I was the class clown. Those that didn't know me when I was younger may not even have a clue that was the case, as I have become nose-down serious in my job. I got kicked out of class more than once for "disrupting the other students" and that was AFTER high school!
I was always that person that could make you laugh in the midst of the most gut-searing crisis. I told myself it was a gift and that people appreciated it. But as I experienced more of life, I realized that friends needed more than just a laugh when faced with some of life's most challenging events.
I made it a point of easing up on the sarcasm and being "nicer" and more accepting. I was brought up with that hilarious yet cutting sarcastic wit that can cause a roar from the crowd but also lasting emotional scars both to the people receiving the quips but also those dishing them out. No one wants people to be afraid NOT to be your friend. I believe, in a small way, that may have been the case for me when I was younger.
It was my way of not allowing people to 1) Know anything about my own personal life 2) I could reject them before they could reject me and 3) Not allowing anyone closer than an "arm's length"
I wanted to change that. I wanted people to know the compassionate, loving and caring friend I truly was inside. So I began to listen, REALLY listen to others. I wanted to be a student of life, not that I didn't have enough "education" on my own, but it couldn't be just me that felt the occasional day of self-loathing.
So it became my plight. I was the confidante, the bent ear, the bartender at every life event. I was still witty but quietly and without the need to be the centre of attention at every turn. But I started to get weary. It was alot of weight. I couldn't measure for myself how much of someone else's pain I could take and hear, so I took it all on. I know I'm not the only person who suffered from this at one time or another. I didn't know when enough was enough.
Now, enough is enough. It's not that I don't care about other people and their "issues", it's that I don't want to feel guilty for not being able to take them on, all the time. Faced with the devastation of yet another of life's painful lessons, I decided I just could not be there for other people, at that point, I needed to take care of myself.
And somewhere in the "in between" and maybe most jarringly after my marriage split, I realized I forgot to laugh! I didn't feel confident enough to be "funny". I remember rolling in the hallways at high school laughing so hard my stomach hurt and not caring a LICK who saw me do it! I remember belly laughs that came from one instance but the reminiscence of the joke lasting YEARS afterward. I am still fortunate enough to have friends I had from high school and they still laugh at my jokes because I'm finally making them again! They made me feel "safe" enough to try.
Sometimes the concentration you put into getting yourself on the right path, takes away the freedom you have to live and LAUGH!
Through tears of joy, I can tell you I finally can laugh! Not just at my jokes, but at myself!
It's been a long time! Imagine the calorie burn I've been missing!