Recently through a series of serendipitous clicks, I came across a group of blogs owned by women that I believe live in my town.  They seem to be friends and believe in many of the philosophies and principles and dreams that I believe.  I have no idea who these women are by name or face.  But I do know that they are introspective, loving, brave, REAL women.  And it makes me sad.  Sad because I don’t know them.  (I’m not going to share links here because I share where I live and as far as I can tell on their blogs they do not.)

I’ve always used blogging as a way of connecting to people who have similar minds and ideals to me as in my actual life this is sorely lacking.  I have mentioned that where I live I feel quite isolated philosophically.  This place is conservative; I am liberal.  This place is religious; I am spiritual.  They are literal where I am figurative.  This place is a dry wasteland and I mourn the loss of green and growth and water and earth and life between my fingers and toes.

The funny thing is that on the surface I tend to blend in here.  We have plenty of friends – good friends whom I dearly love – but most who I have very little in common with truly.  I just keep it on the surface with them and everything is okay.  I wear makeup and curl my hair to look somewhat “normal”.  I don’t discuss politics or religion or my somewhat attachment parenting ways like a good citizen.  But I only wear makeup because I’m afraid of showing my true face, flaws and beauty and all.  I rarely discuss controversial subjects because I’m afraid they’ll burn me at the stake if I told them what I really think.   When I do share a part of me, I let my friends mock my attempts at environmentalism and political justice and anti-consumerism and at, well, the core of who I am, and I laugh along with them.  I feel that if I just got out of my own way, I could shine.

But I am afraid.

Fear, I realize, dominates my flaws in my life.  I rarely attempt to make new friendships or fix broken relationships for fear of rejection.  The little girl voice in the back of my head stops me.  She’s the one that was picked last in sports teams.  She remembers sitting on her three-speed at the top of the neighborhood hill with a tear-streaked face while her friend walked across the street to play with their other friend, right after she had she had mad up some lie and told me I needed to go home.  The voice tells me, “Sure, you seem normal for a little while, but watch what happens when people get to know you better.”

I’m even afraid in God’s rejection.  Back in high school, I became obsessed with the fact that I wasn’t baptised.  My family had chosen to let me make my own decision religion and wanted me to make that choice as an adult.  (A choice I thank them for.)  But I couldn’t help believing that clean water could wash me of all my flaws and make me whole and good.  I didn’t get baptised to be able to marry my Catholic husband in the church as many people believe – I did it because I was afraid if I didn’t I would suffer – now and for eternity, I suppose.

As it turns out, I still suffer even though I’ve been washed clean.  I’m afraid to admit to friends or family that it doesn’t matter to me one iota of Jesus really was the Son of God or what the Bible says about doing this or not doing that.  I’m afraid to admit that while yes, I do believe in a higher power because I can hear it, sense it, and am part of it, I am a lot more spiritual than truly religious.  I’m afraid to stand up for much of what I believe about the evils of war or the joy of unhindered birth or the beauty in any kind of real love between two people – or take action besides blogging here where nobody reads or cares – because I don’t want people to see the me that I think will turn them off.

After coming to these conclusions about myself and fear, I made myself do a brave thing.  I put myself out there and am feeling quite exposed.  I left a comment or two on those blogs of the women in my town.  Will they think I am some kind of weird freakish stalker (I’m not) or desperate (I might be)?  Will they find me interesting? Boring? Self-indulgent?  Afraid?  Pitiful?  (God, this post certainly is.)  Will they find me at all?  Can I find me?

I don’t know, but I’ll keep trying with all of my heart.


12 Responses to “Chicken”

  1. 1 Cheeky October 11, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I don’t think your post is pitiful at all. And while it is absolutely terrifying to put yourself out there, I think the results will be so worth it. When you meet other people who share your values, you begin to realize that you aren’t the freak at all (it’s everyone else, trust me!) 😉 Having friends and a community where your values are shared is so, so, SO crucial. I definitely hope you find it.

  2. 2 leighsteele October 11, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    You are none of the things you described in your last paragraph: you are bold, raw, powerful, goddess-like in your zeal for life, a warrior of love and honesty. I know this by reading but a handful of your posts and your “100 things” post.
    The good news? We’ve found each other! The not-quite-as-good-news? I don’t believe we live near each other. I’m in Phoenix, AZ. However, some of my deepest, most intense relationships with the women in my tribe have been through the blogworld – connected by words and visions and the vibration of energy. And I cherish these women and the wisdom they unfold by sharing their lives onscreen.
    I’m wondering what other amazing souls you found…Jeanette, Brooke, MB, Kate…? Now, MB is moving to Bellingham, WA. Is that near you? If so, you are one of the luckiest people alive right now. 🙂 She’s a gem, a woman of courage – light and dark all at once.
    I look forward to connecting with you further through your blog. Your ability to be vulnerable is so sacred…to me, vulnerability is one of the most powerful, primal states we can be in.
    Love to you, Mama. I am anxious to walk with you on your journey of transformation, ready to greet that little girl on the bike and hold her in my arms and say “I love you just the way you are”.

  3. 3 Dan October 11, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    I’d comment, it might work out and if it doesn’t you’ll have not lost anything.

  4. 4 Karen October 11, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    I think I really here you on many levels – to the point we are considering moving because sometimes feelings like the ones your are describing overtake me and depression starts ruling my days – that’s what this month has been like – but how many months can I play that way, thinking that perhaps I don’t have to feel like this? My struggles here are more political – I’m Christian but not conservative – horror! shock! It’s like permanently living in junior high-school, all this not fitting in. Was it meant to be so hard to have friends?

