Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Lesson in Honesty: An Introduction

You don't know this, but I'm a nice person. It's true. I have been for as long as I can remember. And it may very well be that I don't give the people in my life enough credit for diversity, but I think if you asked most of them to describe me, the words they use would pretty much follow the same trend:








And a slew of other descriptives that would make me feel proud and happy and loved and that would fill my heart with warm fuzzies that radiate through my body and force me into a state of perpetual blush.

But I like to think there's more to me. Sometimes I'm kind of funny. I'm certainly silly. Wit rarely escapes me and I don't believe that I missed the day when God was dishing out scoops of sarcasm.

I don't think my friends would fail to mention those things because they deny me them, or because they think I'm one-note, it's just because those first qualities are the ones that I think shine through best for me. I have too big a heart sometimes - like the Grinch at the end of that Christmas special, though I'm pretty sure that worked out for him, so I'm hopeful that it'll work out for me, too. I'm terribly empathetic and I was once told that a weakness of mine was that I "cared to a fault."

To be perfectly honest, I also have a tendency to undervalue myself, so maybe I'm having a hard time believing that people see sides of me that are probably more debatable. This is something I recognize, so I'm working on it. That whole list of nice things that I've imagined people would say about me? That has nothing to do with conceit or pride - it's an exercise in self-worth and you aren't allowed to judge me for it. Even if it is self-prescribed.

But because of my little complexes, I don't always go out of the way to share some of the random thoughts and ideas in my head. Unless I get caught up in the heat of conversation and they jump out of my mouth, I tend to keep a lot of them to myself. Of course, there is a small list of people who are infected with or carriers of the type of crazy gene that can handle the things that run through my brain. These are people who will grab an idea by one end and hand me the other so that we may frolic with it through fields of oddities and off into the sunset of insanity.

They're the type of people who don't even question that there are fields of oddities and sunsets of insanity in existence.

One of them makes me want to share my crazy more than usual. I don't know why, but he brings it out in me. I think he actually might see the silly traits more than the list traits. I'm really not sure, but I'll never ask. It's just how I am. Scared of some people's opinions about myself for reasons I don't fully understand. Lacking curiosity.

One day I found myself afraid that I was overloading him with text messages of my random thoughts and bits of insanity. I have a problem in that I'm intuitive and also paranoid. Those two things don't exactly work well together. I try to imagine what someone is thinking and then all my paranoid thoughts creep in. Here, I think they must hate me and be really tired of my name flashing across the screen of their phone with these substance-less messages. But I want to talk to them because they have fun responses and I really think they get me and I try to tell myself that I'm just being unreasonable because it takes more than some text messages to make a person hate you. Then I remember that a lot of the time I'm right about what people are thinking because I know people. But he probably doesn't hate me. Though I could certainly be annoying him. Then I get panicky again because I don't want to be the source of any bad feeling. And I have to force my better sense and good judgement to kick in. Force myself to calm down. Force myself to breathe. And to remember that there is a ton of noise in the communication model when the medium is text. Because applying a bit of comm major knowledge will somehow help battle the irrational thoughts.

Random non-existent blog reader: Excuse me, your crazy is showing.

I know. I'm sorry. But ya know what? It's gonna happen. And if you think I'm crazy, that's okay. I already kind of told you that I am. And maybe my issues will make you feel better about your own mental and emotional stability.

And I promise that I'm mentally and emotionally stable and I'm not trying to be offensive in any way. I just am really kind of bad at me sometimes. I'm great with you. I'm working on me. This blog is a lesson in honesty. Another self-prescribed treatment for some of my collective issues.

But a la Sophia Petrillo, I digress.

I don't want to be a bother to anyone. So to assuage the thoughts in my head, I followed up a (well received) text message with one that asked if my friend was okay with the text messages I send him.

He said he was. He said he liked random thoughts. It made me feel better.

Still, I told him that my other option would be to get a journal and write things down. And you know what? He said I should. Not as a way to deter me from sharing my thoughts with him (I think), but just as a suggestion. What follows is part of the conversation that we had about my thoughts. It's a mini-adventure through a meadow of silliness. It's also one of the first things I wrote down:

Him: You should write a book.

Me: I should! I'd call it "A Book of Ramblings: The Nonsensical Thoughts of a Woman Gone Bored. (Familiar, huh?) 

Him: Good title.

Me: Thanks. I think if I ever got it published it would be a book that people might thumb through aimlessly and maybe carry around for a minute before they changed their minds about wanting to buy it.

Him: It would be a bathroom read.

Me: I can see that. And that could help me market it to bookstores. “What? You don’t want to give me space for my book? Well, how about just buying one - for the bathroom! Think about it. You know you want to.” It’ll be a slow selling process, but I can do it.

Him: You could.

Me: You're good at this, you should be a consultant!  

Him: Maybe. Sounds interesting.

Me: Doesn’t being a consultant just sound like a really fun title for a person to be able to go around giving their opinion? Think about the advantages! If someone tried to be snarky about not needing your opinion, you could just be like, “Woah. No need to get snippy. I was just offering my professional advice. It’s what I do - I’m a CONSULTANT.”

Him: Hells yeah!

Me: I think now I’ve talked myself into wanting to be a consultant. “Consultant/Bathroom Reader Novelist.” I could handle that.

So that short exchange is what kick-started this. Not any real fancy to be a Bathroom Reader Novelist (Though if the opportunity every arose, I'd take it in a heartbeat because, seriously, who wouldn't want that title on their business card?), but rather a need to write about some of the things that go on in my head. A desire to alleviate some of the surges of thought minutiae that flood friends' inboxes, and to maybe give myself a different outlet. And the encouragement of a friend who probably didn't realize what an impact it could have on me.

And I think this really can be a lesson in honesty. Because I found myself freaking out a little bit while writing it. Because it's hard to be honest about yourself. It's hard to let anyone, even non-existent blog readers, inside your head. To let people know and put it out there that you're not always so strong, and that you, too, have moments of neurosis. Because you're supposed to be so well adjusted and you're supposed to hide your crazy. And you worry if you show your crazy, people won't come to you when they need help. But you want to help them. Because you love them. Because you can help them. And because helping them helps you. Grounds you. Keeps you who you are.

Yeah, there are a lot of thoughts. They don't always make sense and they jump around and oftentimes seem to lack almost any rhyme or reason, but they're mine. And I'm working through them.

I warned you that it wouldn't always be funny.

But I think I can make you this promise: there will be hope. Nothing is ever without it. I'm the eternal optimist. So even if you feel like I'm ending a post on an unfinished note. If you think I'm in a place with a forecast of seemingly endless intervals of sunshine and rain, I promise that I'm okay. And if you know that I'm okay, you know that you'll be okay. Because I want that for you. And I'm really good at you.

Update/Post Blog Post Thought: Maybe if there are no blog readers, then I'm the non-existent blog reader. Which means that by separating myself from my thoughts, I can actually help myself because I'm good at everyone who isn't me. And either that works or I give myself a serious case of split personality disorder.

I don't even know if that's something you can give yourself, but I'm very impressionable.

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