As I get older, I become more and more private. Years ago, I thought I was an open book. I aired all of my dirty laundry, personal misfortunes, and embarrassing mishaps the first time you learned my name. I used humor as my armor. I would call myself out first, so you didn't get the chance.....
The thing is that I only shared my bad or my brag. I didn't ever share my truth. I didn't tell you about how I was feeling, or my anxiety, or my inner fear of failure. I think perhaps less than 10, maybe 6 people, know the real me, the deep me, the personal me, and none of them have ever been a man I dated.
I feel like I hit bottom last fall in order to rebuild myself. I have done many things this year I am proud of. I have rose to a few occasions and impressed many, including myself. I feel so open lately, so ready to learn, so vulnerable. I appreciate when I was told a few days ago that I did something rude because I am not self-righteous anymore. I am not hiding behind my public self. I know years ago I would have not been able to take that criticism, I would have defended my bad behavior tooth and nail until the person trying to help me would have been forced to concede if they wanted to be my friend.
Awful wasn't private. Well, he was actually. He was the kind of over sharer that I was years ago, the kind I mention in my first paragraph. He used self-depreciation as a way to guard himself, his true self, so people couldn't call him out on being rude, pompous, immature, short, or fat. I now see that a lot of our friction was my desire to be real and find myself (something I do think happens to many between age 25-35, the quest for the "real me") and he was fine always being a joke. He was fine being the person "so open" yet in reality so closed to ever changing, to every learning, to ever growing.
I do consider myself funny, but I am not a joke. Awful is.