What hides inside

I speak often of finding oneself, but some days, forgetting is the next-best thing.

Now, I am not talking about not upholding one’s personal grace and mannerisms. (For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume ours are simply impeccable.) Nor am I speaking of blurting out the crazy things that cross our minds that we try desperately to trap within our clenched jaws when we’re squelching some type of emotional reaction (or controlling the Fist of Death(TM) from reaching out and choking someone).

My anger issues really surface sometimes, don’t they? 😉

I am one of those hyper-aware people. Not even so much that I am ridiculously attuned to everybody around me, although I do have my “on” days in that regard every now and again. But I know all my idiosyncrasies enough to try to disguise myself as a “normal” person at every possible opportunity — oftentimes to compensate for one of those pesky “real” moments that slips through unfiltered.

What’s funny is that when someone else catches one of my “real” moments in progress, he or she might view it as an abberation — a “boy, she lost her mind for a second there” assumption. And I let them think that — lest my Outer Poise be written off as the true abberation, which I often believe it to be. I find that the people who find me easiest to read don’t know the first thing about me, yet those who indicate that I am the slightest bit complex oftentimes have the most access to the truth but don’t have the first idea about how to verify that.

In any event, I find that I’ve been attracting people lately. And I just don’t get it — I haven’t put myself “out there” in quite some time, and I am feeling anything but attractive anymore. And while I will always take care with my cosmetics and my color-coordination, I get my moments of feeling like it’s a lost cause, some days. But on days when I know I pulled together a work of art — or I just don’t give a shit what anybody thinks because I did my best, damn it — I get all the attention in the world.

When I forget to put up the barriers, more people see me. And they want to get closer, learn more, absorb whatever specialness they seem to see me emanating. When I get outside of my head, I actually start to notice this newfound attention.

I tend to assume people are either looking past or through me or, worse, looking at me in some type of judgment. Not like I wouldn’t have a snappy comeback for any and all of them, but the fact of the matter is that I judge myself before anybody else gets the opportunity. And my inner judge? Should marry Simon Cowell. But when the judge takes a couple of days off, I become so much more pleasant to be around, apparently — so much so that I have men in traffic honking at me and men in malls following me, trying to get me to say hello. It’s fascinating, really, when I don’t automatically think, “Who, me?” when someone attractive flashes me a winning smile and wants me to respond in kind.

Now, if I would just be brave enough to give someone my real phone number, life would be good. 🙂 Old habits are hard to break, y’know?

I like forgetting myself, when what I am forgetting is everything that holds me back from being myself. ‘Cause I do think the Inner Me is bursting full of life, enthusiasm, concern, grace. She’s just been hiding for so long that she forgets that other people can see her sometimes — and that they want to see her again. As long as the world continues to be receptive, maybe she will take a recurring performance role until she’s comfortable enough to resume the role permanently.

It’s amazing what hides inside — what the world has scared into submission or that we’ve voluntarily squelched. Too often, we lock that person away until it either dies or decides to burst out in old age, when our filters go away and we have enough “elder” respect that we can say and do whatever the fuck we want without anyone daring to challenge us. Youth really is wasted on the young — and we shouldn’t lose our originality and our je ne sais quoi, because the real beauty is on the inside, and it becomes even more breathtaking when the sunlight nurtures it.

On iTunes: Beth Nielsen Chapman, “Sand and Water”

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