December 1, 2008

on being true to myself...

I've been thinking a lot about the type of person I am. I know that I consistently tend to over think things, and still this is one subject that is on my mind. Maybe it has something to do with my age? With this exact point in life?

I've always wanted to be one of those people who is completely and utterly genuine. Someone who doesn't shift and change depending on where they are or who they're with. I guess, in a way, it's a good thing when you're able to fit comfortably into most situations, to be a bit of a chameleon. And I think that I'm able to be like that, at this point in life. But I guess I just want to make sure that I'm not sacrificing my true self at the same time. Does that even make sense? It's rather hard to put into words, I guess.

And I think I'm pretty genuine. I try to be. But there are moments where I know I'm not being honest, not representing myself as accurately as I could. As accurately as I should.

It's funny how sometimes it's so easy to be completely real, but it just doesn't happen. Often times it's because of the environment I'm in, when my comfort level is a bit off. But mostly I find that much of it is based on who I'm with. Because, really? I just want to be liked. And not in the "I'm now going to shoot heroin into my eyeballs because everyone else is" sort of way. It's more along the lines of an "I really want to get along with you, no matter who you are" kind of thing. When I find something in common with someone, or something appealing about them, or something that makes me laugh, I completely latch onto it. And somewhere along the line, when I'm busy figuring people out and finding the bits and pieces about someone that helps me connect with them, I sometimes end up acting quite unlike myself. Or at least, a version of myself that simply isn't accurate. I know that last year I did a lot of that, for some reason. Twenty-two was a good year, but it was full of changes, personal discovery and a few things I wish I could do-over. Twenty-three was better. Twenty-four has been great, so far. This past year has been different because once I realized that I wasn't being completely true to who I knew I was, I immediately wanted a change.

At least I have that much going for me, right? I'm in a constant state of self improvement. Problem is, I wonder if I'll ever reach a point where I feel I'm there.

And at this point, here are the things I am sure of:

I know that I'll probably never feel completely like a grown-up, despite how many grown-up things I do. I'll clean the duplex, maintain a full time job, run errands, manage our money, get up early, stay up late, pay rent, attempt to be as responsible as humanly possible. But in my heart, I'll still feel like a little girl with her head in the clouds, who still likes to think that it's possible for things like fairies to exist, that wishes do come true and that love is everlasting.

I know that I do enjoy a good glass (or three) of wine, but I'm definitely not a party girl. I know so many people who seem to live that lifestyle like there's no tomorrow, but apparently I can't. And I'm completely okay with that. For a while, I just really wanted to be one of those girls (to a certain extent, mind you) but I realize that when it comes to being slightly tipsy, I'd rather be on my own couch, drinking seriously cheap wine, watching ridiculous television with my husband or one of the besties. I don't need to go out and drink at bars and then ultimately end up un-tagging myself from a bunch of unattractive photos on Facebook. (It's happened.) Sure, I have some great memories, especially with M and her group of friends, and not all of them ended up as regrets, but I've definitely had my share of, "Um, I said what?" moments. Definitely not the type of person I am. At all. And that's completely fine. I just need to remind myself of that when I am in certain situations. (I wish I had a shoulder angel sitting on my shoulder who could stab me in the neck with her tiny fingernails when I'm not making the right decisions. That would be quite convenient, if you ask me.)

I know that I'm most comfortable in my own skin, when I'm only in my skin. I tend to pick myself apart more when I'm wearing something and it makes me feel lumpy and bumpy. I like being able to look at myself as I truly am, and appreciate it. In the same way, I'm sure I'll never, ever feel like my stomach is flat enough, and I'll always love food too much to be a complete health nut, and although I have discovered a love for running, I know that I'll never be someone who consistently works out as much as they should. Also, I'm not going to be seriously tan ever, despite how hard I try. But lately I've looked at my fair complexion and quite liked it. I've decided that I need to stop looking at beauty magazines. Because you know what? That song was right. They make me feel ugly. Why do I give them that power?

I know that I'll never be a girl with designer handbags or a wonderfully eclectic style. I'm just...me. Happy enough in my tanks, jeans and locket necklace (that I wear pretty much on a daily basis). Sometimes I like to wear something slightly more eccentric, and I need to learn to be more confident in that.

I know that I'm happy when I'm alone. I can be alone, and be okay.

