Tuesday, June 11, 2019

True Confessions

I'm a fraud.

I have been much of my life.

There. I've confessed it.

I didn't become a fraud on purpose. Truth be told, the role of fraud, of what Webster defines as "one that is not what it seems or is represented to be", snuck up on me. I didn't even realize I was a fraud until I was well into my 40's.

And by then, I didn't know what to do about it. I had no idea how to be on the outside, to the world, what I was inside.

Maybe you can sympathize. Maybe you're a fraud, too.

Perhaps, like me, you stepped into the role early in life. Perhaps you, too, put on a brave face to your family, to your elementary-school classmates to hide your insecurities, the social awkwardness that you were absolutely sure nobody around you experienced. To hide the hurt over not measuring up or fitting in at school. At home.

Over the years, what began as momentary defense mechanisms to small things that seemed huge at the time became much more. It became a facade I felt I had to maintain. And so, I did.

People expected me to be outgoing. I complied. I was the person who would talk to anyone. I was chatty. Even outspoken.

People expected me to be strong. I acted more than strong. Overly-strong, perhaps even aggressive at times.

People expect me to handle things competently and without undue negative emotion. And I did. Until I had enough and got angry.

People expected me to be magnanimous when slighted. I became impassive, and later to even smile and say "no, really, it's fine" when hurt. Even when deeply hurt.

I adopted the persona of the person I needed to be in order to avoid hurt and to avoid disappointing those I cared about.

So who am I really?

Truth be told, I'm a paradox.

I'm an introvert who is somewhat -- sometimes, more so -- socially awkward. Yet I long for a circle of close friends, an even wider circle of casual friends and active social life.

I'm uncertain of making decisions, but I am fantastic at making plans.

I'm a world-traveler-wannabe who struggles to figure out all the travel details for a week-long solo trip.

I'm creative, yet I allow my insecurities to stop me from doing much more than start a project.

There's more, but this soul can only take so much confession at one time.

Now, before you get the idea that I'm absolutely miserable, let me assure you I'm not.

But I want to live authentically.

I sound like a cliche, I know. The 60 (okay, 61) year old woman who is determined to rediscover that young woman she once was and to be that person again.

Maybe I am.

Or maybe, just maybe, instead of a cliche, I'm simply normal.

Maybe there are many other people -- women and men -- who have chosen to live on the outside contrary to who they are on the inside and are now ready to toss away the facade.

To become who the Creator designed.

I don't know if there are or not. I do know that I'm ready -- more than ready -- to live authentically.

To not only life a redesigned life, but to live it is the originally-designed me.


I wrote this post a few days ago and have debated whether to share it. But I've decided that if I am going to live authentically, I have to start doing so. Not sometime. Today. Thank you for reading. 

Remember, this blog is meant to be a place of dialogue, so please take a few minutes to share your thoughts via a comment. Thank you so much!












19 comments:

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  2. Thank you for sharing, Patti. I think I've lived similarly to you. People expected me to behave a certain way as the daughter of my parents, as the smart kid in school, as a good Christian girl. After high school, I went out of state for college and beyond, and didn't see a lot of my family for a lot of years. When I came home, I don't think they really knew who I was, because I didn't act like they thought my parents' daughter should act. I'd become more myself by being away from those expectations.

    I think we all cover up to some degree. It's hard not to, because sometimes we feel like that's how we fit in, that's how we're accepted, how we belong. But as I get older, I find it just a little bit easier to be the me on the outside that I feel like on the inside. I'd like to continue to progress in that direction!

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    1. Lisa, thank you for sharing your experience. I hope that, like you, I find it easier to be me on the outside. I actually took a small step in that direction today, and it felt really nice. :)

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  3. Thank you for your honesty. I feel like a fraud as a writer. I'd rather be speaking. Writing is so hard. But I know God has called me to be in the writing world. Thanks again for your honesty.

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    1. I think it's wonderful that you are following God's call even when it isn't easy and it isn't in the direction you feel comfortable. I'm praying that you will find what it is you need to continue following, and I hope you'll keep me posted on how you're doing!

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  4. Let’s discover how you and I can design the 3rd third of our lives! I want many of the same things you want. We got this!!!

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  5. Hi Patti: I am so glad you shared this post. Blogging requires us to be transparent if we want to reach people. I have struggled with this aspect of the writer's life (and still do). I enjoyed reading your post.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and for your encouragement, Nancy. I fear there will always be that pull, that tension, between the desire for transparence and the various things that hold us back. Just another thing that makes the writer's life an interesting one, right? :)

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  6. Thank you for sharing you. As you probably know, many feel the same way and reading your words helps our community.

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  7. Oh sister, you're not alone. I'm working through some similar issues. Like you, I want to be the woman God created me to be, whether it's understood or not. Do you know what I like most about our time at Blue Ridge? Being around other quirky people, and feeling fully accepted. I'm still the same person elsewhere but I don't always feel the same acceptance.

    After all is said and done, if I stay true to Christ and who He's called me to be, that's what matters most. More of Him, less of me. Thank you for your transparency, Patti. Your words resonate with me, and many others, I'm sure. You're a blessing!

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    1. You are so right about the fellowship and the acceptance at BRMCWC -- it's amazing to be among others that "get you"! Thank you for stopping by and for your support and kind words, Cathy. Coming from someone I respect both as a person and as a writer, they mean so much to me!

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  8. Thank you for your honesty. God showed me once if you live to please everyone, you will never please yourself or God. I totally agree that you have a God-intended design for your life. It's great you are searching for that design. I can appreciate that search as well because I'm there with you.

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    1. Stephanie, thank you . . . for your kind words and encouragement and for reminding me I'm not alone in this journey. It's wonderful to have sisters (and brothers) in Christ, isn't it?

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  9. Thank you for this and for your honesty. I told my sister just this week that I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out who I am. I think I’m getting there, but it wasn’t until I went to BRMCWC for the first time in 2014 that walls began to tumble. I’m finally seeing over those walls and the other side is a pretty nice place to be. Blessings!!

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    1. I'm so glad that you, too, found BRMCWC to be such a blessing. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to share your thoughts. As a writer, you know how wonderful it is to hear you're not alone in this journey. :)

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  10. I enjoyed your blog very much. Although if you don't post the link on fb I probably won't be able to find it -- not that savy. May I suggest that you probably are not no ever been a "fraud" but that you are changing, growing, and thanks to our age (61) we have come to experience what Christ really wants for our lives. I think all of the believers in Christ go through a period of what I would call staleness or stagnant in our Christian faith. It is always there, never goes away, as long as you have made your confession of faith. Hopefully none of us are who we are when...but are continually growing, experiencing, and knowing who God wants us to be.

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  11. I'm so glad you find me, however you do it :), and that you took the time to share your thoughts!! I agree that our faith goes through stages, and I pray that I am growing and knowing who God wants me to be. Btw, you can subscribe to my blog posts, so you don't have to try to "find me". :)

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