Eventually, just about all of me was in that pile. The facade was in tact. But, just barely. Everything else that had been me lay in a heap. Useless. While I was daily adding to that pile, kicking each piece out of my way, other little things were going on. Things I wasn't even paying attention to. I guess I should have been. Maybe this wouldn't all be such a surprise if I had.
I started making new friends. Just one or two at a time. Nothing crazy. These people who suddenly called me, "Friend" actually cared about me. Me! They asked questions. They challenged. They had ideas. They told me I was wonderful. I know it sounded sincere but I didn't believe them. They lifted me up and sang my praises. Eventually, they wore me down. I started to believe them.
These people inspired me to lift up my voice and sing with them. When I did, they cheered. I was flabergasted. Me? My voice was weak and tiny at first. But every time I opened my mouth to sing, they were right there beside me, cheering me on. We all knew I didn't have the best or strongest voice. But with each passing day I have grown stronger. My technique is improving. But most importantly, now I WANT to sing. On my own.
That voice inside of me grows stronger every day. It tells me to create. Dream. Write. Live. I am learning to listen to that voice. My friends are still there boosting my confidence, supporting me. But I am beginning to find that while I still need each and every one of them, I don't need as much support every day. In learning to find that little voice deep inside myself, I am also finding the strength to stand on my own.
As I made these realizations, I turned around and looked for that ash-heap pile of what once was me. It was gone. In it's place, a new and shiny me sat peacefully waiting to be found. She is more fragile and yet stronger. She is light and airy, peaceful and yet so full of energy. She radiates a quiet confidence. She is so foreign to me yet I know without a doubt that she is a better me.
I reach out a hand to her and gently pull her up to me. No longer relegated to some hidden secret place, I take her out to show the world. I am breaking out of this cocoon. Watch me fly.