Monday, June 18, 2012

at the sandbox..

As a parent, you may fear those days with your child at the sandbox.. where another child throws sand at yours because your son or daughter interrupted their playgroup of 4 and 5 year olds. But all he did was want to play with them. That's all he wanted. He just wanted to interact, socialize, and play a game.
When you're an adult, there isn't sand to use anymore (hopefully), instead becomes silence and ignorance. Other people aren't even aware that you're there. Or they notice that you're there but they have so much other stuff going on in their adult life and a social life that is already fulfilling enough, so they don't really need your presence.
Does that make them a bad person? I don't think so. Does everyone do it? Yup. Even me. Even you.
We do it and we don't even realize that we're doing it. So we may be hurting other people's feelings and we are totally unaware..

When this happens to me, I actually don't feel hurt at all. I may feel a little sliver of hurt.. I do wear my heart on my sleeve and no that has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a woman.. but I feel awkward. Socially speaking. I'm already awkward enough. Since I was a really little kid I've battled my social shyness. I'm not one to speak up and let my voice be heard. I lived in a house with 5 (and at one point 6) others shouting over my voice (not including the shouting of my parents) so I just let things go... You just let it roll of you shoulders and you walk away. Maybe trying again later.

But we all want to belong somewhere. I sincerely believe that this is why we feel better when we find a group that will take us in. It doesn't solve all of our problems, but it helps. Before you think I'm going off on some George Carlin-type of tangent.. just hear this..

When you become a parent, whether your child is an angel or still on this earth battling their little hearts out, or you have a perfectly healthy child, you develop that sense of urgency to say something when you need to. Then you have a whole different battle because then you feel like you're annoying everyone with your "hey look at me!!" attitude. And that's not a terrible attitude to have, especially when you have something really important to say. And especially when you live everyday putting other people's needs in front of yours. I'm sure that age has a whole lot to do it with, too.
When it comes to Facebook (one tiny example) for me, it's my only way to annoy people and I do it proudly. I used the term "annoy" very loosely here. Some people would say "oh no you don't!" and I heart them for that. But let's face it, there's still a social awkwardness when it comes to social media. Everyone wants to be seen and heard, but then we learn a surprising truth that Facebook is sometimes a whole lot like that sandbox. We learn that there are cliques everywhere and then we try to decipher where we are. What group do I belong in? Where do I stand? Why do I care? Will someone please repost my link??
It's taken me some time..well, a long time, to figure out that you can't take any of it personally. You know who you are. You survived school. You know how this whole thing works. You have to learn to let it slide and take what you can and be appreciative of what you have already. Trust me, it's taken me a year or so to really let this sink in.
This is why I used to be so upset about the role that Natalie's heart health played in my Facebook world. Never mind the real..truly real.. day to day struggles that come with loving and caring for a heart kiddo. Struggles that are 1000% worth it. And many of those struggles come with hefty fortunes. In our case, our hefty fortune is seeing Natalie make it to 5 years old and thrive. I used to feel really guilty about our fortune though. Sometimes I still do and that's just something that my own brain will have to stop thinking about. But I don't really belong anywhere when it comes to the awesomeness that is Facebook and it's CHD community. Yes I have a right to be there, just like everyone else, but I don't have a clique, a real goal in mind, or anything else. I just really like people.
I'm just there taking it all in. No amount of sand thrown at me will make me sad anymore. I just swim in our hefty fortunes trying not splash. That's what I'm meant to do.

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