Friday, March 6, 2009

Trying To Be Me (Originally published on 11.17.2008)

Time to be brutally honest.

I am incredibly self conscious. It has reached a crippling level and now that my bipolar is manageable I have to move on and tackle this. I am finally figuring out why. For a majority of my life I have tried to be someone else. I am constantly pinging the people around me to mimic their actions, clothes, tastes and so on. This is left over from growing up with parents who really didn’t know how to be parents. I was never enough. Either I needed more makeup or different clothes or I “had so much potential” and I was “being lazy” because I did nothing with it. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. I was never really encouraged to do anything. When I decided to take up the violin in grade school I had to use the “extra” violin because my parents refused to buy me one. My mother was convinced I would give up on it. So I did. My parents never really had me play in front of them. I do remember playing at Christmas but I think that was about it.

Even writing became daunting when I entered English class because I wasn’t using correct grammar. I put commas in the wrong place, I wasn’t using correct prepositional phrases, I put apostrophes in the wrong place and so on. So I stopped that for awhile too. I could never seem to get anything right. In 1st grade we did this exercise where the teacher would show us words and we had to draw what it was. I used colors because I think in colors. When I saw the word cat I colored a blob of yellow and orange. I had to stay in for recess because my teacher thought I was being a “smart alec”. So I learned to mimic the people around me so I wouldn’t stand out. I wouldn’t be picked on. I forced myself to think in images and to not let the colors come through. I am just now letting my brain meander where it wants be it color or no. In fourth grade, this girl said she liked my bracelet so I took it off and offered it to her. She was incredibly uncomfortable and started pointing me out as a “freak”. Very few material positions really mean anything to me, they never have. When I played with my Barbies I would create these fantastical adventures that were so complicated I got my guy friends to play become involved; they wanted to see where the story would end up.

Also, if this isn’t telling of what my childhood was like, I don’t know what is. Instead of playing house, my best friend and I would play bartender. We would take turns mixing soda and “talking grown up talk” and such.

High school was incredibly hard for me. I hung out with “the wrong crowd” (dude, today I am the quotation mark queen today) but never really participated with their activities. I never had sex, a half bottle of tequila made me wary of alcohol for a long time, and I’d never snuck out that often. I of course indulged in the “hippy lettuce” but stopped once I found my mom and dad’s stash. My parents were never around and the only time they were you could be sure there would incredibly loud arguments. It was always about money. My mom would go on these absurd shopping sprees (gee I wonder what THAT’S a symptom of…) and we didn’t have the money to cover a third of her whims. I would usually end up hiding underneath my covers or in my closet because one of them would always come in and end up taking their anger out on me.

Now, I’ll be the first to say my childhood wasn’t that bad. However, I tend to think in extreme terms. I wasn’t like a child called it, and I wasn’t starving or locked in a room some where. But I’m accepting that a lot, if not all of my issues stem from them. A lot of what I think is inconceivably wrong. I am in the process of re-learning EVERYTHING I know. I have to learn to switch off the vile voice in my head that criticizes everything I do. I just learned this weekend that it is not “normal” to have this voice all the time. I started crying because I always thought that everyone had this voice and I just wasn’t strong enough to stop it. I now have the hope that one day I can switch it off and just be me.

Speaking of being me, I always had trouble fitting in. I would like so many different activities people couldn’t place a label on me and it drove them nuts. In high school I would hang out with the “losers” but be friends with some of the most straight-laced people I ever met. I was a total drama geek but wasn’t in many plays. I listened to electronica but went to very few raves. People tried to pigeon hole me as a “raver” or “candykid” but I didn’t try ecstasy until I was out of high school. I also loved classical and alternative music. High school is where you learn to place labels on people. They’re all supposed to have a certain niche that they fit in. I never really did. My parents never encouraged me to be myself so I hid a lot. I do these weird abstract drawings and when I showed my grandma who lives up in Canada she sent me these amazing water color pencils for Christmas. I still have them. They’re almost untouched because I treasure the fact that someone encouraged me to do something.

Well, I’m sick of trying to be a certain type of person. I’ve been obsessed with trying to be more “hipster like” because I envied their ability to just be. But as I meet more and more of them I realize that most of what they do is for other people. They’ve spent thousands of dollars on college and do nothing with the degree. They bitch and moan about their lives but do nothing to improve them. The only time they ever take action or participate in something is if it threatens the way they live. Now, I’m not saying that all of them are like this. This is just something I’ve been noticing more and more with the people that I come across.

Fuck that.

I want to be me for me. I want to make the music that’s in my head and not tell myself I’m too old to start it (I’m 25). There is so much stress in our society to do everything while you’re young. Take Britney Spears for example. They said she was washed up before she reached 30. It’s fricken ridiculous. You’re supposed to act a certain way at a certain age because that’s what the norm does. Screw it. I’m not going to go with the norm and I’m not going to go against it. I’m going to be me for me.

This weekend I got my hair dyed purple and brown. I’m not a punk, I didn’t do it to be a badass. I did it because it’s the only color I’ve never really had in my hair. I work in the financial district and man oh man did some heads turn this morning. But instead of feeling self conscious I just grinned. I like to have crazy colors in my hair. We have the ability to have the color of sunsets on our heads but people are afraid to because they’re afraid of being looked down on.


I’m learning to not care what other people think of me. I have amazing friends that think I’m awesome just the way I am. I will admit that lately I feel like I’m not living up to their expectations of awesome but… that’s completely irrational (me irrational? Surely you jest….). They like the fact I laugh like I’m choking, or will get people to dance on an empty floor by dancing like a tard. They like the weird jibber jabber that comes out of my mouth and my quirky akwardness around attractive boys. They like me for me. The like when I’m not playing for a crowd, when I’m not trying to be a people pleaser. They like what they saw when I let them truly see who I am.

And that my friends is what makes this whole world worth it. That’s what keeps me going when I’m at my lowest low. I have made a family out of complete strangers that love me for me. I can not express how incredibly grateful I am.

*note I know this isn’t all external like my last post but hey inner reflection can be good too. And you know that I will find myself in another misadventure soon… the turkeys are out to get me man. I have to prepare for the final turkey battle.

FINISH HIM! *feathers fly everywhere* Guess who’s thanksgiving dinner, bitch?

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