I'm not exactly sure how the comment came up at work yesterday, it probably evolved from another totally unrelated topic like so many of our conversations at work do, but it was declared that I "am not cuddly". Now, normally, I would retort to that with some sort of flip comment, take it at its face value, and move on but for some reason it actually hurt a little bit to hear that. Well, no, I take that back, it hurt a lot. Enough so that without meaning to I found myself actually shedding a couple tears and feeling like a complete and total fool about the whole thing.
I can trace the conversation as far back as talking about Jen coming in with her new son on Tuesday and the fact that I had actually held the little fella for a bit. I guess I didn't realize that were those who would have thought that was totally out of character for me; that I was looked at as such an ice queen that I apparently don't even stoop so low as to hold babies.
There's no doubt in my mind that throughout the years I have built up a protective wall around myself, that I don't let my feelings show very easily, and that I certainly don't get excited about things very often. I had never really thought of myself as unapproachable until today however, it appears that's exactly what I put out there on a fairly regular basis and I find it rather distressing.
Granted, I don't want to be one of those over-the-top, sickly-sweet types that seem to have a smile permanently tattooed on their face - a "Pollyanna", as it were, someone who is cheerfully optimistic all of the time despite the situation or circumstances. If asked if I am a "glass half full or glass half empty" person I would probably say I lean towards the half empty scenario but really, what does all that mean? You can always fill the glass back up again so who cares whether it's half full or half empty - the more important question there might be do you have the means to refill the glass?
Yes, I am a realist, I will fully admit that. Life has thrown too many curve balls at me for it to be otherwise. I've had some tough lessons in life here and there but I'd like to think that I've learned from all of them, even though some of the lessons had to be repeated a time or two before I finally got the answers right! Perhaps I've become a little more "shut down" in certain areas of my life but I certainly don't want to be seen as an unlovable, unapproachable, cold wench of a woman. I know a few of those and they aren't pleasant to be around.
I'd like to say that with me "what you see is what you get" but that's not exactly the case. The life I lead is not exactly the life I want but it's the only one I have right now. I'd love to be cuddly and cuddled; I'd love to be in love again someday; I'd love to come into work every single morning with a smile on my face but I suppose that if I did that then people would get the idea that I had started doing some sort of mind-altering drugs or something!
Talk about a paradox - I want to be thought of as approachable and perhaps even cuddly but I don't want to put on an act to prove it. What to do? What to do? Perhaps I should just not worry about it and take comfort in the fact that those who really know me, know that I am capable of such things.
I'm sure that there are worse things than not being "cuddly", it's just that yesterday I couldn't think of any of them.