Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Truth About Me

I've not intentionally ignored the Alluvial Mine, but as I've not successfully completed an exercise or two for it in quite awhile, I feel like I have been. Two or three pieces are in various stages of completion, but are coming along slowly. I guess the nuggets I initially saw in each piece are more stubborn than I thought and require more effort and more inventive ways to extract them. They will be extracted, but it may take more time. In the meantime I returned to the surface in temporary defeat. But every so often I've gone back in with my miner's digs and gear and tried freeing the nuggets I glimpsed a few months ago. Still no such luck with the big ones. But, unexpectedly, this nugget below and another one a few days later, though smaller than I what was hoping to get free, broke off. In my single-mindedness to work free the bigger nuggets, I didn't notice these at first at my knees.

I dunno why, but I feel like doing another prompt from Daydreaming on Paper. I've been doing several of them lately, I know.

This is the truth about me:
I'm happier. I'm to the point where, most of the time, I can honestly say I like who I am. I can be better, I readily admit, but, even with all my faults, I like whom I'm becoming. I have a long way to go yet, but at least I'm feeling more positive about myself and am moving in the direction where I know true happiness lies for me.

This isn't to say life has gotten easier or better for me or for my family, because it hasn't. We're still plugging along like everyone else, still trying to work through a hard family situation that has left my youngest sister heartbroken, depressed, paranoid and withdrawn emotionally two years after the traumatic event. It's only now that the signs of the damage and hurt she's felt and is feeling have come to the forefront. The past several months here at home have been tense and uneasy, but thank goodness, we are seeing a glimmer of a silver lining finally.

I'm a good person, most of the time kind and compassionate; a softie whose marshmallow heart is almost too tenderhearted. I tend to tear up or cry at the least degree of moving or heartwarming stimulus. (Which is the main reason why I try to or tend to avoid tear-jerkers or movies with sad parts in them as often as I can. Which is why I have yet to sit down or even felt like watching Finding Neverland with Mom...even though it has Johnny Depp in it. I know I'll boo-hoo through it.) Really embarrassing, it is and I wish the waterworks weren't so easy to turn on.

I once said I'm fairly open-minded. More open-minded than many I know. I honestly believed this too. But my experience with Heather in the last months of our dying friendship taught me differently. I'm not nearly as open-minded as I thought I was. I have a stronger sense of what I feel, what I know to be right or wrong or in the gray than I thought, and I cannot comfortably put myself in situations where I'm rationalizing it's ok this time or compromising my standards for the sake of keeping the peace. I just can't. However, that doesn't mean I'm narrow-minded to the point of inflexibility either. I'm still open-minded; I'm just more discerning and aware of it now.

I'm a contradiction. I like breaking out of the mold, trying to think outside the box. While others are 'X,' I like being 'Y.' Even so, on occasion I'll catch myself slipping into Mode X, doing so to be like them, to be cool and to please whomever I'm around. When I do this, I find myself less than pleased or discontent; and I know this is because I'm not being true to myself. It's a habit I need and am trying to break. I also like things orderly and neat or put into categories. Yet, my room looks cluttered and well-lived in. My desk always ends up in disarray, as it is now. That's another habit I need to break.

I'm bossy. I'm concerned. I'm a nurturer. I'm a mother hen. I care about animals; I care about people and their welfare. I care about keeping them safe and keeping the harmony around us intact. Regarding my younger brother and sisters still living here and any of their friends who come over, I know the rules. In my eyes most of the rules set forth by our parents are good and fair and necessary. I don't mean to be bossy, I just don't want them (my siblings) to be ragged at by our parents; it's not pleasant for either party, or for myself, an involuntary witness and fellow sufferer of the unease which seeps into our home environment. But, of course, this is a third habit I need to break, because I realize their bending or pushing the rules to their limits or the outright breaking of them is not my problem. They (the kids) can't learn anything if they don't make mistakes.

I can be a motormouth. I have the nervous habit or defense mechanism of talking to someone to fill the void if I feel the silence is an uncomfortable one. I hate it and yes, this is definitely one habit I would love to conquer. I feel like people should tell me to shut up, but they are too polite or too lenient with me to do so.

