My ego is a librarian called Betty.
It may seem a strange thing to say (and I do apologise to the lady in my town who is actually a librarian, and her name is Betty. The character in this blog is non-fictional but no relation to you or based on you in anyway. Any similarity is purely a weird, unintentional, coincidence), but I have discovered that my ego is indeed a librarian, and she is most certainly called Betty.
Betty has been riding me for years, but she’s about to get outed (publically), so she’s been doing an awesome job of keeping me from writing about her. That’s one of her things, she’s full of excuses – tired, busy cataloguing, saving it for tomorrow, telling me not to write lame things about her because no-one will get it, annoyed with my man, so would rather simmer than write, all that kind of stuff.
For days now she’s been prioritising other stuff so I don’t write – her intention (for all intensive purposes) is to PROTECT me – from the poor opinions of others, from overwhelming myself with busy-ness, from being too awesome that some people won’t like me (and will have poor opinions of me). She’s protecting me from not being liked, and her strategy makes me unlikeable – closed off to people, quiet, grumpy, tired, broody, moody, intenssssse (which is like intense but has such weight to it it makes your head hurt). She’s protecting me from not being loved and the pain I would feel if this happened, but I just end up unloving and to be brutally honest, unlovable.
Betty is noisy on the inside, but quiet on the outside. Me, I’m noisy on the outside, and inside is calm and peaceful. Betty doesn’t do happy or calm and peaceful. That would be unproductive, and it certainly wouldn’t get done all the things that need doing to keep all the cataloguing in order. How kids should be. How your partner should be. How life should be. How people should treat you, How people should treat each other. What it means if all of the above aren’t how they should be. Betty’s so busy thinking about it all, and chatting to herself (internally) that she doesn’t have time to just be. That would be some lame hippy crap you learn at seminars for people who can’t get their lives together. Oh, did I mention Betty is judgemental?
So, if I know so much about her, how come she gets to run the show sometimes?
I (me – the one who writes, and works with people and see’s them far beyond what I imagined was possible, and loves, and laughs, and is frivolous and funny, and energetic and calm and peaceful inside) am so much clearer that I used to be, before I even realised that Betty wasn’t me, but it takes a lot to shine the light on your ego, and be comfortable with that, and acknowledge (out loud) that there’s a part of you that is a time-stealing, dream-killing, sour-faced crow. That to be the best version of yourself, you have to be able to see the part that’s been operating in the shade but casting the biggest shadow. That to be the mum and partner and friend and life coach you want to be you have to know when Betty’s out, and when I am here.
I’m here now. I’ve put Betty behind a thick glass window, with a button on my side to open the slot for speaking. Most days I read to her or show her something and she finds a place to catalogue it in the new shelves – there’s “cool stuff I’ve learnt about life” and “why people are amazing” and “awesome seminars to change your world” and “how to write every day”.
I can wave at her if I like, and thank her for all her hard work, talk about her loudly to anyone who’ll listen (poor opinions or not) and read to her at night. And when she gets out, or at least manages to screech something through the slot, I’ll get my man to read her ‘The Great Philosophers’ in monotone (as he does to me when I’m really tired and he can’t sleep), and I reckon she’ll be a while trying to catalogue that.
And then every day, I just wake up and BE. (which funnily enough has 2/5 of Betty in it!)