Fearlessness

As I watch him, I remember that I used to have that power.

When I was small, a power to just walk up and make a new friend instantly.

He does it over and over to the kids in our neighborhood, and every time he hits the target. Older kids hand him the ball. Younger kids trade bikes. Little girls let him ooh and aah over their dolls or admire the way he recognized Ariel on their shirt.

He has that fearlessness in play, too. Sliding down a slide headfirst is becoming an old thrill. He loves being thrown around by his daddy bouncing next to him on that air mattress which now has a leak and has a new passion for riding his bike backwards.

But the fearlessness in trying, his passion for being social pushes me a little too.

Not exactly the uplifting I had after BlogHer 2011, but little spurts when I need it most.

Like when I’m approaching those parents looking for a playmate for him. Yes, I am still looking for a friend for him among our neighborhood filled with children. (He’s found several he likes but the mothers ignore me. Just like they don’t care about getting our  damaged playground redone and that is why I as a new resident took the project single handedly. That is a story I need to tell very soon.)

I have been struggling with my self-esteem lately. My failures scream for attention while my successes just sit there, quietly, waiting for me to notice.

SoCal Lady Bloggers has 176 members from the last time I looked. Amazing, since I can think of more ladies who have not joined our ranks.

It’s easier for me to get to know someone when you’re not face-to-face. I’ve made friends through blogging that help fill the holes in my life where distance has taken its toll. I am blessed by it. I needed it. (Secret is out- I have a hard time looking people in the eyes. I can be that shy.)

Just as it is easy to admire people’s work and not know the story of the hard work behind it. Several bloggers who started the same time as me are far, far more popular. We were all on the same message boards at the same time, so even though my growth was slow and twisted, I still feel a little connection.

However, it’s the same kind of connection that still left me alone on a Saturday night in high school. The kind I saw and no one else did.

The same kind of connection that made me cry seeing every neighbor I tried to be friends with, was recommended to, was friendly with hanging out together Memorial Day weekend.

There are times I am envious of someone’s opportunities. I am jealous of someone who got the job I wanted. Even though when I saw who I know they picked the right person, the better one at it than I am right now.

I am jealous of those friendships on my street, curated for years and seemingly impenetrable.

Last weekend I called it quits for a a few people. The ones that I chased down, the ones who ‘just happened’ to be out when I took my son for a walk around the neighborhood.

I don’t know what was crueler- the mom walking out and not even acknowledging me or having to carry my son away when it got dark, while the kids tried to comfort him and invite him to the birthday party that weekend.

Yet he will try again and again. Maybe it’s because he isn’t rejected like I am. He doesn’t feel it in the pit of his stomach, the nervousness and fear every time I try to talk to a stranger even as I smile and repeat ‘eye contact’ in my mind.

I will still give him those opportunities. It’s not the potential friends who don’t like him, but the parents who, I guess, don’t like me. Even if it is only a playmate for ten minutes, I know he is still happier then before.

I don’t want him to end up like me- working for months on a project no one else cares about yet will benefit from, afraid when it is done people will rip it apart for still not being good enough, my hard work ignored except for my son who will have a safer place to play.

I want him to keep up his fearlessness.

I want to learn how to have it again.

16 thoughts on “Fearlessness

  1. Wendy

    Oh girl, I totally feel your pain. I’ve been there time and time before. Everything you’ve mentioned: neighbor relationships, female friendships, blogging recognition (or lack there of). I truly can relate. Just know you’re not alone. Can I offer up a suggestion? Look up Tony Robbins on Oprah.com. He has some fabulous tools on making your life what you want it to be. I was so inspired by what he had to say a couple of months ago and it’s given me a new outlook on my own insecurities. {{hugs}}
    Wendy recently posted..Chris Hemsworth as Christian Grey | 50 Shades of GreyMy Profile

