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Let Me Be Brave

I'm entirely too sensitive.

Hear me out.

Because I know what a lot of you are already preparing to say.

"There's nothing wrong with being sensitive. Emotions are healthy. Don't ignore your heart. You don't want to be an icy bitch, right?"

And a myriad of other beautiful sentiments that don't apply to this particular issue.

No, seriously. Don't interrupt me. I'm growing tired of people talking over me because they've heard a few words and have incorrectly assumed the rest of what I'm about to say.

Just, shh.

Be polite and let me finish.

I'm entirely too sensitive to specific kinds of criticism.

I know this about myself.

I've been working on it.

I suppose I could spend time dissecting the why behind it. But I'm pretty sure I know it and I don't want to discuss it with people outside of my smallest of circles.

I very rarely talk about the stories I'm thinking of and working on. Not in any detail anyway. If I'm vague and gray, the idea stays safe. It stays precious to me. And I can play in the beauty of developing a story that no one has an opinion on.

But sometimes I get so excited that I blurt out what I'm working on. I forget that some people aren't safe places for those things.

And this is where the sensitivity comes in.

My idea will tumble out in bright tangled ribbons, a mess of emotions and characters.

And when it's not met with excitement and wonder, it hurts.

It's not fair to the idea, or the audience, or me.

But that's what happens.

It brings my dreaming to a jarring halt.

And I carefully pack up my pretty ribbons and hide my hurt and tuck the idea away.

And it will stay packed away for a long time. Because if I even glance in that direction, I hear and feel the rejection all over again. And I want to protect my pretty idea so I keep it hidden.

And then months later I wonder why I let someone's harsh opinion have an impact on my tangled ribbon dreams.

Opinions from strangers don't hurt like that. Negative reviews are easier to digest.

And my circle of trust grows smaller.

It's not your fault.

Not really.

Like I said, I'm entirely too sensitive.

If I were braver, or had thicker skin surrounding my perpetually wounded heart, this wouldn't even be an issue. I'd be able to let those unfocused and ignorant comments roll right off my back.

I'm trying. I'll probably always have to try, and try, and try.

I dreamed about her last night. She was bright and beautiful.

And alone.

I had let someone casually bully me out of telling her story. That's not okay.

I sat down today with my dusty box and opened it.

Beautiful, tangled ribbons. Vivid with color and story.

Messy knots and threads.

But it's my mess.

And I took it out of the box and began to carefully unravel one thread at a time.

Don't ask me what it is. Or where it's going. It's too early for those types of questions. I have to get some of the early pieces sorted.

While I understand it's my own sentivity that has brought me here, I'm annoyed.

Shouldn't I be able to be myself around people who claim to love me?

Who do they love if I have to keep half of what I think and feel a secret?

It's a conversation I've had with my therapist too many times. She knows I shut down at the slightest hint of rejection. "It's too bad," she says. "Because when you're allowed to feel safe, you come alive."

How about that?

Maybe someday I'll be brave.

Until then, I'm hiding away with my pretty ideas until they're ready to be seen.

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