Thursday, July 08, 2010

Why I'm an Oxymoron

When I first started this blog, it was my freshman year of college at Union.  I don't recall exactly what led me to start a blog; I believe my sister had one at the time and I thought, you know, I wouldn't mind letting people know some of my thoughts and what's going on in my life.  I've had a prayer journal for over ten years now, and I have also occasionally kept other journals with random entries and never regularly.  It's great to look back at my journals and see where I was at that time and what I was focused on or worried about.  It's also amusing, apparently, because when my fiance read some of old journal entries (I mean like 15 years ago old) he found it very amusing when I wrote about some guy stalking me that I did NOT like.  Yes, I was eight.  Yes, I remember that - that kid was creepy. 

Anyway, I've found a blog to be a conundrum.  Often I have gone months without writing a thing, because I cannot think of what to write.  Well, I can think of things to write about, but I find that I am afraid to post some things.  Like, poetry that is depressing (which is honestly about the only kind I write) or my opinions on certain political issues.  Why am I afraid, you may ask?

Because I don't want to disappoint you.

I'm big on disappointment.  I hate being disappointed, although I believe I am doing better at that.  I loathe the idea of being a disappointment, of being less than you think I am.  I keep things to myself because it's easier than having you misunderstand or judge me for it.  I was raised to worry about what people think, and as much as I try to deny that I do - I do.  Big time.  The standards I set up for myself often have more to do with others than me or God, and those standards are high.  Which means I often fall short of them.  Which means I am often disappointed with myself.  I am my toughest critic, by far. 

As for the reason I am an oxymoron...

I revel in not being what people expect.  I love shaking up expectations, throwing people off, showing a side they didn't think existed.  Maybe it's a joy in showing people that they don't know me as well as they thought they did.  I want to blow up stereotypes and throw down conventionality.  I want to be different, noteworthy, someone that sticks in your mind. 

Maybe everyone feels that way to some extent.  I don't believe myself to be alone in this clash of how to live my life.  These two ideas are not completely at odds, however.  I want to be different, yes, but who I am with different people changes - and that's where expectations come in.  Give me my conservative friends, and the conservative me appears, holding back certain thoughts that might offend or turn away.  Put me with my more liberal friends and I'll talk about anything - almost.  I have some friends that are quieter than others, with whom I become more outspoken; when spending time with those more boisterous, I recede somewhat and fade more into the background than the forefront. 

It makes me think of DID - dissociative identity disorder, or more commonly known as multiple personalities.  Fascinating stuff; read Sybil or watch "United States of Tara" if you ever get the chance.  The thing about the different personalities that someone with DID exhibits is that each personality is essentially a facet of that person's full personality.  The main focus of DID treatment is integration - integrating each separate personality into the full and true personality, which eventually becomes the whole person.  We each have varying facets of our personality that reveal themselves depending on the situation in which we find ourselves.  This is completely natural and I believe is actually a survival technique. 

I remember when I was getting ready to come to college, and I was so excited about the opportunity to meet an entirely new group of people that had no idea who I was, where I came from, or what kind of person I was.  I realized that as a result of this anonymity, I could be whoever I chose to be - more importantly, I could be the person I always was, the person that most people in my life didn't know because it might be disappointing.  Using that opportunity as best as I could, I made some incredible friends in college with whom I could be more myself than ever.  I found a (future) husband that is fully aware of who I am, probably more than anyone else in my life.  No, definitely more than anyone else.  And that is something worth fighting for.

So I want to be open about things, but I know that dropping all the walls more often than not leaves you more damaged than before.  I don't want to disappoint you, whoever you may be, but I want to be more than you expect.  There's so much I wish to say, but the need to meet your expectations overrides my desire to exceed them. 

Is it better not knowing?  I feel that if you know I hold things back from you that you will wonder what exactly those things are.  Maybe you'll just imagine the worst and throw it around in your mind until it becomes fact.  Trust me in this: I believe that I am protecting you.  I know how it is to be disappointed in someone, and how much pain that can cause. 

I don't mean to sound despairing, because I am not.  This is something I've thought over for years, the fight between being seen and being safe.  To end this lightly, I must say that I am so very thankful for Ryan, the man I waited for all my life, the man with whom I can be me

I'm so glad he is fine with my burping.  ;)