Go Big or Go Bust: Day 66 (on power dynamics, yentas, and control issues)

I’m the first to admit that I have *control issues* (for good reason, I might add) but before we go off on that, here’s something which may be great or it may put the kibosh on my big plans.  Whatever.  It’s happening.

I’m very tightly wrapped.  I’m also very conscious of power, having been keenly tuned to power dynamics from an early age.  Like any good politician, I know that to maintain power you don’t put yourself out there until you’ve tested the water.  The more quiet you are, the less of a target.  And so, I generally play my cards very close to the chest.  

 Once a paragon of discretion, the author has recently been transformed.

Once a paragon of discretion, the author has recently been transformed.

But in the past couple of days, something seems to have shifted: I seem to be changing from a ‘paragon’ non-interventionist silent observational person who may be a little austere, but is generally beyond reproach.  Suddenly, I’m a yenta.

Two nights ago, a young woman I’d never met called up.  My kids had alerted me that she might so as to arrange to pick something up from our place.  On the phone she didn’t sound very respectful (she wasn’t disrespectful) but my normal response to her would have been to be very guarded and quiet… until she realized that I wasn’t some desperate person who’d been waiting all day for her call.  

But during the conversation, I heard myself asking what her last name was, what kind of work she does (and did) and, not just the field she’d gotten a new job in, but specifically what she was doing in that field.  

I hung up the phone, kind of shocked at my behavior, but made a firm decision that when she came over, I was going to return to the tried and true- I’d be neither talkative nor overly-friendly.  I'd command her respect.  It’s bad enough being treated like you’re over-the-hill without giving someone reason to.

So when she rang the door bell, right off the bat, I addressed her by a shortened version of her name - a nickname she had not divulged to me.  And then, out of nowhere, I turned into a human avalanche.  “College?  Nationality?  And you're moving where?  Oh, and...?"  With a glance, I asked if the guy helping her carry the stuff is ‘the guy’… completely out of control.  

I was telling my husband about it, that all of a sudden, I’ve become Nosy the Chatterbox.  “No,” he replied, though keep in mind that he knows which side his bread is buttered on, “You’re changing and you’re coming more alive.”  

Could it be some kind of unconscious process of self-acceptance which comes from realizing that this is it, that this is my shot at life?  That for the first time ever, curiosity and the realization of my humanity and mortality are overwhelming the fear which has had me in a straitjacket for my whole life?  Am I actually starting to ‘let go’?