How Well Do You Know Yourself?

I’m finding that the longer I’m on this planet, the less I feel I understand about life. It’s amazing how I don’t feel like I know myself as well as I had thought I did. Very humbling realizations are hitting me in the gut. A pro fighter is punching me hard, and knocking all of the wind out of me.

I don’t always like the new Wendy, that comes to my attention. I don’t like admitting that I’ve been wrong. I’ve had such confidence about how well I’ve understood myself. After decades of therapy, it’s becoming clear to me how much remains hidden, when we’re not ready to see the truth.

I’m nearly 50, and I’m beginning to understand myself better(I hope!). All of us are multi-faceted, and impossible to define in any cogent way.

I’ve read that our brains are wired to notice and remember the negative encounters we have from moment to moment. It has been, at least for myself a real struggle to acknowledge that behind the shadow of intense pain, is great light. The light of possibility, of hope. The chance to become more like the person I’d like to be, and less controlled by old ways of thinking and interpreting reality.

I am realizing that it’s not really possible to label my chronic illness as physical, or emotional in a pure sense. I’ve known this for awhile, but I’m starting to discover it in a way that doesn’t involve my rational mind.

It’s kind of like trying to understand what an apple is, from an analytical place, having never seen or eaten one. Then there’s holding the fruit in your hand, crunching into the apple and realizing that you had no idea of what an apple really was. Sensing, and feeling, rather than overthinking.

I’m getting the opportunity to understand myself in layers, instead of in a simplistic head based way. I’ve found that all of the thinking has lead me away from myself.

Do you know who you are? Not the you that other’s see you as, but the you that is real, that sparkles, and suffers, and glows. The you that is trapped by the perception you grasp onto so tightly of yourself.  I would bet that you are more, not less worthy of great joy, than you imagine yourself to be. That you are tied to the story of yourself that has been reflected in your family’s eyes, in the eyes of acquaintances, of lovers, of dear friends.

Try to remember, especially on those dark days, where despair is looming over you, that there is more to know about yourself than you do. That certain self-discoveries are painful, but that they can serve you, too. The darkness makes clearer the light.





Trying to Be Less Pretentious

Stephen King says that using big words constantly, is a no-no.

Stephen King and other writers suggest that it’s more important to make an effort to write simply, and not place large words everywhere in an effort to wow readers.

It’s funny that I’ve been catching myself flinging around words with lots of letters, that I assume not everybody knows.

Why the big words?

If I call myself a writer, don’t I have to use them? I mean, it’s key in this field to be super duper smart, and to make sure that everyone around me knows it.

I admit, it doesn’t feel very deep of me to rely on these words like I do. It doesn’t make my writing any better, either.

I struggle with this one. Insecurity sometimes leads me astray. I try to sound intelligent. I try to please. It’s silly because it’s me that cares the most about how big my brain appears to be. Not my readers.

The writing that stands out is more personal, and genuine.

I would guess that writing that is warm, and comes naturally to the person who is writing tends to be received much better by readers.

It’s not really that easy. It’s harder for me to write this way without first connecting to a usually buried side of myself.  It’s scary, revealing more of myself. The ugly and embarrassing parts of me that I like to hide in the dark, and forget about.

Gotta avoid that at all costs!

Who gave me the idea that big words mean more than little ones?

My dependence on big words got started when I was at Palo Alto High School, which is frighteningly close to Stanford University. So much competition. So many people who seemed so much smarter than I felt I was.

It seems snotty to tell other people that I’m a writer. Of course all of us can write about our own truths, or about people/ideas that mean a lot to us.

I am seeing as I compose this blog, how hard it is for me to write like the flawed, confused, erratic person that I am. I’ve tried here to be  down to earth, and to not pretend that I’m a college professor. It feels sort of  like I’m on a tight rope and the rope is swinging all over the place. Oh my. My stomach has this fluttering feeling to it, like a butterfly is trying to get out. Sort of similar to falling in love. Or the moments before tossing my cookies…

I’ve learned something here.

Hoorah! What a good feeling!

I promise that I will from here on out, do my best to hold back a bit when I get the urge to share my more difficult vocabulary words with my audience(of 2, 3, 0?).

I honestly don’t enjoy making my readers cringe, or pissed off, or nauseated.

Thanks for reading.