June 6, 2013

on connecting.....

Sometimes people think I'm a little too open on this site, but I honestly don't know how else to be. I believe in putting it all out there, in hopes that maybe one person can relate and feel a sense of community.

As clear as day, I remember being four years old telling my little neighbourhood gang of friends that I found out I was adopted. One girl spoke up and said, "You know what that means don't you? It means your parents didn't want you." That one sentence, that single moment, immediately changed how I felt about my news and about myself. I instantly felt a deep sense of rejection. I felt like I didn't belong - anywhere. Now, as an adult, of course I know that little girl's statement is ludicrous - I know all the ins and outs of what a woman would go through to reach the complex decision of giving up a child for adoption. But I was a little girl, who didn't know how to process the information properly - I wasn't born into my family, I didn't have a birth story like my friends, I didn't look like my family, I felt like I was just kind of dropped into this place. 
Now, couple that sense of rejection with a naturally shy disposition - well, let me tell you, it ain't pretty: you have a girl who struggles to make connections. 
I can count the people who truly know me on two hands. And believe me, these people I worship. They are friends I've gathered throughout my life, who I bonded with and eventually felt safe enough to open up to and let my guard down a bit. I started to trust that they were sticking around. When I am included in a plan or group, it gives me such a deep sense of belonging, a feeling that has been foreign for a large part of my life. 
That's why becoming a mom was such a closely held dream of mine. I wanted to trust in the permanence of love. Marriages often thrive, but sometimes fail. Parenthood is a lifetime commitment and I knew that if I could become a mom, that I'd give my child my best because I would be giving them an unguarded heart. 
I feel like I do shine as a mom (I can say that now only because my child can't speak yet and give her two cents on things) - because I feel that I'm my most confident self with her. I'm 100% my silly self - I wish I felt that sense of permanence more in my life - where I trust people will stick around - so that I can show them my best. 
As I get older, my shyness has gotten a little better. Don't get me wrong, I've done somethings in my life that go against the grain of a shy disposition - travelled solo, made lots of speeches, skinny dipped at parties, ok, maybe some things that shouldn't be shared - but I still blush easily, struggle to start conversations and second guess what I'm saying all. the. time. On the flipside, I know that the more people I connect with, the richer my life feels, so I am learning to sit in the discomfort of shyness and push through it because the payoff is so great. I've amassed some spectacular friends recently, who have given me hope that maybe I'm believing more in myself and the universe is paying me back with these amazing connections. Of equal importance, is that I'm learning to let go of the people who don't make me feel valued because that's also an important sign of confidence. This entry is quite personal, but it's a little love note to my hubby and friends who have helped me feel like I belong, and to my little beautiful girl, whose fearlessness I learn from everyday. 


Anonymous said...

As always Kelly, your words have deeply moved me. Thank you for allowing me to get to know a little bit more about you. I hold both you and smiley very close in my heart for your warmth, love and happiness you showed me in Africa. I love seeing Stella grow through this blog, I know how cherished she is and your love for her mirrors mine for Henry. Again, thank you,

kelly said...

Thank you so much Lu. You are such a special person who I instantly connected with in Africa. We hold you dearly in our hearts. xoxo