I'm stubborn. I'm tenacious. I'm a thinker. I can be ingenious. And I'm optimistic. I have to be. These qualities are what get me through (them and Heavenly Father's help, that is) the hard times that come upon me due to my disability. I've realized this recently, and I have a lot to be grateful for. The degree of my disability is worse than some, but better than others. Still, if I'd have let it a long time ago dictate how I respond to and view the world and the trials my disability brings, I would have been a miserable, cantankerous ol' soul who delighteth in making others around me as miserable as yours truly would've been.

They even add to my sense of humor. A few nights ago Jon was dead tired when he put me to bed. He left my overhead light on. All night long. I called out to him three or four times, but he either was so far gone he didn't hear me or was already upstairs when I tried catching him. Thankfully, under the surface irritation I was amused. I was exhausted in my own right, and half the time when I get that way, I'm as onery as a mother bear watching out for her cubs. And in a situation like that, where one is unable to get out of bed by oneself, walk over to the doorway by which the light switch is and flick it downward, it pays to be able to laugh. Because if one can't, all that's left is crying and cursing.

I'm a bridger. Let me explain. I'm old enough to be of the Old School when it comes to values and standards and such, but I'm enough of today's generation that I want instant gratification. I want what I want when I want it and it's usually NOW! Today's generation doesn't want to wait, and some of it doesn't even want to work for what it wants.

And lastly, but by no means have I plumbed the deepest fathoms of my soul here today, *mysterious smile* I am curious. I like to be in the know; I like knowing what people are talking about or what the heck they are laughing at. Though in recent months, I've discovered it may not always pay to have my curiosity satisfied. I learned more peace might be gained if I let other people's problems be their problems and not mine as well. Why borrow trouble? Being blissfully in the dark about some things can actually be better and healthier for my frame of mind. So, I started trying to tune out what I consider is none of my business.

Though, when living with more than two people it's not always easy to escape seeing or overhearing what goes on. In some cases I would love to, but I can't always do so. Because I'm the only one home during the day a lot--big surprise there--I've been given the nickname, by both Dad and Kami, "the wall who has ears." Flattering, eh? The premise is that I know most everything that goes on here, so therefore I'm the source to come to if somebody wants to know something somebody else did, said or what have you.

Thank you very much, I've always wanted to be thought of as an inanimate structure.

This is the truth, and I've barely scratched the surface. I'm happier. I can be better. I'm more positive. I'm a good person, kind and compassionate, a softie. I'm more discerning. I'm a wheeling contradiction. I'm bossy. I'm concerned. I'm a nurturer. I'm a mother hen. I can run off at the mouth, wishing somebody for the sweet love of Heaven, would stop me. I'm stubborn. I'm tenacious. I'm a thinker. I can be ingenious. I'm grateful and optimistic. I'm a bridger in my own generation. I want what I want when I want it and I want it NOW, thank you. And I'm curious, but am learning to curb it. I'm flawed and I love it, with several obvious bad habits that will take time to change. I'm a woman. I'm human. I'm me; I am Shiloh.


At 2:19 PM, Blogger Believer said...

Hello Shiloh,

I'm so glad you posted this piece. If this isn't gold, I don't know what is.

You are a talented, honest, contradictory, blessed work-in- progress, as we all are!

from another one of God's works-in- progress, Barbara--Believer

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

Dear Shiloh

Like Barbara I believe you have pulled out an absolute nugget of gold. Your honesty is touching and it seems you are getting closer to your truth.

love Heather

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Shiloh said...

*soft smile and chuckle* It's a lesson long time in realizing, but then, self-discovery often takes a lifetime of wonderous exploration, doesn't it?

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Lois said...

Hello Shiloh,
I see a lot of myself in you ,we arn't too bad all things considered..a love of animals,caring about our loved ones,being a nurturer,but fiesty when you believe in something of meaning...
Lois (Muse of the Sea)


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