Giving The Dragon The Day Off

For as long as I can remember, there’s been a discrepancy between who I think I want to be and who I really am.

I think want to be a woman who goes straight from her high-profile job (communications manager has a nice ring to it) to drinks with a gaggle of gossiping girlfriends without stopping to change her fabulous four-inch heels. Dream-Me would be impossibly cool and skinny and glamorous, with a killer fashion sense and an appreciation for the arts, obscure music, and foreign movies. In this perfect life, Dream-Me reads real literature and wears red lipstick and writes for pleasure and runs marathons and loves volunteering and doesn’t care what you guys think.

Dream-Me sounds fine – but she’s not me.

The woman I think I want to be is a list of ‘shoulds’ – things I think I should like, should want, should do. Things I feel guilty or strange for not liking, not wanting, not doing.

What I really want is to have the courage to do the things I dream about doing instead of waiting to do them when the time is right – when I’m skinny enough, rich enough, rested enough, happy enough. When I’m enough.

What I really want is to bond with a few close friends – boys, girls, young, old, single, married, I don’t care – over a shared interest in something I love: books, videogames, writing, yoga, geeky movies and TV shows, boardgames, whatever.

What I really want is a career that allows me to do something I love (writing) in an industry I believe in (agriculture) that allows for decent work-life balance (working from home instead of commuting three hours a day, for instance.)

What I really want is to enjoy the things I like shamelessly. I read epic fantasy and graphic novels, not classics, and given the choice, I’d choose cartoons over foreign flicks every single time. I’m a geek who prefers lipchap over lipstick, cycling over running, and comfort over fashion. There’s nothing cool about me, and I totally care what you guys think.

I guess what I really want is to be okay with who I am. For too long, I’ve hidden myself away because I fear people won’t like me as I really am. Let down my guard? Guys, I don’t have a wall. I have a dragon-guarded fortress to keep people out. Rather than risk rejection by putting myself out there, I play it safe, keep it superficial, and pretend it doesn’t matter. I don’t let myself feel. Like, literally anything.

It’s foolish, though. People appreciate authenticity. People like people who are genuine. There are totally people out there who won’t like me as I really am, but I’m willing to bet there are also people out there who’ll give me a chance – if I give them a chance to.

But I’ll never find those people – the kindred spirits, the like-minded souls – if I don’t give the dragon the day off once in a while.

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5 thoughts on “Giving The Dragon The Day Off

  1. Philosofreaky

    Loved this. I think I went/am going through something similar after moving to Alberta and losing my job and bring thrown into the land of freelance and running a home business – a big learning process between the ‘I thought I would want/I should want’ and who it turns out I really am. I don’t think I have the problem of throwing myself out there and being who I am, I’d wear myself on my sleeve if I could and if it didn’t sound so weird. My issue is that I like independence and alone-time a little too much me thinks. I’d be content on a deserted island and I don’t know that I ‘should’ be that way 😉

    I hope we can share our like-minded adventure ideas!

    Reply
    1. Jen Post author

      Bree, I totally get the appeal of a deserted island. It took me a long time to realize that even though I’m a classic introvert – I love my alone time, love going to movies and doing things by myself – there’s nothing “wrong” with me, and I don’t need to be fixed. I’ve always felt so weird for not liking the things other girls like, and I really feel that Twitter has helped me realize there are other fabulous ladies out there (like you!) who share my interests and my passions. Yeah, shoes are cool, but so are dragons and cartoons and graphic novels and videogames. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Dani

    I didnt have a dragon but a wall that was higher then the eye could see. Now I like to think I have a little pony wall. Because I adjusted the height of my wall I have found some great friends! Putting yourself out there as you are is tough! But I think as “YOU” are is fantastic!! 😉
    I know I have enjoyed getting to know you and am glad we are friends!

    Reply
    1. Jen Post author

      Aw thanks, Dani! I think it’s sometimes tough to be both strong and vulnerable – if you put yourself out there, someone might take advantage of you. But I’m starting to learn that, unless you put yourself out there, you won’t find the good people who will fill your life with only good things. I’m glad we’re friends too. 🙂

      Reply

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