  5. 5 Kaitlin October 11, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    At the risk of sounding freakish myself, I’m beginning to think you’re a soul mate/kindred spirit of mine. I can’t say much more than that now because of time constraints, except to remind you: you’re not alone (even if it sometimes feels that way). Maybe in this crazy-online-cyber-world, we can support each other enough to be able to speak up, speak out, and be more wholly ourselves in “real” life. 🙂

  6. 6 dan leone October 13, 2007 at 12:06 am

    K: I love that you shared this with us. Just look at those 5 thoughtful comments you received. This is what everyone loves about your blog. You write with passion and as a soul on a quest. Keep up the great work!

    The fascinating thing here is that no matter how wonderful your friends are here online, you are still anonymous. No one here would recognize you in the supermarket or even expect that they will ever meet you.

    The other interesting fact is that by blogging you are making friends spread out over the entire planet. This is very different than the usual 10 mile radius that we find ourselves in day-to-day.

    I applaud you for your courage. I truly admire that.

    As you know, I am an atheist. SOMETIMES, I even write about it. But just the other day, I was on the soccer field with a group of parents, many of whom are evangelical Christians. One of them asked me which church I go to. I looked her right in the eyes and said “My wife is a Greek Orthodox” and completely side stepped her question. For that moment, I was utterly unable to tell her what my beliefs were. I assume part of it was that I wanted to avoid a longer conversation about it on a soccer field. But I bet most of it was the mere fact that I was a chicken.

    Wishing you the best out there!


  7. 7 Lj October 15, 2007 at 5:25 am

    I understand where you are coming from. I must say that some of the things I discuss with friends are guarded in the way that you talk of. One of them is very judgemental although she wouldn’t agree at all with me saying this. She has hurt me very badly with things she has said about me, but took offense at something very small that I did that she didn’t like.
    It does feel like being 15 again. I feel like I need her approval to be part of the group, but in my heart I know this isn’t so.
    Take care!

  8. 8 Doulala October 17, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Sigh, I wish we actually did live in the same town. I would LOVE to know you! You truly sound like one of my soul sisters.

  9. 9 Jeanette October 21, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks for your comment on my blog tonight – am so glad I found my way here. What a profound post this is. I can sense the honesty and vulnerability in every line – and that makes for the most powerful kind of writing in the world. I can relate to almost everything you wrote here, relate on a deep, deep level. I know that fear, that loneliness…and i know that the only way through it is the most scary way at all, because it involves risk. Getting it out there is the very first step though – the rest will fall into place if you open yourself and let it.

    As for “introspective, loving, brave, REAL women”…from what i just read – you just described yourself.


  10. 10 Jessica October 24, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Well, I just realized I live where you live. Not sure if I was one of the blogs you were referring to but I would certainly welcome you with open arms.

    I can totally relate with the dead barrenness over here. I grew up on the lush west side and I miss the green, the mountains, the ocean, the liberals. LOL. I myself, am actually fairly conservative but liberal on some issues. I guess that makes me a mutt. I love reading your blog. I admit I had not journeyed over to your blog yet after you posted your comments because I have been so busy. It has been hard to keep up with my blog world lately.

    You don’t come across to me as those things that you said but I can relate. There is always a strong and weak side of a person. It does make us vulnerable. I have met some wonderful ladies over here and if you look long enough you will find them too. 🙂

    P.S. Stop wearing the make-up and let your colors show. I get flack for the no make-up too but it’s me and people can deal with it or they can’t. At first I was really scared to share how I felt with others who were not like me but I am gaining courage. I have finally resolved to be at peace with the fact that most of my family and dh’s family think I’m nuts. 🙂

  11. 11 Lisa October 24, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Kristina! I’ve heard your name in the natural birth circles for awhile and I think one of your friends actually gave me one of your cards in Wal-Mart awhile back. Funny how your run into people, huh 🙂 I’m one of the Tri-Cities AP mamas. We do have a great group of mamas to hang out with here…..there’s been a bit of a tiff lately but I’m hoping in time, things will get back to normal. I really am enjoying your blog; midwifery is a path I have always felt drawn too……but with little ones, its been put on the back burner for now. I admire anyone who can do doula work in the hospitals though…….I don’t think I’d have the stomach for it 😉 But those ladies are some of the one who need doula’ing the most, eh?? I’ve had a hospital birth with a midwife (never again), a birth center birth (in a lovely Seattle birth center) and a homebirth last July 4th on the back deck….which was, by far, the most enjoyable. Can’t wait to meet you!!!


  12. 12 Rebekah October 25, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Hello, I am also in the local AP group and heard about you and your blog from Angie. I can’t really relate to trying to appear “normal” though. lol. I pretty much am the way I am for the most part, and if people are uncomfortable with me, then they can choose not to be around me. I am looking to find more people to whom I can relate, and the local AP group was a good starting point for that. There is a splitting among the group though, which is unfortunate. My husband is also very supportive of my being “different” and my “crunchiness” which is nice. Many of the other more natural moms I know don’t have husbands on the same page at all. I know that I am blessed to have his support. I also respect your job as doula, although I am a UC’er through and through. I had a hospital birth with the first and my perspective and beliefs changed drastically after that. I just had my 2nd unassisted birth 6 months ago. Anyway, maybe someday we will meet!

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