What I liked about starting a new school as a kid, was the opportunity to change my approach to life.  In the early years, I was known as a tough girl, a fighter.  I decided to leave her behind when I moved schools in 5th grade, and focus on being smart.  Instead, I learned to hate myself, so when I moved again in Grade 8, I was ripe for bullying.  That escalated, until we moved again in high school, and I had the opportunity to blend in.

“Be friendly,” I told myself, “and try not to stand out.”

I failed, of course, and in the end was asked to leave the school, but moving again afforded me another opportunity to edit myself.  I deduced that sticking to myself and not caring what others thought was the best approach.  Toughness was back, without the fist fights.

Having just moved to a new town, the conversations with myself have started up again.

“Don’t tell them about your illness,” I caution myself.  ME/CFS has defined me these past four years, and I crave another identity.

“This is our opportunity to break free of the stigma.”

“But what will I say when I’m not able to join in, or have to cancel?”

“Who says you have to say anything?  Set healthy boundaries, and just say no.”

“People will stop asking.”

It’s a circular conversation.

“Do you think we can pull it off?  Don’t you think people will notice?”

“So, be mysterious.  It’s none of their business.”

“But I’m such an open book…”

Tomorrow, we’re going to our first social event with our new community.  Hope I can stop talking to myself long enough to enjoy the outing.

(V.J.’s weekly challenge is conversation.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

15 thoughts on “Self-Talk

  1. Oh my goodness, you could be talking about me! Or to me! I am always talking myself in circles. Go to the social. Have a great time!! For you & hubby. No one else. Just the two of you. Just breathe. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to the whole “talking to myself” thing…. I do that waaayyy too often! I say just be you and let things develop organically. You’ll be able to get a feel for things and decide how much to share as you meet new people and form new relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s easier once were retired and don’t have to deal with the struggle for success and needing to fit in. I find older people tend gravitate towards friendly, human companionship and conversations. Have fun at your community social. You never know, you might meet a kindred spirit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, good to be back home reading blogs! This is a good post, VJ – I had a couple chances growing up to change schools and reinvent myself; I feel sorry for kids who don’t get to try that sort of thing!

    Maybe as older adults we need a similar chance? I think secrecy is rarely constructive – but too much info could turn others away. Though your condition is perhaps harsher than others, almost everyone beyond 50 has taken on various limitations. No need to define ourselves by our limitations, but suppose your new community includes someone struggling with similar issues? Wouldn’t that be a huge plus?

    Exciting times, new house, new community — I look forward to your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can understand your nervousness. New situations haven’t been kind. I also moved a lot growing up and liked to reinvent myself, even over the summer. As an adult I have changed my first name several times. I have cancer and don’t like being defined by my illness either. As a self talker, I tend to take each encounter in turn. Whatever you do, I wish you the best! You are someone worth knowing…

    Liked by 1 person

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