I've had self-esteem issues my whole life, but I don't think I've ever felt as worthless and insignificant as I have over the last week and a half. With the exception of one day, my vacation was horrible. I tried to get together with friends and was completely ignored. Then there was the Warrior Dash. It was kind of a big deal to me. I'd been talking about it for months, and some of the girls at work started talking about coming out with their kids and making a little party of it. That made me happy because I don't really get to hang out with or talk to my coworkers outside of work, and I was looking forward to hanging out.
In the end, no one came. (Except for one of the girls, but we never knew for sure she was coming and with no phone reception at Horning's Hideout, we didn't get her messages until we were on our way home.) J is the only one who even called to talk to me that morning. So I ran my first race feeling like shit. My heart wasn't in it, and I was so fed up and irritated, I wanted to forget the whole thing. It was hard. Really hard. I still don't know where I got the strength to finish. I wanted to quit a thousand times, but something kept me going, and I dragged myself up and over every obstacle, despite the pain. And though I was out there with a co-worker and former co-worker, there was no one waiting for me on the other side of the finish line. I thought I would feel something at the end of my first race, but I didn't. I just felt empty. I watched people hug and kiss and celebrate and I felt about as worthless as the mud I'd just crawled through.
But I got my medal and I drank my free beer and I went home knowing that I'd put my mind to something and I'd seen it through from start to finish. I may not have done my best, but I did it. I don't often have the opportunity to feel good about myself, but somewhere deep down, I knew I should be proud. When I limped into work the next night, I got hugs and congratulations and people were proud of me. That meant a lot to me. I know that it's hard to make plans when you have kids and responsibilities (and Horning's is so far away), but I still felt like I hadn't been important enough to make the effort.
I don't speak up when I'm hurt or upset -I never have- so how can I still be upset that no one came out to support me? I guess I'm just an asshole. There were so many times last week that I picked up the phone and tried to call someone, but I couldn't do it. I can't find the nerve to say, "I'm upset and I need to talk." I guess I don't want to chance reaching out and being brushed off or just flat out ignored.
"The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear."