I used to have a lot of it.
And I’ve noticed… it’s returning. With something of a vengeance.
Which… is not always a good thing.
In fact, it can backfire, badly, sometimes, and leave me shaking my head at myself.
When I was a teenager, I was very intense. Emotionally and vocally, I was out there. When I was out with friends, I was the one jumping up and down, screaming, laughing, dancing, singing. I could also be all “sharp edges” and short-tempered. I was known among some of my friends as “The Dragon Lady” for my ability to cut people down with my vicious tongue and oversized vocabulary.
I was also the one that my best friend called “The Terminator”. And not just because I was a firm with my kids, once I had them. I was the one to take down people who would get obnoxious with either myself or my friends. I wouldn’t start fights, but I sure knew how to finish them. Usually, just with words.
I also had a strong passion for things. When I found something to fall into, I would give my whole self over to it. My writing was one of those things. Stories, poems, etc. that I wrote, were things that I felt strongly about. My heart and soul were poured into each line. I’m not saying that all of it was good, but some of it, I’m still quite proud of. Life was full of vivid colors and sharp contrasts.
Then, I changed.
I became all about smoothing the way, for myself, for everyone else. About making life easy for those around me, and compromising, sometimes to my own detriment. I would shift like a chameleon, fitting into whatever crowd I happened to be around. Talking about the same things, not pushing myself forward much, mostly just being the shoulder and the ear, there if anyone needed me, but not being too loud or obvious.
And inside, something started to wilt. The passion I used to have for everything – dimmed. And life was more about grays, muted colors, and whitewash. Blend in, don’t stick out too far, don’t be too proud of anything you do, because that’s just bragging.
Until the day I woke up, and decided I wasn’t the person I wanted to be, anymore.
And then, slowly, at first, the intensity started to return.
Now? I find myself struggling at times to contain the emotions again. With everything that’s been going in my life, the emotional ups and downs have been pretty high up, and pretty low down.
And some of the people closer to me… are starting to feel the strain.
I know that at times I can be an exhausting person to be around. And I apologize for that, when I know that I go overboard with things that I say or do.
Just keeping up with my own mood swings gets to be a bit much some days.
But I know, that soon, very soon, things will start to balance again. I’ll find that point where I can stand, and be open, honest, and out loud, without being obnoxious.
Those that have seen me like this before, know that the tornado never lasts. The storm blows over, and I start to pick up the pieces, calmly, happily, peacefully. It doesn’t happen a lot, but the ones that have stuck with me through the storms, are valued and priceless people in my life.
They are survivors.
There ought to be a badge for that.