I know that I'll never be one of those girls with a huge group of friends. I've never been like that, really. It's more important to me, to know that I've made a strong connection with a handful of people. That's what friendship is to me. I just want to find people who will last. People who will always be there. People who truly understand me. I think that part of the reason for my being this way is having grown up with sisters. We were each other's best friends (even if at certain points we wouldn't have admitted it) for years. We never really had to look outside our own home for someone to play with, someone to confide in. Even now I count them as my best friends. And I know I've always felt satisfied with that, and known that I didn't have to go searching to find that in someone else. But I am thankful for the friends I have found, the friends who are there no matter what. They are truly my gems.

I know that I'll never be college-minded or career-minded. Well, in a certain sense. My dream job would be to work for myself, to sit around all day in a corner of our home, simply creating things. I may work for a corporate company at this point in life, but it's certainly not enough for me. Or maybe it's too much for me? I'd rather have more simplicity. A job where I feel like I'm truly doing what I love, and sharing it with others.

I know that I definitely want kids within the next several years, but right now? I'm genuinely okay with not having them in our immediate future. I love what Jay and I have right now. I love it. I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I found myself pregnant at this point in life, random baby-fever or not. And it is seriously irritating to me when people turn around and say, "Well, you're never really ready to be parents. It's never really the right time." So, you think we should just give it a go now, when we are perfectly content not having children? Gah. I hate when people think they are being wise, and instead, they are just making me want to sock them. Anyway, I have no doubt that I will know when the time is right. Honestly, that's how life has been for me thus far. And being a mother has always been on my great list of things to do in life. Always.

And I know I do have a lot to work on as far as truly loving myself, accepting the things I can't change. Writing down the things I am sure of certainly helps, though. And we'll see where the rest of twenty-four takes me. Hopefully it's in the right direction.

24 comments :

  1. that's really well written. i envy your self-awareness.

    i once jumped head on into every opportunity, despite whether it was truly "me" just to cram all of the experience i possibly could into my life so as to have no regrets...all in an attempt to become who I WANTED to be without regard to who i was underneath it all. years later, i have a ton of bona fide adventures under my belt, but i missed out on a lot of internal self-discovery at the same time... which is equally valuable, if not more.

    so congrats, you sound balanced and awesome.

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  2. What a wonderful post.

    I have been trying to be something I'm not lately, too.

    Wishing I had more friends, was more inclined to go out instead of being cozy at home. (And I'm with you on the sisters thing. They're probably be my best friends even now!) Wishing I was as driven in a career as I was in school. Wishing I was more stylish, more perfect looking, just more. Better.

    Most of all, I want to take time to slow down and listen to myself and God.

    It's been too long.

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  3. Beautiful entry. I loved reading it and comparing your little tidbits to my own tidbits. Really made me think about myself and if I'm being true to myself or not (I think for the most part I am, but as far as forming yourself into a situation, I do that too).

    As far as being ready for kids, I think people are crazy and that you WILL know when you are ready. You will BOTH know when you are ready. I think it is true that you will never be financially ready for kids, because things are always going to come up. But I do think that it is possible to get yourself into a good financial situation as far as babies go and then work from there. I've wanted to be a mother for years and we just knew we were ready right after we got married.

    You and Jay are having a wonderful time together, enjoy it! There is no rush to have kids. Take it from me, we took 10 years to get married and start our family ;) You'll know, sweetie.

    ((hugs))

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  4. I think that your self-awareness IS genuine!

    I agree with so many of the things you said about feeling insecure in clothes and trying to grasp and accept who I am. Sometimes I know that I like myself but I try to hard to convince others that they should like me too! And I find that it's exhausting, I just want to get to a point where I can just BE and not worry about what I'm doing/wearing.


    I think you have a great guy in Jay, who clearly loves you for YOU!

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  5. I always hate leaving comments on your posts because they always end up as the same "What a beautiful post, so well written". But, seriously woman. I just love reading your words- they always lift my moods.

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  6. It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of who you are and that you are aware of when you are being someone you are not. And yes you will know when you are ready for kids. Enjoy the time with your hubby and being young. We waited 9 years after getting married (after dating for 8 before we got married) and heard nothing but when are you going to have kids? We are so glad that we enjoyed each other for a while just the two of us and it gave us a great foundation for being parents. No matter what anyone says, you will know when you are ready. What you will not know until you have kids is a joy like no other. Look forward to it!

    Loved your post today (and every other day for that matter).

