Who Will You See if I Come Out From Hiding?

What if they don’t like me?

What if I’m different?

What if I’m not good enough?

If my daughter came to me and said these things I would tell her, “If they don’t like you the way that you are, then they are the ones missing out.”

Not long ago I brought my daughter and her friends to the mall. It was her friend’s birthday and the girls had earned money by deep cleaning my house. They spent hours working hard so that they would have money to spend. They planned to use it to buy the birthday girl something special.

They ran off on their own in hunt for the perfect gift.

When we reconnected they were all wearing matching sweatshirts they had bought. My daughter had used the money she’d earned and some of her own to pay for part of her friend’s sweatshirt as well as her own. She’s a saver. Her goal is to save double what she needs to buy a new phone so she still has money in her savings account – so when she chooses to spend her money it’s a big deal.

She didn’t actually like the sweatshirt though. It was a cropped top and she hated it. After that day she asked to return it but because she had worn it already that wasn’t possible. Since then she has refused to wear it and the hated top remains buried in one of her dresser drawers like a forgotten toy at the bottom of the toy box.

She never liked that sweatshirt. She didn’t want to buy it in the first place. Why did she?

When I talked to her about this she told me she wanted her friends to like her. They liked it and she was afraid if she didn’t go along with it they wouldn’t like her. She didn’t want them to think she was being difficult (apparently they had a hard time choosing something they all liked).

Ridiculous, right? These are good friends who like her for a lot of reasons. If she didn’t want to buy the sweatshirt would they really stop being her friends? Not these kids.

And if one of them did decide not to be her friend because she didn’t buy a sweatshirt? Well then she certainly wouldn’t be someone my daughter should be friends with anyway.

We tell our children that true friends will like you for who you are. I know when I say this that I honestly believe this is true. Her friends would be her friends if she didn’t buy the sweatshirt.

But what about me? Do I believe people will like me if they get to know who I really am? If they see behind my public curtain, if they discover that the wizard is really just a bookworm who also happens to like paddleboarding, what will they think?

When I first started writing for this blog I stumbled in the beginning. Until I found the word of the day I struggled with what I should write. I claimed it gave me inspiration, which in a way was true. But in reality what it gave me was an excuse to write. Why did I need to justify my writing?

I was afraid.

Who am I to put my thoughts and ideas out into the world?

Why should anyone read what I have to say?

Why would they want to?

What if they don’t like me?

What if I’m different?

What if I’m not good enough?

If my daughter came to me with this problem I would tell her, “If they don’t like you the way that you are, then they are the ones missing out.” Advice is easier to give than it is to take. But I’m learning.

Please Stop Yelling!!!

I have two girls who are just over a year apart in age, but almost complete opposites in so many ways.

My youngest is tall (taller than me even though she’s only 12) and thin. She loves to watch television and do crafts. Although she likes having friends over, she sometimes will choose to go off on her own for a while to get a break from people. She’s the classic introvert in that way, although not overly shy. She’s a STEM girl – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – although she also adores Pinterest and will happily spend hours meticulously recreating the crafts found there.

My oldest daughter has been shorter than her sister for the past 5-6 years and the gap has been increasing dramatically the past year. Although not “fat”, she has been self-conscious of her weight for as many years. As an extrovert she never tires of being with friends and is often the hostess, entertaining even Emma’s friends when they’re over. She gravitates toward leadership and has even received an award at school for her initiative there. She would much rather listen to music while chatting with her friends than do any kind of art project.

How could you possibly compare two individuals who are so different? Why would you want to?

And yet the constantly compare themselves to each other. This creates so much friction and animosity it’s sometimes difficult to tolerate.

Around the time the girls were 9 and 10 I finally read the book Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. In this book they talk about all the ways we create animosity between our kids without meaning to, and I realized my contribution to what was going on.

I know when they were little I would create mini competitions to get them to do what they needed to do – “Let’s see who can get ready for bed fastest!” I can’t tell you how beautifully this worked, but after reading this book I can see how I probably should have tried something different.

