I think I need to listen to that. It would be stupid to set myself back and to turn into a mess for awhile just to try to prove a point and try to be strong. So, if my friend is okay with it, I will skip. If not, I will go. Him knowing I love him and that his friendship is important to me is worth it, if that is what it takes.
I think I will get there, where I can see him and not crumble. Maybe even get there to where I don’t feel the spear sink into me. However, while I’m closer, I’m not there yet. While it may be weak, it may be selfish, it may be cowardly, and it may simply communicate to him that he left a wuss, I’m learning that I need to listen more to gut and not do things simply because I feel like I should or that it is expected or because others might think I’m weak. Maybe in a twisted way this takes more strength? Yeah, I don’t really think so either, but I’d like to spin it like that. However, I can say, that I might believe it takes more wisdom. Either way, at least the pit of my stomach can get back to ‘normal.’

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