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Year Three, Day 24: Update! From My Happy Self! :)

This is too good NOT to share.  

My afternoon mood shot straight up to about a 7 this afternoon!  My blues lifted and I felt light of heart.  I was a little worried when I wrote today's post. Most depressed was I!

It started with a bus ride.

Now, stop right there. I know what you are thinking!

This time you are wrong.  I was not cheered up by flirting with my new favorite bus driver ("D"). In fact, my spirits were momentarily dampened when the bus stopped. Door opened. And the smiling face of a woman greeted me!

Gulp.  No D!  I felt my shoulders slump.

I was the only passenger though. I could not hide and sulk. Because this driver greeted me with a sunny, "Hello! This is my first day on this route!"

I remembered my training. Training of my soul. Training to treat all people kindly.  To walk in the path of Jesus.

So instead of grumbling, and heading to the back of the bus to bury my sorrow in a game of "Words with Friends", I said hello back and smiled.  I told her it was a nice route. "Not too crowded", I laughed, motioning at the empty seats.

She said she was glad. She just finished a 9 month stint on the #9 bus, which could be "terrifying"!

Then she confided in me that she was not sure where to turn.  I walked up to the front of the bus and stood by her, guiding her along the route. It was just us two the whole ride. 

We were nearing the transit center, when a school bus stopped up ahead.  She stopped the bus as we watched many school children swarm out.  It seemed never ending. 

She told me she was glad her days of school were over. She asked me if I liked school. I hesitated. Then just spoke my truth:

"I've always loved books and learning. But I have always been incredibly shy and social awkward", I admitted.

She looked at me in shock in her rearview mirror.

"Me too!", she exclaimed.  We proceeded to have this incredible conversation about social anxiety.  She dreads the yearly classes that Tri-Met sends her to. We both do well talking one-on-one, but groups of people make us nervous.

I told her I was 55, and had no hopes of ever changing. I just tried in the moment to be authentically me without hurting anyone's feelings or saying anything TOO inappropriate.

She nodded. Then she told me she was 54.

I was about at my stop. I felt so happy to have met someone who understands my struggles. Yet here she was with a good job, smiling.  I told her that her job was perfect for her.  She could talk if she felt the urge, but she could also just focus on driving. And she had control, being the driver.

She told me that piano teaching seemed like a good fit for me too. I told her it was.

We got to my stop. She was worried about parking the big bus in the parking garage where she was heading next. I told her she would do fine. I had faith in her!

She thanked me for helping her on her first day and said, "I hope I see you again!"

I got off the bus smiling.  It really was a great experience to share my authentic self with someone, and not only have them accept me, but to have them share a similar perspective!

But wait, there's more!  After I got off of my new friend's bus, I walked up to the Max train. It was departing in about 5 minutes, so I logged onto Facebook. The first post, from a friend I noticed, took my break away:

''I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.
Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.''
~ Brené Brown

Wow.  I think God is trying to tell me something!  Perhaps I am on the right track after all.  By beeing my true authentic self, I am risking rejection. I am making myself vulnerable. But the price I pay by hiding myself away, afraid of criticism and judgment is not a price I choose to pay anymore.

I am going to strive every moment of however much time I have left on this planet to be true to myself, while being kind to others.

It would be nice if I could hold onto this feeling, but life happens.  I fully expect to be confronted with my "morning self" when I awaken tomorrow, but this time I am going to be prepared!
I am going to write a note to my morning self tonight.

Amusingly, I had a late lunch with  my daughter today. I shared with  her my profound day and revelation about my morning self. I told her I thought maybe I had two personalities because I woke up each morning with very negative thoughts going through my head, repeatedly hitting the snooze for just a few more minutes sleep before I had to wake up and face the day.  

She laughed and said, "No Mom. You have MANY personalities! There is the Eeyore ("Nobody likes me, nobody cares about me!"), there is the Ball of Anxiety (biting my fingernails and worried about somebody or something), there is the Manic Flirt ("I just met the CUTEST bus driver, yada yada yada") and the Angry Woman (I can't remember what she said about this one, just her tone of voice. She actually had a different VOICE for all of my personalities!)

I looked at her and we busted out laughing. How can I be angry at my beautiful, very pregnant daughter who knows me so well!

But after we talked, I had another profound idea. Not only will my evening self write a note to my morning self, but I will force my morning self to write a note to my evening self. I honestly don't remember all the horrible negative thoughts I have.  Maybe if I can write them out? Writing helps purge my soul.

On that note, I have to run and teach some students.

Happy Monday!

(From my Happy Self!)



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