Who We Show.
My old roommates are moving to Spain. I know I've mentioned it.
When going through their checklist of things to do before they leave, they asked me my thoughts on them starting blogs. I told them that I thought it was not only important for them to document their trip, but to document all of the things leading up TO that trip. How they feel about it on a daily basis- fears and joys alike- the preparations they are putting in, tiny details and facts that they don't think are relevant... everything. My reasoning was that sometime in the near future, two girls are going to decide they want to teach English in a foreign country and have no clue where to start. Blogs are not only about you, but all of the people who you can reach out to and help in ways that you never imagined would come to pass.
I've been wondering how my blog helps anybody. Is there some girl out there who reads this and thinks, "Man, I'm really glad she said it because I had no idea where to start?" And on that wave... how real am I being to that person? How many details about my trip am I including for her to navigate the places she wants to go?
I realized today, in talking to my best friend, how much of myself I hold in. I always thought that, as a writer, I revealed myself to people pretty widely and honestly. And I know that I do, to some extent. I tell all of my embarrassing stories in full detail. I joke about my dating mishaps and the "losers" I've dated in my early 20's. I laugh a lot and disclose my strange conversations that I have with my cat where I talk to her like a human and expect that she understands. I tell all.
But today I was talking to my friend about an old relationship of mine, and what she saw from me when it ended. She laughed as she told me that she had never really known WHAT I was feeling or thinking because I was so candid and yet private during the breakup. One minute I would be sad and the next I would be completely level-headed and preaching about how it was for the best and I was much better off. Here was my own best friend, who I talked to almost daily during this point of my life, telling me she had no clue how I was doing at that time. Crazy.
I guess I hold a lot in.
I had a guy tell me, from notes that a girl friend of mine had given him, that he knew better than to bring me flowers. "I know you're not into all that romantic stuff."
I guess I hold a lot in.
I wonder how many of us do this same thing. The truth of the matter is: I feel things more deeply than anyone I know. I'm a writer- of COURSE there's poetry in my veins when my life happens for good or for bad. It kills me when things don't work out with someone that I genuinely care about. It kills me that I don't have the relationships with my family and friends that I wish I had. I point out the comedy in my life because it's the only way I can talk about it without dwelling on the crappy things that happen sometimes (and I'm sure happen in anyone's lives). I love romantic gestures from a boy. The reason I don't jump up and down when they happen is because I'm afraid that if I do, I'll jinx it.
"Play it cool. Play it cool..."
On top of that, and because I see/feel more than most people do, I look for the individual in people. I don't want the same conversations you've had with your other friends. I don't want the rehearsed routine you've put forward with every girl you've dated. I want you to see and hear me- really hear me- and be the person you find in yourself when you're around the person that I am. I want the inside jokes and the idle chatter with my best friends. I want the book you knew I would love or the nerdy Mario Brothers foam flower that you knew would never die. I don't want an aisle-checkout Gift Card friendship, I want preempted individualism.
The reason I bring this all up is that I feel like I've spent the better part of the past few years (in my ongoing self-discovery) looking for who I am, who I REALLY am, and how much I show to people and why.
When I turned 30... something changed in me. Maybe it was a combination of turning 30 and changing jobs. But I suddenly felt like this huge weight had lifted off of my shoulders. Where I used to care so much about doing things "just so..." suddenly I just...
I stopped trying to figure out who everyone else wanted me to be. I stopped caring if everything was perfect. I honestly think that I realized after trying SO hard for SO long, and things never quite lining up the way I tried to orchestrate them to, that my life was going to just be imperfect. And for the first time- that was okay. So I stopped trying to fit a circle into a square. I stopped stressing out that people might have wanted me to behave a certain way. I stopped chiming in on drama around me and instead just shrugged and said, "Man, that sucks." I stopped trying so hard to make people love me.
So this is me. Not caring. And telling you that it's okay to stop using the comedy to really feel your own life. It's okay to admit to your best friend that you're sad, or scared, or that you just don't have all the answers at that moment. It's okay to just sit with yourself and not stress out that your life is different than you thought it would be when you were five and wearing light-up plastic princess heels.
I have a quote on my mirror in my bedroom that's been there since just after my birthday: We either choose to make ourselves miserable or to make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
I like that.
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 8:55 PM