Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who am I from the inside out?

I spend a lot of time thinking about this question. Perhaps more than most. Or maybe not, how should I know. But I do know that people don't go around talking about their inner self, what makes them tick, what works/doesn't work for them, the way I do.

Maybe that isn't right. I don't feel as though I go around, constantly telling people what I'm thinking or not thinking, the exact status of my mental state, but I truly do go around thinking about my exact mental state all the time. Like, all the time.

There's that thing I tell my kids (or my friends). That thing about how when you're worried about what other people are thinking about, they are actually most likely thinking about themselves. For realsies. I mean, case in point. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what makes me tick. Or, not tick. The rapid hum of my life when everything is meshing can grind to a terrible halt given a slight lack of sleep or loss of control.

So. Question asked. Who am I from the inside out? I mean I don't know that I can answer that question. It seems at once both impossibly big and impossibly small. There is me, that raw and sensitive one-big-emotion, is that me? There's me that gets tired and snappy and can easily speak without thinking. Is that common? How do people control their mouths, anyhow? Whenever I think about going to a social event with certain people I spend a great deal of time on the way, reminding myself that lots of people are just fine Not Talking. And I paste that smile on my face, the one that is friendly and welcoming but not overbearing, the one that says I'm interested and I would of course be pleasant to talk to and I won't say anything rude or weird.

I mean, I'm my best critic, but I also have other critics who are quick to jump in and point out that thing I said wrong or why I shouldn't say that. I feel as though (metaphor coming) I'm a big dumb sheepdog that people generally like but who can also be seriously annoying, jumping all over you or spilling your drink or tracking in with muddy feet. That's me, with my words and opinions and just general too-muchness.

So Who am I from the Inside Out? I'm emotional, highly in touch with mine and others. I'm quick with my brain when it comes to words and ideas. I'm prickly sometimes, protecting myself from the disappointments life so often brings. I'm artistic, and I've written about that double edged sword a few times, how I feel as though I walk on the dark side of the moon as a trade for that. Aside: this whole tragedy of Robin William's suicide, and the amount of people writing about how art is so closely connected to madness makes me feel so much saner, if that makes sense. I've been talking about that for years. Now maybe everybody can see it may be true.

Who am I is not answerable in a moment, in a snapshot. In a quick blurb. Rather I will have to tease the answer out, dig deep underground. Peel it all back and see what's left. That's okay, that's what I'm here for.

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