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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Therapy

I got an email from an old friend yesterday. Someone I've known for 21 years, give or take a few lost years. Something she said in her email really struck a chord with me. She said reading my blog was like therapy for her. She has recently moved back to America after living overseas for many years. She said that she has experienced reverse culture shock as she has gone through repatriation. And reading my blog is like therapy for her. Wow.

I've said all along that my blog is like therapy for me. I have never actually been in therapy for anything. I don't know how good of a therapy patient I would be. I don't know how much talking I would do. I think of the me from 21 years ago. The me that this friend met and became friends with. How much of that me is still there? I don't know. There are times when I see that me quite clearly. The sanguine, bubbly personality that described me back in high school and college. Now that part is still there, but there is also a contemplative side to my personality. I've grown up some. I've grown wiser. I am more apt to think before I speak. Oftentimes I can't speak because I have no idea what I think. I am not a verbal processor as I have said many times. I find myself thinking hard about things before I am able to verbalize what I think about them. If I speak too soon I may end up changing my mind or coming to a conclusion different from the one I originally stated thereby making me look like I have no idea what I am talking about. Many of my friends know this about me. They want to know what I think about things but are willing to wait for me to process before I can share. That sanguine, bubbly personality is actually making more of a comeback lately. I think there are several reasons for that. One of them is because I am writing. Giving myself a little therapy in the form of this blog. Even the silly posts are therapy for me. Taste tests, sharing my quirks, writing about the craziness of living overseas and having 4 kids. All of it helps. And I'm not just writing on the blog. I am writing in general. Thoughts that really have no place here. Thoughts I don't need to share. And poetry.

Now I must say that I have always written stupid, silly poetry. Always. As a matter of fact the friend who wrote me yesterday included in her email two poems I wrote for her back in 1988. They were bad. So silly. And made me laugh. I still write bad poetry. Silly poetry. Poetry that makes me laugh. But I also write stuff that helps me process. Therapy if you will.

I rarely share most of the things I write. Not because I am embarrassed by them or even worried what other people will think. It is what I need, where I am, so I usually embrace it. I share this one now for my friend who has read the silly, stupid poetry and saved it. A glimpse at how I process my thoughts. Therapy.

swirling and twirling thoughts
leafing out and flowering

like vines climbing

and continuing to grow

captivating spreading
covering the bare places
where emptiness was
now tendrils and twining flow

songs and voices in the air
rustling, murmuring, breathing
whispers in the wind
fleeting memories blow

capturing the melody
of distant musical notes
sung in hushed voices
words, expressions i know.


7 comments:

Mamadallama said...

Nothing silly about that! Thanks, Natalie. I think that's why we read blogs, to get a glimpse of someone else's thoughts. This is the last time I'll try to post this comment. Hope it's not triple posting!

Charlie Girl said...

I am so glad you shared this... It is one of my favorites, and I could not blog about how great it was awhile back, when you first shared it with me.

I totally understand everything you have said and am glad you put your thoughts somewhere. It is good stuff, even if you don't always share it.

I am sure your blog touches many more people than you know. It is always good to hear it!

I have a picture that matches this poem of yours perfectly.... I have pulled it up from time to time, this past week, to remind me of your thought process...

Thanks... for everything... you know?

Sparkliesunshine said...

Nothing silly about that at all.

I view my blog as major therapy for myself and I find it hard to imagine getting through my early 20s without this outlet for my thoughts and feelings.

jfoodyum said...

Thanks for sharing the poem. I started a blog when I was overseas for family. I stopped because they were like oh no, here she goes again with that overseas stuff. I just wanted them to see things in a different perspective and the funny things that happen to us as we were learning the culture. I should have kept it going for my sake and sanity and thus my therapy.

Andrea said...

I like seeing how others are dealing with different cultures. When we move back to the US, we will have been overseas for 11 years. I think we will have some culture shock as we try and transition back into the US. We are making a trip to the US, and my kids are going to be in awe of the selections of food, clothing, toys, etc. I think it will be fun seeing them experience new things-many that other kids think nothing of doing.

citizen of the world said...

I think one of the things that makes blogging therapeutic, beyond just expressing yourself, is that you get some acknowledgement of what you said. But, it is more like supportive therapy than the kind where you are challenged and held to account. And that's okay, supportive therapy is sometimes just what you need. (Now you knew, given my profession, that I was going to have to weigh in on this!)

Natalie said...

mamadallama - nope...just posted once! i do love reading other peoples' thoughts. it helps me to process my own.

charlie girl - thanks. for listening and understanding.

sparkliesunshine - i have notebooks i kept when i was in high school and college. for some reason i didn't write quite as much in my early 20's. maybe because i was too busy being married and having kids! i would love to have a record of some of what i was thinking during that time period!

jfoodyum - i know how you feel. there have been times i have been tempted to delete the blog because of other people. i knew i would be so disappointed if i did, because i enjoy it too much. i figure if people are disturbed by it they just need to stop reading. i am not going to let others dictate what i can do based on what makes them comfortable. this is for me...and whoever else needs it. that's how i feel.

andrea - every time we have gone back to the states it has been so fun watching the adjustment. my kids are pretty flexible so it isn't too much for them, but i do enjoy watching them learn things that everyone else already knows.

citizen of the world - i agree. i know what you mean. there are times i just need to say things. i don't even need people to agree with me. i just need to say them. i also tend to be a learner when it comes to critique from other people. i am fairly quick to recognize my part in any drama and have no problems apologizing for it. i have been confronted many times about things and usually take a learner's posture when i deal with life. i figure it's never too late to learn a lesson.