I have lost my muchness!!!
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, muchness means "the quality or state of being in great quantity, extent, or degree." In relation to the Alice/Mad Hatter interaction, the word muchness refers to something within Alice, I guess it could be her heart, her spirit or her essence which she had seemly lost since the first time she had visited Wonderland. Alice had lost a little bit of who she used to be.
Think about it, really think about it, in many ways we have all lost a part of our muchness. For some we may have lost a part of ourselves just by the natural act of growing older (which is what Mad Hatter is accusing Alice of) or we may have lost a part of ourselves through a traumatic event, or we may have lost ourselves by living the life of another.
I am generalising but I believe there is an essence/spirit/core/chi/life force to each of us which slowly erodes as we get older and sees more and experiences more of the world around us. Instead of growing happier and more excited by the things we see, we are exhausted and hardened by the world. Let’s face facts this world is not the nicest place to be. We are surrounded by people who have made a life out of criminal acts everything from theft to child abuse, from hijacking to rape and from fraud to murder!!! Our world has become overrun by liars and cheats, dishonesty and a lack of integrity is worshiped and praised.
It is a sad fact we will all face traumatic events in our lives and they will be at the root of what causes us to lose a piece of ourselves.
On Sunday I was at lunch with two friends….friends who I admire and love and above all respect. They had some harsh words for me which was tough to take but it came from a place of love.
Tuschka has known me about 5 and a half years now and Lydia wins the jackpot because she has been in my life for 24 years. So to set the scene for the words which followed:
We got to the restaurant and all the waiters (cute) were standing in a semi-circle, I walked up to them and said.. “So who of you handsome guys want to wait on three beautiful women? Who feels like working today?” There was a bit of shoving and pushing but we were shown our table and seated. Tuschka looked at me and said “what was that?” I had no idea what she was talking about. Anyway to cut a long story short Tuschka could not believe I was so “forward”/engaging etc. Lydia then told her that I had always been like that. I was the one on vacation that would go
flirt chat to the lifeguards on the beach while my friends
drooled. That I was the one who would be
the life and soul of parties. I would
talk to anyone and everyone who would listen (and since I am verbose I am thinking
those that wouldn’t too). She used words
like vivacious, bubbly, effervescent, charming, cheerful, energetic and outgoing. I sat there having no idea who she was talking about,
that is not me!!!
Except it was……..before I lost my muchness!!
I spent the next two nights (no wonder I have bags under my eyes) and days thinking and pondering this. Finally in the very early hours of this morning while listening to Charis breathing I remembered this scene from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland started me thinking which yes is NOT always a good think but this time I think a very necessary thing!!
When did I stop being me? When did I start keeping people at a distance? When did I build these walls? And why did I not notice it?
The answer came in the form of an asthma attack at 4am!!! Tomorrow marks the 5th anniversary of my diagnoses with adult onset asthma and since I have a post planned I won’t go into too much detail here. BUT, the traumatic event in my life which stole my muchness was this diagnoses and the subsequent consequences.
Asthma not only stole my lung function but I have allowed it steal ME!!! Who I am has disappeared between a haze of cortisone, steroids and adrenalin. Who has time to be yourself when much of your time is focused on just breathing?
The disease is one thing but the consequences are something else. I spoke about the weight and the impact it has on my life here. I must admit that I thought it was the biggest obstacle which has come about as a result of my asthma but lo and behold I was wrong. I have built walls between myself and others because I don’t want to be seen as being weak because my lungs don’t work. I have a friend at work who when we were first getting to know each other would just tell me to BREATH believing that it was just that simple but it really isn’t.
Over the past 5 years I have slowly but surely lost my confidence because when people hear me out of breath (and see the weight) they jump to unflattering conclusions. Instead of putting myself “out there” I hide. Going around wheezing is not the most attractive thing in the world!! So I don’t want to draw attention to myself and to explain how bad it is….commenting on a blog is torture for me because I wonder what the blogger will think (read how they will judge) when they see my profile picture!! So if I leave you a comment know that I am stepping out of my box and reaching out because I really liked what you had to say.
So what was different on Sunday when I interacted with the waiters? I felt good about myself, I looked in the mirror and although it was not Angelina or Charlize staring back it me it was also not Attila the Hun!! I felt confident in the outfit I had put together, I spent time on my hair and makeup, I was with two women who truly love me and most importantly my lungs were working. I felt 100% relaxed and comfortable. My muchness had returned for a brief moment!
I don’t want to carry on hiding, I want to be able to share myself with others (that doesn’t sound right but I don’t know how else to say it) I want to participate in life…in MY life!!
So today I CHOOSE to no longer hid my light under a bushel, I CHOOSE to once again reclaim my muchness.