04 April 2008

What the ship did to me OR Growing up to be me?

Here is the revelation: I have become a softie! Not a weakling, I believe, hope, but rather someone who is showing his soft side (at least once in a while).

I used to be tough. Not as in “I will beat you up”-tough, I am much too timid for that. But I would not let people get close to me, not really tell them what’s on my mind and for sure not let them see any weak spots. Hands up who has ever seen me crying! Don’t really know how I did become that way. There have been bad things in my past and they sure have had an effect on me. I’m not going on about that. A lot of people have their secrets and hurts (and much worse then me) and managed to go on being normal, open people. Somehow I did not.
I am really thankful for the friends I have and I know many of them do not get much in return for being my friends. I find it hard, really hard to show my appreciation and love. Often I do not even realize how close I feel to people until I do not see them anymore. I am a very loyal person; I just haven’t learnt yet how to show it. One of my life tasks, I assume.

I got used to a few things in regard to other cultures. I am by far no feminist (rather the opposite) but growing up in Germany has its side effects. In general the ships are a place where men and women are treated as equal and seen as equipped to share the same or similar workload. I never realized a distinction between sexes when it came to responsibilities or work. Still I had to struggle with some things. I was not used at all to have a guy open a door for me or asking me to help with carrying my suitcase. I think I learnt to appreciate but not expect such behaviour.

Well, here is another change I have noticed: I do admit that I love girly stuff. Like Jane Austen or Nicholas Sparks books or a romantic movie once in a while. It still gives me a cringe to think that I am posting this out there for everyone to read, but I am doing it. Just recently a girl I knew for a long time was really surprised to hear that I actually own a Jane Austen movie adaptation. It made me laugh on the outside, but wondering why that surprised her on the inside. I have loved Jane Austen for years, way before the ships. I was always (and actually still am) afraid of what people would thing of me. Or rather if they would not want to be my friends any more if they knew me.

Crying is another thing. There was a moment when I decided I would never again cry, no matter what comes, and for years I did stick to that rule. This has changed to a degree that is almost alarming. I can get wet eyes so often it is scary. Reading a lovely letter or a good quote or hearing a nice story or listening to a message in church is all it takes. I can watch the news on TV and start crying or hear something about friends or just cry while I am praying. It feels liberating mostly, at times a bit awkward.
I have started to show emotions, voice my own opinions and be who I am.

Why do I believe it has something to do with Logos II? Well, first of all living through that 2 ½ frustrating, wonderful, painful, educational years has helped me to grow up. I did have to find out who I am, what I want (still in the process). But mainly I learned to depend and open up to God on a much deeper level then ever before. I realized I simply HAD to rely or him, as there was nothing else to hold me. I have seen pain in other peoples lives that was far bigger then my own and those experiences brought the shell I kept around my heart and emotions to burst. I met people that were willing to look for that hidden person inside me; to take me the way I am; to ask how I really felt and what I meant; and to not be taking aback by the rare moments of true honesty. Thank you for correcting me and showing me how to grow.

And for those that are wondering: I believe I still struggle with these issues and have a long way ahead of me. But I have noticed a change for the better. And people around me do to. I’m on my way….

Oh, and sorry this post is really much too long! Thanks for reading...

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