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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another walk down Storylane

Today's post over on StoryLane:

Oh man. One of the elements of Storylane that I like is the fact that people can ask you to write on a certain topic. Again, this particular topic is one that I likely wouldn't have chosen to write on. Why? It makes me feel vulnerable. Yuck. You know, that feeling when you sit down to write your answer down, step into the flow of writing and what comes forward makes you want to go back to your twitter account and hit 'refresh' forty more times instead? Because you know that if you answer it from your place of truth that when you hit 'send' you very well might actually throw up from the feelings of anxiety. At the very least, your hands will get all sweaty and your heart rate will increase. Fun stuff being vulnerable. Really fun.

Ah well, I am going for it.

The question is: 'How would your classmates remember you?"

When I go deep on this question, to that place where I feel vulnerable (yuck), what comes forward is 'filled with drama'. I grew up with two brothers who have quite severe and ongoing medical challenges. My parents spent a great deal of time travelling with the boys to access medical care. Not wanting to increase their stress at home, I generally tried to stay out of the way and 'keep the halo shiny', especially when I was younger. I felt invisible though, like I didn't matter, and in my school environment I wanted to be seen. Thus, throughout my education, I tried to be seen in various ways: when I was younger, it was all about getting good grades and being the teacher's pet. I was fairly successful in this role, at least for several years anyway. As I grew older, it became less about adult attention and more about peer attention. I started to break the rules more and more, and I began to seek out the attention of boys.

Looking back, I can see the 'why' of all of this behaviour, but for a long time I held on to the feelings of shame associated with my actions. I started drinking and smoking from an early age, I struggled with body image and an eating disorder, and my boy-seeking behaviour got me into trouble on more than one occasion.

The truth is, I don't know how my classmates saw me. I don't know if they saw through all of my ridiculous drama to the pain and shame underneath. I kind of doubt it.

I say this because as teenagers, we generally aren't very compassionate or empathetic. We have a hard time getting past all of the 'stuff' that lies on the surface. Heck, we have a hard time doing this as adults a lot of the time! It isn't necessarily an easy thing to do.

At the end of high school, I suffered a loss that shook me to my core, that began the process of me waking up to the truth of my actions and their consequences. Throughout my entire school career, I had a best friend. Someone who stood by me and all of my crazy drama. Someone who listened patiently as my world 'fell apart' for the 49th time. She was truly an amazing friend. But, by the end of high school, she had had enough. She saw her opportunity to leave the friendship and she took it. And she has never looked back.

To say that this felt like the 'straw that broke the camel's back' is a huge understatement. At the time, losing this friendship felt to me like losing everything.

Today I am grateful for having suffered this loss. It has helped to mould and shape me into the woman that I am today... and I love my life. I love the way that I feel in it. When I was in school I was so uncomfortable with myself, so at odds with my life and everything that happened within it. I was suffering, and worse, I was continually seeking outside of myself for the source of this suffering, someone to blame.

What I know now is that I caused a great deal of my own suffering.
What I know now is that everything is unfolding perfectly (and it always has).
What I know now is that I am worth loving.
What I know now is that I can let go of shame.

Life is amazing and I am grateful.

xo MareBare


  1. What a beautiful piece.

    I shudder to think how my high school classmates remember me - I was such a mess at the time, god knows what I projected to the world - I'm sure it wasn't pretty though!

    But in a funny way I'm really grateful to have had such a hard time when I was younger. I get the impression that for many people the peak of their existence was in high school and college. So they spend the rest of their lives trying to re-live it all, and end up missing out on the chance to grow and change and live for today.

    You're such an inspiration to me!

    1. Aw shucks. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. YOU are in inspiration for me. I am glad that we found each other via this crazy 'information superhighway'! xoxo

  2. What a courageous piece indeed! I think few people, if any, can look back at those years and feel super great about all the choices they made. I am guessing the majority, if given a shot to return, wouldn't wish to do so. What is so frustrating is knowing that, having lived through it, and still not being able to help someone you love 'find their way' persay during those trying years. It is hard to stand by and watch the pain and feel it like it was yesterday and yet be a helpless bystander. What it confirms to me is the 'necessary evil' part of life, sometimes those experiences make you who you are and like you said, when you get to the other side you can look back with gratitude. Taking responsibility allows you to move onward and upward or at least leave the past behind, no longer defined by it. How do you think it will affect your choices as a parent in a few years? I am edging ever closer to that time and I have to say it is bringing me some angst! Keep up the great writing, I enjoy your blog very much. You have even inspired me to return to yoga after a 10 year hiatus!

    1. @ Anonymous - thank you for the beautiful and heartfelt reply!
      Re. my choices as a parent - I must say that I try to take that day by day! Nothing is permanent, everything changes - my beliefs included! I am not the same mom today that I was even as recently as last year, so it is difficult to say what the future holds for me as a parent. Whenever I am in doubt, I try to check in with my 'best self', my essential self, and when I do, I know that it is all going to be okay (even if I am screwing up royally!) My intention is to be the best parent that I can be and act from that place. When I get right down to it, I know that I could have never imagined loving another Being as much as I love my son and therefore I KNOW that I am enough.
      YAY for your yoga practice - I'll bet it missed you :) Thanks for reading xo

  3. Another great topic which I can relate to...especially the "boy-seeking" part. Your blog is the only one I read regularly. Definitely worth my time! LT

    1. Thanks for the kind words LT - much love to you!