As Detective "Doc" Reese on Life said tonight: "Maybe I'm just pretending to be myself?"
Which made me think. The person I was pretending to be was popular enough, actually pretty popular really, but he was distant and disconnected from folks. He was amusing and not exactly pretending to be some sort of alien superhero. He'd never hurt anyone except in the line of duty (His words, not mine) and he wasn't joking. He was everything, everyone I couldn't be, and was (though I'm still not certain how that worked) super human. For those familiar with Stargate SG-1 and the race of symbiotic beings known as the Tok'ra, he was exactly that.
The great joy in my life now, the great freedom, is that "I'm" not pretending to be anyone save maybe myself. Unlike my snake, I'm not perfect and I don't try to be. As someone imperfect and growing into my own life, now that it is mine and mine alone, I find it interesting to see how people see me. While I was swapping email with a good friend of mine, who's views I respect and trust, she said:
"Besides, you may have anxiety that would put a squirrel to shame, but you are vivacious and fun and get along with people."
I read it a couple of times to be sure I'd read it right, and when I thought about it, it really was a surprisingly good sound bite about me. My sister-in-law added "kind" to the list when I mentioned Christine's comment. Having spent so many years hiding, terrified I'd never be accepted, let alone that people would want to be around me, it's kind of nice. It's also so very different than the past. It's taking some getting used to, but it is well worth it.
When and where possible, I try to live a life close to the teachings of Buddha, because it just makes sense. And I've long since given up pretending to be someone else, and you know, It's nice to find out that I'm doing a great job of not doing. In working to touch my own life with kindness and love, I'm being really messy, so it's getting all over the place. There are worse things I could be doing with my life. After so many years of trying too hard, and not really making it, I'm glad to find life easier and more fulfilling just being me. It's almost counter-intuitive when you think about it. For all the bad things and pain he brought to my life, I can't help but be amused by something he used to say: "You know, when you try to be funny, it just doesn't work. When you're not trying however you're so funny and great to be around."
Yeah, right. Problem was, it was kind of all or nothing. And neither of us were ready for that kind of investment in life. My life. But it really wasn't my life then. I'd willingly given it up when I was a child in exchange for the safety and protection that this alien superhero could provide. So now, for better or worse, it is mine and I'm not soon going to allow someone to take it from me again. Be it the person I invented to protect me, or someone I thought, believed even, loved me. Life is just a bit too precious to throw away.