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  2. Carolyn West

    Okay, can I just say that I feel this way pretty much every day of my life? I think the hardest part about blogging and social media is that we sort of fool ourselves that we are part of the “in” crowd, that we have hundreds of “friends”, that we matter in the grand scheme of things. And then we meet the neighbor or the parent of our child’s friend or that blogger we adore so much… and we find out we aren’t all that we thought we were… except that we really ARE all that we thought we were. It just so happens it is taking everyone else a longer time to catch up to us.
    Carolyn West recently posted..A New Twist – The Grilled BBQ Turkey Meatball Recipe #sfsmartiesMy Profile

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  3. Mrs. Wonder

    Part of my BlogHer experience was like that. I think they thought I was a freak after I told them how long I’d been following them and how I found them.

    I think the last one that figures out how great I am really will be me. *sigh*

    Reply
  4. Jamie

    I look up to you and admire you, and think you’re great! Just remember, you only want to surround herself with those that are supportive, so to all those moms that look the other way, don’t let it get to you, they’re the ones truly missing out!

    I’d love to hear more on your playground project especially seeing before and after photos!

    Also, in some business networking opportunities, I’ve been feeling a little amidst from time to time, and we have to catch ourselves and remind ourselves that we do have something to offer.

    Reply
    1. Megan

      If I do before and afters, I’m afraid you’ll be waiting fora long time! Everything is going so slow, it will be at least 2 months before I can get anything approved :(
      And thank you. I am currently living vicariously through your LA explorations, I always loved exploring with a camera.
      Megan recently posted..FearlessnessMy Profile

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  5. Eva Smith

    Its totally fine to stand out in a crowd and be different. What makes us unique is what makes us shine. I’ve learned over the years that you never really know what people are going through. They may show you one side in public, but behind closed doors there may be something else. With the economy the way it is, many people are losing their jobs, their home & even their marriages. You really never know. I’m pretty sure that what is going on with the people around your neighborhood has nothing to do with you, but with what they are going through personally. You’re doing a great job with SoCal Lady Bloggers. Keep it up.
    Eva Smith recently posted..Go out and Vote Today! Youth, Voting and the Impact of a Moms VoiceMy Profile

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  6. Emmy

    Oh this post- totally tugging at my heart. My daughter makes friends like that- just so effortlessly– I fear for the day when something will happen that will make her afraid to do so and hope it never happens. We just met some of our neighbors last night- we were all out at the same time. She and I have been pulling out of driveway for the same time for almost a year now taking our kids to the same school and finally talked last night. Really kind of sad.
    Emmy recently posted..Your Daugther Wears What?My Profile

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    1. Megan

      Im so glad you connected! I try to catch the kids going home from school but it’s always naptime. I’m hoping summer makes a difference- the playground suck so no one takes their kids out to play.
      Megan recently posted..FearlessnessMy Profile

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  7. Caryn B

    First you’ve created an amazing community and that is def. something to be proud of. And I often feel like you have…children have this ability to keep putting themselves out there…I wish they never had to face rejection…ever.
    Regarding blogging…I’ve also felt like you have often…I’ve been doing this for 5 years but in general even though there have been some “downs” this community as a whole is generally positive and uplifting which is why I continue to be a part of it….Hugs to you!
    Caryn B recently posted..Hilton HHonors Celebrates Outstanding Little League Coaches *Giveaway*My Profile

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  8. Trina

    *hugs* first of all you worked hard to create a community and playground that your kids can enjoy and that’s huge. I can’t wait to hear that story. As far as the other moms, screw them. You are amazing and an awesome friend. Blog Her 11 would not have been the same if I hadn’t met you. I would have never guessed you were shy then. Because I needed a friend and you were there.

    You’ll grow this blog in time. Look how many comments by these people that all care for you! <3
    Trina recently posted..Post E3 Sunday ConfessionsMy Profile

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    1. Megan

      He love for Zelda grew us together, lol. I still haven’t finished the last one, the last temple is hard to do with interruptions .

      Reply

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