I’m a mess of contradictions in a dress…

I’ve been doing some reflecting tonight, thinking a bit about who I am and how people see me. I feel there’s perhaps some discordance between who I am perceived as and who I know myself to be… or at least the person I am becoming that I’m just getting to know. So, I thought I would introduce myself anew.

I think perhaps the most surprising thing I could tell anyone is that if it weren’t for extenuating circumstances and a very concentrated effort, I could easily see myself having become a hermit years ago. My nature is not intrinsically social. I am quite able to go long stretches of time with little to no social interaction and it has minimal effect on me. I literally almost never answer a phone and it never occurs to me to pick one up and call someone. I am just not that good at that kind of stuff. Now, that said, let that not detract from the fact that I have made some incredibly meaningful bonds in my life. But left strictly to my own devices, it is entirely possible that I would be an agoraphobic book hoarder.

Random fact, the next. I am relatively certain that I am somewhere between dirty hippie and Upper East Sider on my cosmic journey. I have an extreme passion for social issues and feel our carbon footprints are worth some serious consideration, but I aspire to a closet full of Manolos and a summer house in the Hamptons. Having discussed this spiritual journey at some length with my fiancee, she is of the opinion that I am traveling toward dirty hippie and that that may be my final destination. I am personally uncertain. But I know I’m headed somewhere and I’m 100% sure that I have a long way to go.

Now something that is relatively common knowledge if you know me at all. I love intellectual discourse. I love exchanging repartee with intelligent people. I am a sucker for SAT words being used in regular conversation. An impassioned debate between individuals who are knowledgeable and quick thinking? The. Best. And yet… I am an avid reader of Young Adult literature. And I am not ashamed. I have next to no interest in perusing the offerings in the grown up section of the library. “Bodice rippers” disgust me and detective/mystery/cowboy novels lull me into a stupor. I find most non-fiction to be drier than stale toast and serious autobiographies to be soporifically self-aggrandizing. I do tend to perk up a bit over the likes of Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro, but as they’re essentially overgrown children, that is not really that far-fetched. The point? I pride myself on my ability to hold an intelligent conversation, but I would find that conversation even more riveting if we were discussing the literary merits of A Great And Terrible Beauty or, y’know, Harry Potter. (But not Hitchhikers Guide, please and thanks. Sorry, Towel Carriers, but I found your book utterly wretched.)

Also probably unsurprising to those I am known to. I wish, more than anything, that my life were a musical. I think I’ve given it some pretty riveting story lines and I believe that if people randomly erupted into song around me at every critical moment in my life, I would be a much more well-adjusted individual. If those supporting characters would just pop up now and then with some well-versed advise on how to get my shit together, I’d be so much better off. Mostly, though, I just don’t want my life to be so darn ordinary. I’ve always believed average wasn’t good enough, regardless of what you were doing. I feel like being happy with normal means you are settling. And settling for adequate and good enough goes against everything in my nature. Hence, my life should be a musical. Heightened experiences, a song for every single thing that life throws at you, and not a single ordinary character ever steps on the stage. Even the chorus people are special. Even they know they are living in a heightened state of existence. I want to feel like that kind of special. And frankly, the only times I have ever come close, I have been onstage, blinded in a spotlight, telling you a story. If my life were a musical, I could feel that kind of powerful every single day. And when you’re that kind of powerful, even sadness hurts a little less.

And lastly (for tonight anyway- more narcissism to come in later installments I’m sure)… despite the fact that I am a good distance from my teens, I find that I can revert back to a 13yr old girl relatively quickly. There are days (like today) when everything that happens is just the worst and clearly everyone hates me and I have no friends and blah blah blah. The fortunate part about days like today is that they end. The not so fortunate part is that they can serve as a reminder that all the work you’ve done in growing yourself out of those awkward braces filled years can be knocked down in one fell swoop. And that’s effing discouraging. A girl gets tired of being reminded that once upon a time she was dorky and unpopular. And while she never quite managed to throw off the dorky, she (meaning me) kind of thought it had become one of those quirky endearing things (bc bookworms=cool now, right?) But days like today serve to highlight how damn close to the surface some of that angst dwells. Fortunately, graduating from those fantastically awful years does tend to gift us with perception. I know today wasn’t the worst day ever. I know that, despite being the dipshit who got her cart stuck on the Wal-Mart cart escalator, I looked darn cute doing it. And I know that despite missing every bus I tried to catch today, I still managed to make it home. And I know that no matter how disappointing some aspects of things can be (coughweddingplanningcough), there are people in this world who are going to celebrate the awesome with me, and that’s pretty cool.

I guess it hasn’t been such a bad day after all.