Yesterday, I wrote about the struggle to find a space of my own… learning to hold space for myself is tough. I have struggled with it ever since I can remember. I seem to have always had an issue with being ‘me’. I have, in the past, referred to myself as a chameleon. I seem to be different in every situation. It’s something I brought up in my therapy session this week.
I have, in the past, been described as a social butterfly. However much I choose to play the part, it exhausts me. I am an introvert who has adapted to live in a world designed for (and by) extroverts. I smile, make eye contact, discuss small, trivial things with people to pass the time. I fit, no, I blend into each group I find myself a part of. I end up feeling a little bit like Emmett, from The Lego Movie.
Emmett is a strange character but also very relatable. He is someone who tries desperately to fit in. He manages to do it so well that he doesn’t even get noticed. However, he does end up saving the world with many outsiders, none of whom are typical. I remember being so taken with Emmett. I remember the fleeting impression of sadness when not even his colleagues knew him. I identify with that more than I should.
That identification was one of the reasons I promised not to blend in when we moved last August. I vowed that I would make my life different, I wouldn’t try to blend in, I wouldn’t bypass opportunities that could be good for me. I said I would reinvent what I meant to myself… and I would take better care of me. I knew it would be a challenge, but it was an entirely fresh start.
So far, I have done well in my promise to myself. I have joined the board of governors for the local primary school. I volunteered to take over the local Brownie Guide unit. I started attending counselling sessions. And, I believe this final one has been the most important step of them all. The two former activities deplete my energy reserves, while the third aides the restoration of energy, alongside helping me sort out my shit.
Counselling is something I never thought I would try… it seemed too indulgent. I have realised since the first session that self-indulgence is precisely the point of a therapy session. It’s supposed to be about me… it’s supposed to be about unpicking the untruths I have told myself over the years. It is supposed to help me find my authentic self and honour that person.