I’m not used to being fragile.

I am, as a general rule, the strong one in almost any situation.  I’m the one who makes decisions and get things done.  I’m the one who bounces back and pushes on.  I’m the one who can handle anything, and usually do it with a self deprecating smile.

But I don’t feel strong right now.

I feel unusually weak and ill prepared to handle even the smallest disappointments.  My ego is frail and prone to bruising.  My sense of self – the thing that has always guided me – is suddenly ungrounded and easily toppled by the slightest breeze.

I’m uncomfortable in my own skin.

I can’t remember the last time I was so aware of my every flaw and so desperate to hide them from the world.

I feel small.

I want to both shrink away to avoid being noticed and curl up to something bigger to avoid being lost.

My God, I’m pathetic and maudlin.

The thing is, I’m not always sad.  Really.

I laugh and play and talk and on the outside, most days, I look exactly the same as I always have.

But on the inside, I feel a tentativeness that is completely foreign to me.  I don’t feel confident enough to charge forward blindly, secure that I can handle whatever I run into.  I am, instead, afraid of running head first into something that can bring me to my knees.  Something.  I don’t know what – because the things that have shaken me lately have been unexpected.  My ability to predict what will sting and what will not is off kilter.

I don’t know this version of me.

But I know I don’t like it.

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