I used to think it was just me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt different. Like I didn’t fit in… an imposter. Throughout my life, regardless of the friend group around me, I had this feeling that I didn’t really belong; that I would be ousted as soon as they figured out who I really was –and then, of course, I would do something, say something or not do something that would have me ousted. As a little girl I would make up big stories –lies– thinking that the other girls would see past the fact that I didn’t have the latest Treetorns or Cotton Ginny sweatshirt and would love me anyway.
“Yes, Michael Jackson WILL be over at my house for lunch.. would you guys like to come meet him?”
Needless to say, this doesn’t work. I would have my heart broken many times over the years and so eventually I just started isolating myself and didn’t let anyone close enough to hurt me. I would play the chameleon, being whoever people wanted me to be but never letting them close enough to know the real Shauna underneath at all. The introverted, artsy girl attracted to the weirder, darker side of life wasn’t let out and so, at times, even I lost touch with her.
When you bury who you truly are, it causes problems. I spent decades running. Hiding from myself and the rest of the world. Oh yeah, I lived in fantastic places, moved continents, switched careers, re-invented myself over and over… but I was completely detached from reality –and when I wasn’t, I made sure that I found ways to get back to numbness quick –hello drugs! In my mid to late thirties, things started to get better in the self-awareness department –I started growing up. finally. I had an amazing little boy that completely changed my world; I bought a house, started a business… and in one amazing blur it dawned on me that I had reached my 40s… and I gotta say, I didn’t mind one bit.
“I’ve come to realize I’m not alone in feeling like an imposter… my weird sisters are out there”
Never have I felt more comfortable in my own skin, more beautiful .. and at the same time a little more vulnerable and introspective. I cry now, which I didn’t do much of before –this a good thing. I might even be learning to love who I am (hey, I’m a work in progress, yo) I’m introverted and geeky af and that’s okay. Never again will I pretend that ice fishing is awesome (omfg that was a horrible winter) and now that my chameleon days are over, the fashion I choose is for me and not even remotely attractive to the average man (high-fives to high waisted mom jeans and fanny packs!). If I want to play video games rather than watch tv, then I’ll do that. If I want to wear a Pokemon t-shirt with my Princetown loafers, I bloody-well will.
Anyway, I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this post.. but, consider this a shout-out. To all the other punk-rock girls that never quite fit-in.. You’re freaking fantastic and btw.. I’m just as strange as you <3