Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Be Yourself

How many times have you heard this? "Just be yourself". From your parents..."just be yourself and they'll love you"....from your teachers... "real friends will accept you for who you are so just be yourself"....from books and wholesome television shows and movies... "to love yourself you need to just be yourself"....

Just. Be. Yourself.

The message is drilled into us from the time we're children, isn't it? At the same time as we're being taught that each of us has a mold to fit into and a code of conduct to follow.

Just. Be. Yourself.

But how many of us really are? How many of us are "ourselves"? I just spent the last month up in Canada, surrounded by friends and family; both close and distant to me. There was shopping, and swimming and family picnics. Sundays at church and games on the basketball courts. Walks downtown for ice cream, and trips to the park with my nephews. It was fabulous.

But I wouldn't say that I was completely myself. I was the Erin that everyone in my hometown knows. Just as right now, I'm the Erin that *you* know. And when I spend time with my parents, I will be the Erin that they know. And when I get off of the computer and stroll into Ross' office to see if he needs any help before we go home, I will be the Erin that he knows. Talking to associates in the office, I was a completely different version of Erin altogether. And of course, I am Mama Erin the most often.

But the truth is, none of those above Erins are really me. Each version has a piece of me, of course...some more than others. Some less. But not one single piece is me entirely...the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth....I am never able to "just be myself." The truth of the matter is that I'm not even sure who I really am. I've spent so much time taking bits and pieces of myself and molding them to accommodate the situation or person that I'm faced with that I've lost bits and pieces of the "real Erin" along the way.

I think that we all have, to some degree. We all take on different roles in our lives and we all have masks to wear depending on the situation. That's normal. And every time we pretend, even for just a minute, to be something or someone we're not, we lose a piece of ourselves. And it's not until very late in the game that we start to notice the loss.At least, it's taken a long time for me to realize that. That the exterior Erin isn't even close to the real Erin anymore. I don't know when that happened, to be honest. Gradually, I suppose, as most big changes do. And it's only very, very recently that I've been allowed the luxury of exploring the bits and pieces of Real Erin buried deep inside of me, hidden under the roles and titles and masks I've collected along the way. It is incredibly scary at the very same time that it's incredibly wonderful. With each shell that I drop, each mask that falls to the floor, my heart leaps a little bit at the prospect of not needing the camouflage much longer.

However, with each shell that I drop, I also find it to be a struggle to be in the situations that designed the masks in the first place. And worse than that, it takes away from my joy and my happiness and my excitement. And it makes that real Erin shrink a bit. And that's why I backslide. Well, it's at least part of the reason why I resort to old patterns and nasty habits. I feel naked without the shell, without the mask, without the facade and the longer I "stand naked before you" (little Tori Amos for you!), the more the joy seems like the facade, the mask or the shell. Not real. I know the truth, though. It *is* real, isn't it? The rest is just fluff. And so, instead of worrying about how I'll manage to pull it all off, I'm just going to enjoy being in joy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Story of Me

I've finally got home from my fabulous month in Canada. So, I'm here for a few moments of boredom while hubby gets some work done......crazy man, working on his birthday. I saw this on a friends blog and figured, "Hey, I'm always game for a new way to waste time on the computer. Ha!"


Hi, my name is: Erin, and I am made of awesome

Never in my life have I: been off the American continent

The one person who can drive me nuts is: my mother-in-law

My high school is: undergoing a HUGE renovation right now....my little home town is growing like crazy

When I’m nervous: I bite my nails

The last song I listened to was: I"ll Stand By You ~ The Pretenders

If I were to get married right now it would be to: The same guy I've been married to for the past 10 yrs.

My hair is: straight, brown and boring

When I was 4: I freakin' rocked!

Last Christmas: was pretty quiet and uneventful (I hate living so far away from family)

I should be: home unpacking

When I look down I see: My feet in black sandals

The happiest recent event was: spending a month in Canada with my family

If I were a character on ‘Friends’: I'd be Chandler.....sarcastic and funny

By this time next year: I will possibly be leaving TX

My current gripe is: my kids not listening

I have a hard time understanding: politics. And math.

If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: Hubby

I want to buy: a new car, since my van was written off in Ross' accident

I plan to visit: Ireland, sometime before I die

If you spent the night at my house: you'd have one rockin' good time!

The world could do without: hate.

Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: a new pair of jeans. I lost 10 pounds up in Canada, and needed some new clothes.

Most recent thing someone else bought me: clothes (thanks mom!).

My middle name is: Rebecca

In the morning I: am usually the first one up

Last night I was: getting off the plane in Dallas, and going out to dinner with hubby and the kids

If I was an animal I’d be: a horse.

A better name for me would be: anything but what it is.....I've never liked my name.

Tomorrow I am: unpacking and getting the house back to normal

Tonight I am: taking hubby out for dinner and a movie for his birthday

My birthday is: coming up in a couple of months

Ooh...that was kinda fun! I challenge all of you to give it a try the next time you have some time to kill! Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Old High School Me

Oh what the heck? Let's give this a shot...I could use a trip down memory lane (and as usual, I'm taking you all along with me. Ha!) And being back in my home town and seeing familiar faces and places has left me feeling a little nostalgic. So here we go:

Fill this out about your High School! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!!

1. Who was your best friend?
~Well, I had a few of those, and I can't single one out as the best. Michelle, Karen, Trish....basically everyone in show choir

2. What sports did you play?
~Does being the volleyball stat count? Also, I really liked running track.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
~I didn't drive a car in high school. I lived in a small town where I could pretty much walk everywhere.

4. It's Friday nite.....where are you?
~Usually at the stake dances or out with my boyfriend

5. Were you a party animal?
~No, not really

6 Were you considered a flirt?
~Oh heavens, no. The boys came to me! Ha ha! (Just kidding)

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
~I was both in band and choir

8. Were you a nerd?
~Nope. I am made from awesome.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled?

10. Can you sing the fight song?
~I sure can.....not bad considering I graduated 14 years ago

11. Who were your favorite teachers?
~Mr. Van Orman, my English teacher an Mr. Baldrey, my PE teacher

12. Where did you sit during lunch?
~Usually at the seminary building -- it was right behind the high school and where most of the LDS kids spent their time when not in class

13.What was your school's full name?
~Raymond High School (pretty original, huh?)

14. School mascot?
~Well, we didn't really have a mascot, but our team was called the Comets

15. Did you go to Prom?
~ Yes. Two. One for my boyfriend at the time (he graduated a year before me), and then my own

16. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
~Only if I could know what I know now and convince my young self to take my education more seriously

17. What do you remember most about graduation?
~I remember ditching my date and hanging out with some other girls date. She was pissed, but he and I hit it off really well. I also remember that my mom had a pancake breakfast at our house the morning after grad night. She was awesome. (Still is)

18. Where did you go senior skip day?
~ We didn't have senior skip day at our school.

20.Were you in any clubs?
~Besides choir, band, and the volleyball team....no. (However, I am now starting a club to find out what hapened to question #19)

21. Where did you go most often for lunch?
~Again, usually the seminary building

22. Have you gained some weight since then?
~ Of course. 14 years and three kids will do that to you

25. Who was your Senior prom date?
~David Campbell

26. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion?
~Well, I had planned on going, but my brother in law was killed and I went to his funeral instead

27. Who was your home room teacher?
We didn't have home room in high school

.28.Who will repost this?????? Hopefully everyone who reads it! Come on...memory lane ain't so bad!

29. Who was your high school sweetheart?
~Steve Smith

30. Do you still talk to people from high school? I'm facebook friends with quite a few of them and talk to a few others via MSN messenger and email

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