Friday, February 6, 2009

Stepping out......

I was shaped by school life.
Everybody had to look the same.
Everybody had to behave the same.
Colours were neutral.
No self expression allowed.
Just memorized answers.
Only "right" answers tolerated.

Our home was decorated in neutral colours. My father went to work every day. My mother stayed at home with us. We children went to school every day. And wore uniforms.

I was happy. But lived in a box. High school was far worse than primary school. At least there was room for colour and fantasy at primary school. At high school one was supposed to be serious.

Everybody looked the same.
Everybody behaved the same.
We wore white blouses and grey skirts and navy blue shoes.
I hated high school. But I behaved and graduated.

One thing that was impressed upon us children was being a shadow. Living as if we weren't really there. Staying neat and clean. Doing our work without complaint.

"Who does he think he is? Does he own the place?" an angry comment from my father for anybody making waves or calling attention to themselves.

So I learned to shrink. And fit into somebody else's mold. Somebody else's pattern of who I should be.

As I look around, I realize I am still trying to fit into the mold I think my husband wants me to live in. I have made some changes in our home. But there is still a lot that is not me.

I blame my husband. But it's not his fault. He actually encouraged the changes in our home that I made. Those changes that reflect who I truly am. The white wicker rocking chair in our bedroom. The dolphin wind-chime hanging in our T.V. room. The pictures around our home. My flowers. My woodworking attempt at making a grandfather clock (still in progress 6 years later).

True - he didn't want new appliances (what's wrong with the old ones?).
True - he didn't want to repaint the T.V. room.
True - we have older windows and badly need to replace or remove the wall-to-wall carpets in our home.

And our home has become somewhat of a hospital. The dining room is the examination room. The nurse came in this morning to draw Hubby's blood - in our dining room. The inhalation therapist who comes to listen to his chest and take his blood pressure carries out her duties in our dining room.
We have a bed in our T.V. room where Hubby takes his naps.
So what? We are lucky to have a home.

But it goes beyond the home. It goes right into my being. This fear of being myself. Of expressing myself. I drag my feet where others write e-zines, publish books, start a business, a webpage, sell on ebay or etsy. Why am I so afraid?

What if...........I stepped out of this "box" and changed myself.
What if...........I wasn't afraid to express myself on paper.
What if..........I took a chance.


Kelly said...

Did you ever see the movie "Fried green Tomatoes"?....If you haven't, maybe you should rent it and watch it...It's about a middle-aged woman who breaks out of her box and becomes who she knew she always was but was just too afraid to do/be.
I've seen it quite few times. It's sort of a dramatic-comedy with a very good storyline.
Let me know if you watch it~

Grammy said...

You should write. Your time is coming. You will make all decisions.
Just do not fall for gimmicks that make you pay to be published. You have talent. And you can be free to be your self at any time. I am a fighter and get my way on most things. But there are some things I have allowed to control be. And fear saw one of them. Some day we will both stand up tall and be told by no one what we do or think.

Wendy said...

Hi Kelly, I don't remember if I saw that movie or not. It sounds familiar. Will check it out - thanks.
Hugs too.

Hi Grammy - you are so supportive. Thank you for your kind comments. I am not a fighter, unless someone is threatening my children or grandkids. I hope one day we do fly.....

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Wendy, I have always shrunk to make myself invisible. I know why, but I also know I don't need to live like that anymore. But old habits are hard to change. I think it takes half a lifetime to become who we are, and then we spend the rest of our lives changing what we don't like or no longer need. Life is a journey. I know that sounds trite, but it's true. We can choose to change directions and go places we've never been before. Scary, but exciting at the same time. You are making changes that are so very good for both you and your husband. It has taken you a while to get to the point of asking for help. More changes will come, without you even realizing, and you will be off and running!

Mimi said...

I'm with Kelly... you HAVE to watch that movie. You are an amazing person and you should just let yourself shine. The late bloom is always the most stunning. I, too, hated high school. Hated the uniformity. Hated myself for not liking it when everyone else seemed to be fine. Then I rebelled with a little help from my mother of all people! You can do it! Be you. Do you. You owe it to yourself!

Wendy said...

Hi Jen, thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I have made changes in asking for help, but I can feel myself sliding backwards. I don't think I will be going away as planned. I'm too afraid to leave Hubby.
I do so much want to fly free. And I realize I've chosen hubby to reflect my own fears. Darn that karma! Or whatever.

Hi Mimi - thanks for your vote of confidence too. So you understand too. You must have a wonderful mother. I'm glad. You rock!

CIELO said...

Be a fairy.... don't be afray to fly... ;)



Q said...

Dear Wendy,
You are making day at a time. Just writing this blog is stepping out!
I am always near...

Anonymous said...

It is always liberating to step out of our boxes into big boxes, into an expanded mind where there is more room for new potential.

I love the graphics and art work on your blog Wendy.

Renee said...

Well I think you are amazing and I think you are braver than you even know.

You have been ever vigilant with your husband these years while he is ill.

You are doing more and being braver than most people walking around.


Wendy said...

Thank you Renee, you truly are kind. Life throws things at us. The Why is immaterial (I'm beginning to understand). We just have to take the challenge and grow with it.
Thanks for stopping by.