Strange how life can be cylindrical--the ways in which we slip back to safeguard ourselves and the ways in which we open ourselves up to the world. Shortly after the divorce, there were times when I lived much more free and open as I was rediscovering the world. Then looking back on it more recently, I realize there was a period during the late winter and into spring that I found myself closing up in a protective way. I felt this quiet strain that I was grasping to identify. It was during one of my last classes of the semester that someone commented, "Jamie is an enigma. You never know what she is thinking and I always wonder." I guess people can tell when the hamster wheel is turning, but they cannot always get a read on what exactly that entails.
This remark bothered me a bit. Many friends have said in the past that I am a genuine person or that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I know some of my classes could be a little touchy-feely being that they were about therapy and counseling. I mean it is good to sometimes share and disclose things about yourself, but then it is important to also have a professional boundary. The one class in particular was small and the class got to know each other more. Some people shared some fairly personal stuff. It was tough because I almost feel like maybe I did not reciprocate as much as other people. But then again, I don't have to spill my life out to everyone I meet. I don't like seeming to be that closed off or so distant, but it can be tough to know where to draw that line in one's professional life to build relationships that are warm and supportive without overstepping that personal boundary. Work is work and not everyone needs to know my business. But then, what is that balance to share so you don't seem like the cold weirdo? I do feel like I held myself back some during my Practicum experience. So, I am trying to be more aware of that during my internship to allow myself to relax and be more present and in the moment.
I don't know. I think in the past I did a better job of that balance. But now somehow I feel like there is the extra filter in me so that I don't get hurt. I just hope it doesn't spill over into the parts of my life of where it counts to be more disclosive and real. Someone told me that if you try to protect yourself too much, you constrict yourself. Then you don't allow yourself to feel anything and in the end you suffer. It takes a certain amount of bravery to open up again to experiencing the moment in relationships. I have to be willing to be not only trusting with others, but more importantly, with myself.