I don’t care whether you like me. I like me. Damn it. ;)

There’s a saying that you can’t actually be yourself when you’re first dating someone. Instead, you’re selling the best version of yourself — a cover that can be slowly peeled away as your beloved gets more and more hooked. Meaning, no one could possibly be enamored with who we really are so, by all means, be someone else that they might grow to like. Brilliant strategy.

I think we all do it across all domains of life. If you want to impress during a job interview, you chirp that you are organized and detail-oriented and persistent and enthusiastic and ready to hit the ground running and *snooze.* Me? I am detail-oriented on a good day. And I don’t have many of those. 😉 But boy have I ticked off that list to four dozen people I wasn’t even sure I wanted to impress. The goal is to get hired and THEN show them all the great skills they didn’t even think to ask about … and that’s when you get your leeway to be grumpy in the mornings (afternoons, evenings, late evenings …).

Probably like, oh, EVERYONE else, I have a very hard time being anyone other than myself for an extended period of time. I am expressive and over-the-top and opinionated and impulsive and unashamed of it. I can justify any emotion — exhaustively so, sometimes. People who don’t emote bug the crap out of me, and I thrive around people who get just as excited over the things that make me happy.

That said, I am sort of at one of those (many) crossroads in life. I am passionate about a hell of a lot of things. If I’m running my mouth, that means I’m running my brain. I want so much to understand, oh, EVERYTHING in life, and I want to improve everything I can. I bitch a lot, or so it seems, but in my head I’m solving world crises — if anyone would just be smart enough to listen. 😉

I get concerned when situations arise in which I (after the fact, usually) wish I had censored my immediate reactions. Usually it’s through the power of suggestion, and I wonder whether they just don’t want to know or if they think it’s for my own good to chill out. I think there’s merit to either side of the equation, but I? Implode.

I admire people who seem as unruffled as can be. I want to be like them sometimes. But the world doesn’t change when we’re all marching in time. I’d be the chatterbox in the back of the line wondering where everyone was going and why can’t we go THAT way instead. I’d be the one getting enough people to question the movement and I’d probably succeed in getting the majority to follow my crazy idea to go in the opposite direction. I’m always fighting, it seems, to not follow anything that remotely resembles a lead.

Again, I think everyone’s internal compass tends to lead them away from tradition and what has supposedly worked for everyone else. I remember trying to teach people the art of fading into the scenery, not permanently but to earn enough respect that when it’s time to pick their battles, they will be given time on the playing field because they’ve earned it. But I have a hard time following my own advice.

Maybe that’s why the proverbial “they” also say that “those who can’t, teach.” It’s weird to be so full of ideals and yet I can kick anybody’s ass but my own. Well, I can and do, but it requires me taking every last blessed, available detour. I realize that I can spin stories like I’m 100 years old, but maybe it’s because I learn everything the hard way. Not necessarily by choice, but as an occupational hazard for being the person I am.

I can hide the scatterbrained, stubborn, evasive, distracted, easily bored parts of me, but they usually ooze out from behind their dungeon walls at triple the force than if I’d just let them have their rightful seat on the crazy train in the first place. I’m feeling that now.

My doctor was asking today about my coping mechansims. I love that woman. Her approach is so holistic that she’s equal parts clinician and psychoanalyst. She said that anyone who’s ever suffered a huge upheaval is prone to losing their entire grip and it’s sometimes better to learn new methods of healing instead of relearning the ones that didn’t work when we needed them most. And I realize in a BIG way that I lost my belief in myself that I could save me. Even though I DID save me, I attribute it to luck or the supernatural or what the fuck ever — just not to my own ability to scratch and claw my way back up to ground zero.

I very much fear that something dumb will again knock me back down. I expect everyone loves me and respects me and knows how damn lucky they are to know me. I seek to surround myself with equally irreplacable people. I want to believe that the universe will always have a safety net under the tightwire we might not recognize that we’re crossing sometimes. I want to not worry about asking for a lot more than survival as the month’s main achievement.

I remember telling a friend long ago that it bugs me that being single is such a crime in this world. We can’t as a nation allow same-sex couples to marry, but really, singletons make some folks just as uncomfortable as a happy couple holding hands if they don’t have different body parts.

I went to a restaurant by myself recently, only for the fact that I was en route somewhere and I was hungry and not planning to go to eat again till hours later. I walked in and people looked past me, wondering where the rest of my party was. I said, “One” for the table, and everyone looked uncomfortable. The server took me to the nearest small booth and asked nervously if I’d rather have a bigger booth.

I said, “No, this will be great. All of my imaginary friends will fit here just fine.”

She didn’t laugh. She looked terrified.

And I loved it.

I ordered my food, and the server was ridiculously attentive. I didn’t get the impression that she felt sorry for me or anything; I just wondered if their policy is to just get the lone diner out as fast as possible. The thing is, I don’t care. Well, I do — I’d rather be having good conversation and making plans or whatever, but I don’t mind being by myself. I happen to like me. Damn it. 😉 I’m an only child with an active imagination. I am NEVER lonely!

But that’s why I second-guess myself all the time. If I really, truly suck, I wouldn’t know. I don’t really trust that many people’s judgment anyway to listen to them even if they DID let me know that I don’t meet their standards. That’s why I love “House” — he might be an impossible asshole, but you’ve got to respect someone who defies convention and even outsmarts God, fer crissakes. 🙂

In any event, one of my bajillion goals in life is to never apologize for giving not only 100% effort, but also 100% personality. Scaling back on one means reducing the effectiveness of the other. And I don’t want to be known as anything or anyone less than what I am. Because that’s cheating the world of the potential I have to contribute to it.

2 Responses to I don’t care whether you like me. I like me. Damn it. ;)

  1. Tiff :

    You’re welcome to come watch the House premiere with me, btw. It’s on Tuesday at 8. 🙂

  2. Sabre :

    I could not imagine restricting myself to only a certain percentage. I put all of me into everything I say and do. Sometimes it bites me in the ass, but mostly, it all works out in the end.