I try to be very conscious of how I phrase things with the girls, attempting to reinforce the idea that they are unique individuals with very different personalities, strengths and interests. Sometimes I can see this helping. There are little glimpses of collaboration when my oldest helps my youngest with a school project or my youngest invites her sister into her room to listen to music.

But even in these moments the bitterness still bubbles underneath the surface, just waiting to return.

Unfortunately their dad doesn’t understand how comparing them to each other or creating competitions feeds into this hostility they feel toward each other. Add to this their now 2 year old sister who they see as the “full time child” in that household and tension between them sizzles like bacon frying in a pan – just waiting for you to come close enough to splatter hot grease all over you.

So, I’m adding this book onto my reading list again – perhaps after the 10 books I already have stacked around me. I want to make sure I’m at least doing the best I can. I can’t change anything at his house but I know I can respond better to their bickering when they are with me. I just need to remember how.

I sometimes miss the days when their problems were easier to solve. Back then a hug or kiss could heal most anything.

What Happened When He Got Me Alone on the Beach?

I have been spending a lot of time these days reading about how to write better. I like the way I write, my voice, but there is still a lot to learn. As I am learning I am also working on the rewrite on the Clay/Caleb story. And when I say “rewrite” I mean just that. I am essentially rewriting the entire story but I think it’s coming out great.

Today I have been working on the scene where the main character (now named Jessica) meets Clay. Below is the part of the story where Clay and Jess are dancing. This is the main reason I haven’t had as much time recently to post on WordPress.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

**************************************

The people dancing around us began to blur, like I was in the center of a carousel that spun ever faster around me. I stumbled, unaware I had moved until I almost fell. Something kept me upright and I sank against what was either Clay or a randomly placed telephone pole.

A thought slogged through the mud and muck inside my brain but couldn’t come to the surface. There was something I was supposed to be doing. What was it? Think!

A breeze hit the sweat on my neck, sending a shiver down my spine. I looked around and realized I had made my way to the water. How did that happen? The waves kissed my ankles as they ran up to greet me.

The horizon tilted like the labyrinth game I had as a young girl. How I had loved tipping it one way then the other, careful to keep the marble from falling in the holes. The game was less fun when you were the marble.

“Whoa. Easy there. Why don’t you sit down for a few minutes?” The voice came from above.

“God?” I asked.

Laughter.

Okay, not God. Still, sitting sounded like a good idea. I landed awkwardly with a splat, my elbow stuck up by my shoulder until it was abruptly released. The water receded, then came rushing back. I kicked my feet, sending a spray of water sailing into the air.

Suddenly I couldn’t stop giggling. As the water continued its attack I hit it with both palms, scaring it away. I dug my feet into the soft sand and gazed up at the stars twinkling like the fireflies I had tried to catch by the pond on my grandparents’ plantation.

I felt as carefree as I had when I was that little girl. Where had she gone?

I felt a weight being lifted off of me. The burden of trying to live up to my parents’ expectations eased. The crushing loneliness I’d felt since their death receded with the next wave and floated out to sea.

“Feeling better?” asked the voice from above that I now knew wasn’t God.

Looking up I saw Clay’s face, one half illuminated by the moon, the other half still cast in shadow, giving him an almost sinister look. All he was missing was the mustache. The moment passed as he crouched down beside me. Up close he was stunningly good looking and I found myself wondering how it would feel if he kissed me.

“Do you think you can stand?”

I nodded.

He held out his hand but I just stared at him. As he waited, a flush swelled from my chest and up my neck, warming my cheeks. He’s waiting. Do something!

Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

This week’s art inspiration!

Word of the Day Challenge

20180817_163746

Welcome to Kira’s weekly inspirational art piece.

Let the whole picture tell you a story, or dive into the small intricate details to make one up! Write a poem, a fiction piece or come up with a picture or drawing of your own, that you feel relates to it.

Feel free to copy Kira’s drawing, to add it to your own post!

Anything goes, there are no rules. But don’t forget to link us to your post with a pingback. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here.

View original post

Bravely Living an Amazing Life!