Monday, April 11, 2011

They don't know me

How I am feeling today:

Yesterday at church I sat back startled at what I had just said and the feelings that I was then experiencing.  It was uncomfortable.  "I" was uncomfortable.  I didn't say anything controversial or out of line.  It wasn't bad or thoughtless or cruel.  It was just the way I shared my thoughts--somehow they left the air feeling stuffy and un-breathable.  They were jumbled and did not express what I wanted to. I realized how tired I was and how I just wanted to go. I also realized how unlike myself that was. Because people..I'm a pretty cool gal if I do say so myself.

It has happened to me a lot recently since we have moved here.  The feeling of discomfort after I open my mouth.  Like I am spewing nonsense.  As though my words are unnecessary.  Or unwanted.  Or carelessly tossed aside.

It's an uncomfortable feeling.

And so yesterday was the last straw and I mentally sat myself down after church to figure out what my dang problem was.  Was I actually speaking irrelevant thoughts?  Has my eloquence and humor been misplaced by an awkward lack of confidence?  "Speak up!" I said to myself.  "What is wrong with you?" I thought. 

And then it hit me.

They don't know me.

If they knew me they would get my humor.  If they knew me they would understand my hasty stream of verbal and somewhat nonverbal communication.  If they knew me I would feel peace after my last word.  Knowing that I was understood.  That I was loved.  That I was heard.

"That must be it!" I thought.

But then the mental light bulb's light began to fade as I remembered how often I go somewhere unknown and speak up and never feel the way I have felt these last few months.  How usually what I say out loud feels comfortable.  How the room of unknowing faces nod in unison to let me know that I am understood. And they don't know what's the deal?  Why the achy feeling now?

At this point I am unsure, but it has certainly given me food for thought.  It has led me to inquire about my verbal eloquence that seems to be missing. My ability to speak with confidence in certain surroundings is absent and for now must be replaced by silence until I can find my voice again.

And it's a good voice, I promise.

But I think you already knew that.


sariqd said...

Perhaps... it's just that, it's time to be silent. To listen and observe others. To get to know them.

Amy said...

I'm sorry you feel this way. I think you're funny and witty and have a great handle on words. But I'm also reading what you write. I don't know if it's the same thing as hearing.

Sometimes I prefer it if people don't know me. With the ones that do, I sometimes I feel like the "elephant in the room."
Oh, she's the one who lost a baby.

Then it's either "don't talk about it, she'll start to cry" or "I want to ask her how she's doing because I care and I want her to know that I care even though I'm going to forget about this in five minutes."

Sorry if I sound bitter.
Sometimes we need to just get out what we feel. Maybe then we can feel better.

And I don't think you're a buffalo. Not one bit. :)

likeschocolate said...

Sounds like you just need to get to know them, so they can get to know you. However, Seattle has that kind of feeling to it. Uber intellectuals. I am sure what you said touched someone more than you think.

Sue said...

I would guess that part of it is the "you don't know me" part and part of it is the "I don't know you part," too.

I always feel a bit off kilter in a new ward. I'm more careful what I say because my sense of humor could be misinterpreted by those who aren't familiar with it. And that makes me careful, which makes me feel constrained...and yes, less articulate.

It usually takes about two years before I feel entirely comfortable. Having said that, I can understand what Amy is saying in her comment, too. Sometimes it's nice to keep a low profile, and that's hard to do when everyone knows you well.

Interesting post. Got me thinking!


Bridget said...

Sorry. Like some others, I don't know you outside of your blog. But that doesn't mean we can't be friends. I'd like to stick up for all of the other uber intellectuals in Seattle...we're actually not all that smart and can be very very friendly. Maybe your new ward is full of people who are also new. And the families who have been there are shy. How about having a party with them? I'm pretty sure they'd love your party favors.

Carrie said...

Thanks ladies. I don't really feel un-intellectual, it's more just the inability to feel like myself--and say things the way I normally do and feel comfortable with that. I'm really just super silly and quite the talker. Everything I say at church just feels wierd these days. I'm sure it will get better soon;)

Anonymous said...

No ward can compare with your last ward. ;)

Carrie said...

What ward was that again?

Sharon said...

Oh how you speak the thoughts and feelings of so many of us! How many times I have went home beating myself up for something I said or didn't say. Honestly, I feel you hit the nail on the head. They don't know you yet. But then you may not know them yet too! I have had experiences when after being in a ward for a while you get the jist that maybe there is a reason everyone keeps quiet. (Not you at all) Wait and see. Yet, When you were expressing your feelings I was thinking of someone I had misjudged for there comment and the thought came into my head. True, I do not know this person. I know that for me to get past the feeling I had to give it sincere prayer.

Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

I TOTALLY knew that! Your voice is one of the most beautiful in the blogging world. your words constantly inspire me. If they only read your'd be the ward champion. Not that that's what you're going for. It's hard to move isn't it? Good luck in finding your voice my friend.

Anonymous said... has the same name as the airport.

Diana said...

I don't even know you (haven't looked at your profile or anything). I just happened upon your blog, read this eloquent post and wished that 1) we were in the same ward.
2) that I could've heard this comment of yours just to better get a grip on the context and then
3) had you over for a grueling game of Settlers of Zarahemla and becoming friends.

Honestly, I think all these comments hit the spot. It took me about a year to feel comfortable with my new ward, to really expose myself outside of simple and close-ended conversations. It was discouraging, but eye-opening. It'll be interesting to see what happens whenever I enter a new ward, if this process starts over again or not.

Stef said...

Come to my ward! I would totally laugh at your a good way. Because I, myself, am a loud mouth who doesn't ever really finish thoughts up well. I blurt and then blabber.
Seriously, come here. There is a house for sale or rent right across the street!

Pasion Family said...

We live in a place with a sad environment. I am also always feeling this way at church, since I am a convert and still (very much) feel part of my old church. Even though, I don't get happiness (a smile or confirmation) back from others, I still try to give it out.
Maybe, you should share your blog address with your ward members and they will come to love you in no time, just as I have!!!

Charlotte said...

I almost always feel that way. I'm pretty sure my first impression is totally off from who I really am and it takes a good while for people to figure that out.

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