Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blessing #101 for 2015: Being able to laugh at myself

Yesterday was the day to pick up my shade tree that I got from Idaho Power from Far West Nursery on State.  I got my letter a few weeks ago, read the first paragraph that said to pick it up between 3 and 6 on Friday, April 10.

So I post of Facebook that I need someone with a truck to help me bring this tree home, because clearly a 10 foot tall tree will not fit in my car, especially without getting it dirty [yes, I have an SUV but I'm a princess, and this is not a news flash to anyone who knows me].  A friend volunteered to help with his HUGE truck (it's raised and has super huge tires).  To get into this vehicle I have to put one foot up on a step about 2 feet of the ground, alley-oop up to the handle on the ceiling, then pull and swing myself inside the cab. 

He comes and picks me up, I alley-oop into the truck, we go.

When we get to the nursery, I begin to feel that pit-of-my-stomach sensation that usually tells me I'm about to find out I made a fool out of myself because I see a man putting these skinny, leafless, bamboo-looking stems in about 5 gallon plastic pots into the back of his circa-1999 Toyota 4Runner.  Luckily my friend gets a phone call, so I get out of the car, take my letter to the counter and am pointed in the direction of the free-tree set up by myself.  My anxiety is rising with every step as more people coming from the direction I am heading carrying similar twig-bamboo specimens as the man with the 4Runner.

My friend's phone call ends so I stop and wait for him to catch up to me.  I am so embarrassed but there's nothing to do but dive in.  I tell him, "I'm so embarrassed," and start laughing at myself.  I can feel my face burning.  He smiles and makes some comment that doesn't register because I am so busy feeling silly and exposed.  After a few minutes, however, my anxiety level is drastically lower.  I find that I am still alive; doing something silly and being aware of it has not killed me. 

I just kept admitting how embarrassed I was and laughing at myself, each time feeling more and more comfortable with myself.

My former m.o. was to pretend it isn't happening, whatever "it" may be.  Denial might also be accompanied by anger, defensiveness, pouting, sarcasm, berating myself, know, in general, becoming a really, really fun person to be around (a friend in high school told me once, "Joy, no one wants to be around you because you complain all the time, which turned out to be one of the greatest things anyone has ever said to me).

 In high school, for example, I was super, duper UN-popular (see above paragraph) and I decided to host a last-minute party one Friday night.  About 5 people came and my mom had purchased this huge sub sandwich for us, of which about 1/6 was eaten.  I was horrified, humiliated and embarrassed, but I was not about to admit it.  I pretended it was totally fine with me that 5 of us were sitting at my kitchen table staring at each other, all trying to avoid saying out loud how awful this situation was. 

The fear of naming the truth can be debilitating, even paralyzing!  I've discovered that going head-on into the truth, however, is the most freeing thing to do, whatever the cost in pain or discomfort.  Eventually I can even laugh at things that used to bring me to tears--such as the need-a-truck-tree incident today.

Colette said, "You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."

No comments:

Post a Comment