So this is our third date now and an appropriate time to ask, “Just how naked do you want to get?”
Brooks’ diagnosis caused an enormous crack in my heart which has not healed shut. Rather, it has opened completely. It is spilling out everywhere (as evidenced in my writing). Now that I’ve started sharing, I don’t want to stop. I’m finding it to be no problem baring my soul. It is refreshing. (As I mentioned before, writing has been therapeutic for me.)
Still, I have quite a few skeletons in my closet… All of them shape the woman I have become today. But how much of myself do I want to expose?
When I’m considering this question, I think of a man I greatly respect, Francis Peter Binetti (Frank). Frank has passed on but his words echo amongst his friends and in our hearts. A phase Frank would often say is, “Be yourself, just don’t be too much yourself.” Basically he means, get weird, just not too weird.
What a limiting and sad way to operate… Yet, I find that I am still driven by this compulsion for approval. My sisters and I have been talking (texting) about how much of our lives are over. Mine is about 40% over (37% to be precise). I’m assuming I can live to 100, but 80 is where it all goes south. 😀 So that means, I’ve got another good 40+ years in me… While some find that to be a rather grim prospect, I’m happy (hopeful) that I have so much life to live! I can’t go back and change how I’ve operated for the last 20 years. If I could, I’d have a whole slew of operating instructions I would like to give my younger self. (Like the appropriate number of dates one should go on before taking one’s clothes off and that the fat-free diet of candy-corn, pretzels and refried beans is ineffective.)I can’t create enough force to alter my previous decisions, however, it is totally within my power to change how I operate going forward.
“What do I want to do differently today that will make my 80-year-old self proud?”When I look back on today, I don’t want to have another list of “I wish I had behaved differently.” To start off, I’m going to go against my hard-wired judgement: I am only putting a single space between sentences. (Yes, that is what is grammatically correct these days! Not two, like I was taught when I learned to type on a TYPEWRITER!)Joking aside, there are two things that are different about me since we have gone to war with cancer.
1) I am stopping the severe censorship of self.
2) I am talking to God more (about EVERYTHING) and listening to His responses in my heart. So, we (me and God 😉) have decided, all my skeletons should come out: the alcoholism, the scars, the bad-decisions, the whole bag of damaged goods! For some of you these revelations will be new. For some it is yesterday’s story. Perhaps you can learn something from my mistakes. Perhaps you will just laugh at our commonalities and sicknesses. At any rate, I have to say, “Sorry, Frank this is going to get weird. It may even get too weird.”