Sunday, April 19, 2009

how can other people know you, if you don't know you?

I know exactly what sparked the thought. I was jamming to my John Mayer ("Any Given Thursday" is that album!!) via my iPod, washing dishes, when my father turned off the dimmer kitchen light to turn on the fluorescent one (I hate fluorescent lights). Not only was I using the dimmer light while still catching the natural light from outside (that was slowly fading), but I didn't ask him to bother anything. I had it perfectly adjusted to how I wanted it to be. (Sure sure, it's not my house, but humor me to find out what I'm talking about.)

This scenario caused me to stop and think about how particular I am about certain things... which led me to thinking about how often I misinform people about my personality... because I myself am misinforming myself. I will say that I am one way, but my actions will reflect a different story. This train of thought interests me, so I thought I'd share it with whomever decides to take a read...
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The things I think aren't quite truth...:
1. I am laid-back:
I think I've been confusing my absolute reluctance to speak up and my notoriously unhealthy practice of internalization with being laid-back. (Thankfully, these former habits are fading as I keep recognizing them.) My aunt told me when I was ten that I was just so laid-back... and I took it to heart and have been saying it ever since. When I think of someone laid back, I think of someone who can just go with the flow, and has no problem being in any kind of situation... you know, that friend who can just go and do whatever and just adapt to anything, no complaints necessary...

This is not me. Granted, I like to chill and hang out, and it doesn't take much for me to be entertained, and I'm not a heavy complainer, but I'm not as much "go with the flow" as I've been saying/thinking I was. I'm particular. When I want something done a certain way, I want it done a certain way. When I want something done at such and such time, I want it done at such and such time. When I don't want the television on, I don't want the television on. Granted, I'm not confrontational, and don't make it a practice of arguing with someone because they aren't doing something the way I want it done. As I've discovered, avoiding confrontation is not the same as being laid back.

2. I am a loner:
This is something else I've heard myself go back to saying recently, which is also incorrect. (A quick way to place myself into some kind of category that makes quick sense to others.) I'm not a loner--I enjoy the company of the people I care about. A lot. If I really like being around you, I'm going to want to be around you pretty much most of the time. This is just another aspect of my particular nature. When I really feel like being by myself, I really want to be by myself, and I will do what I need to do to achieve that--whether it's going for a drive, going to sit in the park alone, leaving the city, etc.

I have also come to the realization that I have fits of withdrawal that come and go like waves--much like the love of my life, Prince (lol), sometimes I get into a mood when I don't want people to know shit about me or my life, or bother me, and I will withdraw in any way necessary (avoiding phone calls and attempts at communication is one of these), which most people don't understand is just part of my particularity. Doesn't mean it's fair, but life has never been such.
When I think of a loner, I think of someone sad, who is alone by force of "fate", and not by choice. So, that's another label I need to retire.

3. There's never been any label for this one:
I think I've been spreading the notion that I'm more of an indoors gal than outdoors for a long time. No, I do not go camping, and no, I've never been, but I'll wait for you to go and tell me how it is. That being said though, I have seemed to forget the mass amounts of time I spent outdoors as a kid, running down my street (sometimes barefoot), riding my bike and rollerblading all over the place, playing baseball with my cousin back in the day, etc. In the shadow of my foray into womanhood, the memory of my outdoorsy childhood seems to have been lost.

These days, I will sit outside for hours, doing much of nothing--I can sit in my front yard in a chair and listen to my iPod for hours... I often fall asleep outside. I love getting darker (I don't call it tanning because I don't necessarily try to do it, but I love when it happens) and I love the feel of the sun on my skin. I always walk outside in my front yard barefoot, and I love the feel of grass between my toes. I frequent parks when writing, studying, thinking, or going on dates :) Don't even get me started on the ocean/beach and how I love the sand, the smell, and the feel of being out there...

Surprisingly, this is an aspect of myself that I have constantly left out when explaining myself to someone.
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For the longest time, I've been describing me as I think I am, instead of how I actually am. And didn't even realize it. Wow...

So, I challenge you... try to catch yourself in your natural state of physiology. See what you can catch yourself doing. And compare that to how you actually describe yourself. You might be surprised with what you observe.

Adios loves,
Mal

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