I was extremely nervous and ever hopeful that perhaps this class and interacting with other women on a similar journey of growth and discovery would be powerful.
The reality is, when I allow that side of myself to shine, I end up being a HAPPIER person. If my entire goal right now is to live "Happyness Life" why the hell am I drowning out something that makes me HAPPY?
What a reality check.
Right before the course started, I was added to a Facebook group and from there, I began to feel uncomfortable. Anxiety was rising periodically as one is supposed to connect with someone as their Truth Partner. The concept is similar to what I would think a blind date would feel like. Worry and fear started to well up inside of me as I've found connecting with others to be my greatest joy but also my largest obstacle. I suppose because I always felt misunderstood during my childhood, teen, and young adult years. The idea of meeting someone else's expectations and not being "too weird" or "too talkative" gives me pause.
I was given the gift of talking or as I call it, "Storytelling"....the ability to ramble on about something I thoroughly enjoy or have experience with.
I think it's a combination of:
My being enamored with the topic and feeling like I can pull from experience/relate/want to learn...or because I'm absolutely writhing in nervous energy.
Talking is a form of expression that I've had a love/hate relationship with because it's being vulnerable in real-time, not only with words but with eye contact. As someone who has had anxiety most of their life in some shape/form, eye contact is extremely challenging for me. Depending on where I'm at in my anxiety, it's also challenging for me to put words together to express thoughts/feelings or whatever. Writing ultimately became my safe space because I can see what I'm going to say and check it to make sure it's what I mean before I press "enter."
I discovered that folks were open to chatting over Zoom than messaging or emailing 100% of the time. This is a big step for me because Zoom is virtually talking to someone face to face. It brings up nervous energy for me that's a mixture of positive (excitement) and negative ("Will I make a fool out of myself? Put my proverbial foot in my mouth? Say the wrong thing? Sound funny?")
You're a person who has not had many friends who identified as women over the years. For some reason, you always seemed to be the kind of woman that fellow women either felt uncomfortable around or wanted to "fix" and "transform" into the ideal person they wanted rather than accepting you for yourself.
As a person who deals with the feelings of wanting to be accepted, knowing that you won't resonate with everyone is challenging, and it makes you wonder if you will resonate with ANYone.
Signing up for this class and understanding that I would be interacting with women from all over, excited me yet also brought up some of my biggest insecurities. I suppose partly because when I was younger I never felt like I could identify as a fellow female to the degree I wanted to. I was raised to be independent. Not to be feminine. Jeans and t-shirts were my uniform and I hated tight-fitting clothing. I went through puberty at a young age, getting my first period at 10. I hated my breasts for developing so soon. Then I hated my breasts for their smaller size once I was older.
I never or rarely felt comfortable in my body. I was chunky in my younger years and once I lost weight, I felt naked. I was not born with an hourglass shape, but more I was born to be athletic, strong, and solid (while being petite)...basically, everything that isn't the so-called "ideal shape."
So many thoughts and feelings...
I decided to do it and I gave in to building a wall of support! There are so many personalities, so many truths being spoken, similar circumstances with several yet all so different. I'm a curious person, and my heart wants to make connections with like-minded individuals. I've been down the road so many times, feeling misunderstood, feeling lonely, and not feeling as tho anyone around me could relate. I decided, just like signing up for this class, to jump at the chance of doing something scary, yet positive.
What does Ignited mean to me?
So much of myself these past few years has been based off wanting to break down barriers. I'm a woman and I mountain bike. I'm a woman who isn't afraid to talk about sex, masturbation, or sexual aids aka toys or whatever you feel comfortable calling them.
When I write, I go in without reservation...which could get me in trouble with those who maybe aren't as open-minded. When I write, it's my personal truth, and sometimes I feel I have to say the things that are scary in order to progress and heal as a soul living this human experience.