I'm not a girl who's afraid to stand up and make a presentation to a large group or even act a fool in front of strangers. I've done plays, given concerts, and led tour groups, so I wouldn't exactly call myself shy. I do have conditions for being the center of attention though; I need to be "on".
"On" is feeling together in my clothes, hair, makeup. Sometimes, I have a glass of wine or a cocktail. I am "on" at work during my day-to-day meetings, whenever I meet a bunch of new people, or even if I'm with friends/family and would rather be home watching TV. Being "on" takes a lot of effort and mental power.
It's not that I mind being "on." It's just tiring and better accomplished in small doses, which is where pregnancy comes into play. You see I'll be continuously pregnant for the next six months or so. When people find out, they're super excited, and they want to talk about it. They direct a lot of attention at me, leaving me easily overwhelmed.
It's hard to explain for me, or maybe you guys understand completely. It's not that I'm not happy or that I'm entirely avoiding talking about my pregnancy. I'm neither of those things. Really, I'm not naturally social, and I've had a lifetime of experiences--starting in childhood--that taught me that communication without effort on my part equals awkward interactions with other people.
What does this have to do with blogging? Well, I've always strived to be better, more comfortable with myself, and happier through this hobby. I've written about some of my experiences here with attention in the past and building up my own confidence. Somehow, writing about this new awkward stage seemed to make sense. Pregnancy is another journey that will challenge my sense of self and hopefully help me feel more at ease in the world.
I know I need to relax a little bit and stop worrying about saying something dumb or rude or getting funny looks. I know I need to stop feeling off when people examine my middle with their eyes to see if I'm showing yet. I know that most people are genuinely happy, and they just want to be a part of my experience. But, knowing is just the first step.
So, if you're my friend or especially my family reading this, you should know I'm really uncomfortable right now. It's not because I'm worried about gaining weight. It's not because I don't deeply care about you. It's because I feel like I'm a tiny person with a huge spotlight shining right at their head. The attention, especially the idea of things like showers, makes me an anxious mess. Bear with me while I try to figure out how to handle the warmth of your kind words and thoughts. It's really not you, it's me.
Have any of my bloggie friends run into situations where suddenly they were the center of attention? Maybe you had a great accomplishment, received an award, or even experienced a loss? Let me know any tips you have for relaxing in those situations when it feels like everyone is staring.