Yup, I’m a cheerleader

Lisa always says nice things about me. As does Sharla. My cheerleaders! Back in the day I am proud to say I was their cheerleader. I believed in them then, as I believe in them now, and I watched them grow in their personhood. Fabulous ladies both.

I once bemoaned that I helped everyone get what they needed while no one helped me and I got nothing that I needed. The response was “Maybe that’s your purpose in life, to teach; to give but not get” I thought that was harsh then, I think it is harsh now. But part of it is comforting.

My shrink once said to me, in wonderment “You are basically a happy person”  You may not believe it by what you read here but I am. Happy (and laughter) are my go-to’s. Someone also said about me “No matter what time I wake you up, you always wake up happy” And someone else said “Whenever I think of you, I always remember you as smiling”

And then there was the observation “I never want to be on your shit list” Hey, Saint is just part of my name, not who I am.

Hells bells people – you can put that on my gravestone (were I to have a gravestone, which I won’t). “She was basically a happy person” or “She always woke up happy” or “She always smiled”

Pardon my arrogance but – yup, I’m a happy person. I am SO worth knowing. And you couldn’t have a better friend or cheerleader. I’m loyal to a fault, until you get on the above-mentioned shit list. You definitely do not want to be there.

I can slam doors and burn bridges with the best of them and quite frankly never regretted doing it. The trick is in the timing – my regrets only come in not doing it sooner, not in having done it.

I’m a red balloon person – to my mind nothing is more joyous and hopeful than a red balloon. And when you let go of the string, and your balloon floats up and away – the joy and hope goes with it – not YOURS, that you keep. The next person to look up and see that red balloon – may they also feel joy and hope.

And then…

In my previous post Melissa commented: “I view both you and Holly as being tough. But you can both emote. It goes to show that being tough does not mean being cut off from emotions.” I replied that I would address that in a post but I can’t. I don’t know what Melissa means by ‘tough’, perhaps she means strong? Being cut off from emotions? I get that, we tough, strong people build big, thick, high walls between us and those who can/have hurt us but that doesn’t mean we cut ourselves off from emotions. We just cut off anyone seeing us having emotions. We have them, big time. No one sees . No one knows. We have ulcers, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, insomnia, nightmares. The walls we build keep others, and hurt, out but it also imprisons us – we are alone and we still hurt.  One side of the wall – a child curled in a little ball of pain; outside the wall, strong tough woman, capable, indomitable, sometimes down but never out.

And then – I was making a playlist of my life. Just about everyone in my life has a song associated with them, for instance my husband’s song is “My Funny Valentine”.  There are songs that illuminate just about every aspect of my life except – my childhood. So I went looking to see if there were any songs that would resonate for me about my childhood – unfortunately I found some. The songs just gutted me – Martina McBride – Concrete Angel. and Suzanne Vega – Luka. I’m sure there are more songs like these but I don’t have to hear them. And unless you want to ruin a perfectly lovely Sunday, I would advise that you not click those links and listen to those songs.

I don’t know why, despite the passing of so many years; the time working through it all with professional help, despite coming to a certain understanding of the whos and whys and whats – it’s all still there.

A little self-serving perhaps?

Something I read this morning – about do you know who you are and what makes you, you. I think it was Rory, and then I came across another reference to being yourself and THEN when I searched for a Thursday song I found this –

Is the Universe trying to tell me something? If so what, because if ever there was a person who is totally themselves, it’s me. It seems I have a very strong sense of self. Despite –

~ A  few years in my early 20’s when I tried on different personalities/personas. I didn’t seem to have any control over it. It was odd, and expensive because each persona needed a different wardrobe. Just odd.

~ My ability to become another person – like the time I was going to a party with my brother and his girlfriend and she and I were discussing who I should be that night – I think I decided on Bette Davis – not that I would present myself as Bette Davis but rather the stereotypical Bette Davis character, like Margo Channing.

I always could ‘become’ an established character very easily, which is why I was great at cold readings in acting class. I had usually seen the play or movie we doing in class so for a first reading I simply replicated that performance. Like, “Butterflies are Free” starred Goldie Hawn. I was given one of her character’s monologues and I just did Goldie Hawn doing Jill Tanner. I could also do a good cold reading of something that was new to me but I was sensational if it was something I had seen performed.

I was talking about ‘sense of self’ with a friend, who like me, had a troubled and traumatic childhood (her way more than me, in my opinion). She still struggles with who she is (I know vague but let’s not get too personal here) and I couldn’t quite understand it and she remarked that I had such a strong sense of self, which was amazing given my background.

I think a lot of it has been acquired over time. One of the perks of getting old, you DO just stop caring what people think of you. Time is running out, you don’t have the luxury of playing mind games with people who don’t matter. Or even people who do matter (for that matter).

I once wrote about ageing and reverting to our essential selves.

I am Grace. Have I changed over and through the years. Oh yes, of course. I think back about who I was a various times, and I laugh. How did people put up with my young self, so positive about what was right and wrong. Oh my! Idealism run amok. So tedious.  So many things I was and then outgrew, or, just got older and wiser.

When the girls used to go out on the town, they always used a different name to fluff off guys. I could never think of another name for myself – I am, was, will always be, Grace.

I am still inventing other personas but they don’t stick. Because they aren’t me. They are aspects of me but I am only comfortable being ALL of who I am.

I know my good points, my bad ones. What I like, and don’t. I know when I’m acting badly, and sometimes I don’t care. When I do, I apologize. I know what I’m good at and I won’t hesitate to share that. I know what I’m not good at, and I just don’t do those things because why waste my time? I don’t like it, I don’t do it. I’m not here to please you.

That the life I am living right now is not the life I would prefer, I know. That it is in service to the well-being of another person, yes. Could I walk away? Yes. I have walked away from people and never looked back but not this time. this time I stick. Not sure why but that’s who I am. I don’t care what other people would think of me, I care what I would think of me. I do the right thing. And yes, sometimes knowing what the right thing is, isn’t hard to figure out.

I honestly believe that I am a person worth knowing, worth having in your life. You disagree? Fine, really fine. No one likes everyone but I also honestly believe the loss is yours. That’s not ego, that just knowing I am a good and worthy person.

I like me. I admire me. I have nothing but respect for me. I earned it. Big time. I am happy to be me!

I am Grace.