Paperwhites, originally uploaded by schönwandt.

a friend brought me some paperwhite bulbs the day after my surgery. they're not quite to this point yet, but hopefully, when they are, i'll have the presence of mind to snap a photo or two of them.

i've been thinking a lot lately about my insecurities.

ok, who am i kidding? i think a lot all of the time about my insecurities.

three times (and twice very recently) people have told me that i use silliness and humor to avoid having to be my true self around people, and to distance myself from people.

it's completely true--i don't deny it.

on one hand, it's a protective measure--if i don't have a serious conversation with you, then there is no way for you to know what i am really thinking, what i am sensitive about, and there is no way for you to hurt me (or at least hurt me as severely).

and on the other hand, i feel like i am more in touch with my true self and my real emotions than most people i know, and more willing to share that part of me with people i trust. but that can make people REALLY uncomfortable. one of my dearest friends (and i think that some of you will know who i mean) cannot deal with my rawness. she actually, visibly, twitches with discomfort. it's a sacrifice for me to have to keep my true feelings from her, and it's set limits to our friendship, but i realize that it's something i have to do for her sake. it is mean to gush when i know she can't handle it. i won't do that to her.

i sometimes make jokes to avoid uncomfortable situations. the most tightly wound person i know is someone i love and respect a lot. she is one of the most critical people i've ever met, but also one of the most sensitive. sometimes, she says things i completely disagree with, but i can't disagree with her directly, because i know how much it would hurt her. i also don't want to agree with her because it would betray my own feelings too much, so i usually make a joke to lighten the mood or change the subject.

i'm so serious in my own head all of the time, i want to spare other people from that. i can't deal with all of my time spent with friends being as intense as the time i spend alone with my thoughts.

a friend (not the clairvoyant one i mentioned a couple of weeks ago, but one who i really do believe can see things on another level than most people) told me recently that i have inherited a legacy of worry, and that things don't have to be so hard for me. he said he can see right through my silliness to the reasons for it, and that i don't have to be that way so much.

it's good to know that some people are okay with the truth and intensity. it's scary, because there can be a lot of pain wrapped up in all of that. but if you can't ever be your genuine self around your friends, can't show them your grief, or pain, or sadness, then what is there?


  1. Amen. You say so much of what is true, here.

    I was IM'ing with a friend the other day--he was lamenting how much we hide ourselves now than when we were younger. But we do it out of protection and other boundaries that we've become well aware of through the years. The tradeoff is that fewer people get to know us well.

    The other payoff, I hope, is that we have more valuable relationships with the ones we share.

  2. I think that you feel things more intensely than many (most?) people, so while some people may be uncomfortable with your sensitivity, there are others who just don't "get it". Some people just go through their lives without much introspection. Thankfully, blessedly, you are not one of those people, and my life has been enriched by you. So thank you. I'm not sure where I fall on your emotional richter scale, but I am glad to have a friend that "gets it".

    p.s. I think the fatal flaw in the marmalade was not heating it high enough/long enough. I think it will work if I try it again.