Nerves of noodle

Nothing new here today. I’m going to self examine again.

There’s a guy I work with that I disagree with all the time. We talk politics, sports… all kinds of stuff that normal people discuss, and argue.

The thing is, talking to him is safe. We’re friends, and I know that whatever I say we’ll still be friends. I can toss out irreverent cracks and he can return service with equal vigor, but we do this all day – every day. I know from experience that everything will still be cool, that we share a level of mutual respect that will overcome almost any transient disagreement.

My wife and I are the same, although we don’t disagree about politics all that much. Laundry? That’s another story. But the important stuff? We’re reading from the same page of the manual.

My problem comes when I’m not speaking to the folks I talk to every day. Then I’m more timid than a shy four year old among adult strangers. It’s hard to reconcile my opinionated, inner blogger, with the shy, inner four year old. Sometimes I’ll be in a crowd and hear something that sets me off faster than a spark in a tank of gas fumes. WHOOSH! My mind is lunging and tugging excitedly at the end of it’s leash, just begging to be set free. But it’s almost always denied. And when I do put myself out there? It makes the repressed emotion of saying nothing feel like a soothing/calming/relaxing rainy day. You know – one of those days where it’s just a little cool inside, you don’t have to go to work, the kids are off having a play day with friends, and you spend the day in a fluffy pair of slippers and fully immersed in a good book.

Oh yeah, I’m that uptight. I like to think of myself as someone who is secure enough not to care what other’s think; but it’s a big-fat lie. The really strange thing is that I seem to worry more about what strangers think. Part of me thinks it has something to do with the familiarity of friends… the knowing they’ll still be around if we disagree every now and again (hence, the introduction to this post). But I’m not entirely sure that’s it. I wonder if the shy four year old wants desperately to make more friends, and therefore is leery of pissing people off. Then again, that doesn’t really fit with the stuff I say here… though I suppose this feels more like talking to myself than to strangers. I don’t mean that as commentary on this blog’s reach, it’s just my mindset when I write.

I’d say it’s odd, but the more I get out the more I find there are others who have some things in common with me. It doesn’t make me feel much better, but I suppose it’s something.

Give the gift of words.