One point for the bookworm

My trip to the Arctic Ocean has this strangely dual quality of being almost completely private  (friends and most of my family unaware) and completely public (openly shared on this semi-anonymous blog).

I think starting this blog is a way to create a protected space where I hope people will be supportive of me and this crazy departure from my conventional life.narcissist

It is probably also a way for me to break away from a family dynamic where my beauty queen mother and artist sister dominate everything.

If one of them is in the room, the story will always, somehow, magically end up being about them.  (If they are in a room together, it can be like watching a cage-fighting match.)

So, yesterday, I am talking to my sister, Joey (whom I’ve not yet told she can’t come), and she says, “Everyone can’t believe you are dragging me along on this trip to the Arctic Ocean!”

I immediately see how this is going to play out. Everyone will be talking, sharing, and laughing about Joey’s big adventure to the Arctic.  Most completely unaware this is something that I have spent innumerable hours quietly planning.

My healing journey of independence is now her hilarious journey of misadventure.

Being the quiet one,  I’ve never protested when my mother or sister are spinning circles in the middle of the room. Being shy, it is often almost preferable to me.

But, somehow, this one is different, so an unprecedented protest, “Joey, please don’t make this about you.”

Laughing,  “What! You think you can put a lid on Joey! No one can put a lid on Joey!”

Standing my ground, “Joey, this trip is important to me.  It is not about you. I am going to go alone.”

Awkward silence and stammering back, “Of course…I’m not… I wouldn’t… I only wanted to capture your journey… to share…”

Not an easy thing for me to say and not an easy thing for her to hear…. but, whew, done.

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