Friday, January 20, 2012


Sometimes there’s an undeniable disparity between who I am and who I want to be; between who I am and who people think I am. Sometimes in the quiet hours between the time when everyone else falls asleep and the time I finally drift off (read: wrestle my racing mind into submission and force my weary eyes to close) I have the opportunity to sit and ponder who I really am.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

When I was a teenager, I was LOUD. Not your average, run of the mill, no volume control loud, we’re talking loud voice, loud laugh, loud personality. Everyone knew who I was, and people either loved me or hated me. (I like to believe everyone loved me, obviously.) I told jokes that weren’t funny, they were just louder than everyone else’s. I made fun of people behind their backs loud enough to make myself seem cool. These deafening traits weren’t a mark of confidence, they rarely are.

I would spend my entire day at school refusing to eat, the bulk of the afternoon and evening cramming every morsel of food I could find in my mouth (duh, I was starving) and a portion of the night in a locked bathroom throwing as much as I could back up. But I wasn’t loud about that.

When I was about 12 and starting to have all those really super bizarre physical changes that happen to a girl, I really started, for the first time, to realize that my mom was dead. She’d been gone for six whole years, but it hadn’t sunken into the deepest parts of my mind. I missed her profoundly. I felt isolated and alone. I felt like nobody in the whole wide world would ever be able to understand me. I felt dark and depressed. I felt the agonizing mental torment that accompanies the death of a parent. But I wasn’t loud about that.

When I was in high school, I wanted more than anything to be cast as the lead in a musical. Nearly every time I came in second or third. It made me question whether or not I had the musical talent I’d been told I had. My senior year, I was cast as an absurd character who goes on stage and makes a fool of herself. I played my part well, earned a mention in the newspaper for my less than ten lines, and never felt talented again. But I wasn’t loud about that either.

And now I’m an adult. I’m not so loud anymore.

I’m strong.
I’m a fighter.
I’m fiercely loyal.

I went through my own personal Hell to get here, but I survived. I made mistakes along the way. I’ve spent my share of nights crying myself to sleep, and regrettably my share of nights screaming at anyone who would take it. (Usually my husband, who happens to be perfect for me in every way, but that’s another story for another day.) It’s been a hard road, and a long one. In fact, I’m certain I haven’t yet reached the end of this journey, but there’s one thing I know for sure:

I don’t have to be loud anymore, It’s okay to just be me. Even if I’m not completely sure who that is yet.


Lauren Kay said...

Very well written, thanks for sharing Adrienne. I'm loving your last couple blog posts, keep them coming. You're wonderful.

Mama D said...

Well written, Adrienne.

Finding yourself - and being comfortable with that person - is a lifelong journey.

Facing the dragons in your past and accepting the person they helped shape you to be is a mark of a responsible, confident person. Kudos for recognizing and beginning to slay those dragons. YOU are okay, just the way you are.

And, for what it's worth, I am blessed to know you and learn from your tidbits of life learning and wisdom.

Kathleen said...

I love this post, Adrienne! Being a teenager/young adult are tough times... and there are two types of people: the people who use that time to figure out who they are and learn and become great and the people who use their circumstances as excuses for when they are crappy adults. I love your blog and want you to know that you are one of the great ones! :)