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  7. Ooookay, I'm kind of afraid to admit this ... (slinking in my office chair as we speak)...but this post made me tear up. It made me tear up because as I was reading, I felt as if I myself had written it, and I was rereading before hitting the publish button. It's comforting to hear that someone I look up to so much, feels the same way as I do.

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  8. I think we all feel like this pretty much all the time, it's just whether we truly give ourselves the time to think about it (m is right, you are amazingly self-aware, which is so awesome) and own it. Thanks for writing this post, it makes me feel like we're not all so alone in this thing called life.

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  9. Every time I read your post, you either take the words right out of my mouth before I can say them, or you are echoing my own thoughts.

    I so wish I had more friends. It's actually bugging me so much that I've begun having dreams about my old best friends from high school. I think there's just something about the bond between women. My husband is wonderful... he listens intently, but I need a girl friend.

    Sigh.

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  10. this was so wonderful for you to share. I just love your writing oh so much. you basically take every ounce of feeling that I feel and put it down on words. I feel like were on the same level as far as certain things. this is such a great and inspiring blog and i love reading it every chance I get.

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  11. Ok, so i know it is sick that people have been taking your blogs and putting them off as their own. it's rude, and unfair to you.. but you have such a way with words and to perfectly describe how sooo many of us are feeling i can see why it happens.. not to say it should happen.. just sayin' you are amazing, and sooo many of your posts i feel like you write them just for me.

    i love you.

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  12. I love this post. You really have a way to express yourself and it's so raw....

    On a side note...I feel like you...Not...like a grown up at all! I still feel like I'm playing house...

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  13. What a beautiful post.

    I think it is admirable that you do your best to be your true self. I think it's only human nature to emphasize certain aspects of our personality in order to find commonalities with others.

    But, having said that, I think it's always a worthwhile endeavor to strive to be more of the same person all of the time. Awhile back I realized that I wasn't doing anyone any favors by not being my self. Acting the same way towards everyone hasn't always worked out in my favor, but I find great comfort in knowing that I'm being genuine.

    (On a totally unrealted note, your blog design in beautiful! I love the simpplicity of it all).

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  14. I love this post, I have too many comments to really boil them down succinctly, but as long as you're trying to be true to yourself you're on the right track. It's not always easy, it's not what everyone else is done, but you're on the right track with it.

    Thanks for putting this out there.

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  15. Funny - I've been thinking about writing about a similiar topic in my own life...but can't force myself to be so vulnerable. I loved reading this. :)

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  16. I can completely relate on so many of these points. I've never been a partier, I've never had a big group of friends... and I've always known that being a mother was at the top of my ultimate to-do list.

    At times it's hard to feel so different than your peers even though you're just trying to be true to yourself. All parts of the ups and downs of life and discovering who we really are I guess.

    In my opinion, as far as a blog can show, you seem to have a truly beautiful, genuine soul :)

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  17. I just found you and I love your blog.

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  18. Incredibly well-said and very candid. Thanks for sharing those intimate parts of yourself. At 24 you have a hell of lot more figured out than many your age. I've got ten years on you and it took me waaaaay longer than 24 to figure most of it out. And the rest I'm still trying to work out.

    We are all a work in progress and what you said is absolutely the key - we have to be more forgiving of ourselves when we haven't lived up to some image in our head and also more accepting of who we are now and we have accomplished thus far.

    Thanks for reminding me of those things. They are too easy to forget!

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  19. Awww what a nice post :) I am like you in quite a bit of the things you said! I always feel kind of awkward around "party" type people...people who go to bars all the time and what not. Not them personally, but it's like they expect that I do all the too. No, apparently I'm lame. Psshhtt. I will have my glass of wine or beer over that any time ;)

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  20. that was so perfect, it's exactly what i'd have written....had I been writing it, whatever you get my point. And I always secretly think those party people REALLY wish they could be sitting at HOME having a glass of wine with a loved one, instead of searching for validation in a bar, or stranger....at least I did!

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  21. SO i'm pretty certain that deep down we are the same person. I am totally feeling the exact way you are right now. I'm constantly thinking about who I am and what I believe and who I am in Christ and all these things.... it's just tough. And I often feel as though I'm different when I'm around different people. But I'm deciding I like who I am best when I'm with Matt and wish I could just be myself... but I don't even know who "myself" is. CRAZY! LOL

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  22. It sounds so lovely. I think you are doing a great job at being true to yourself. :)

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  23. When are we going to meet up so we can analyze life together?! You are the cutest.

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  24. Hey good for you on the baby-fever! I was able to get mine in check. but I told Cale around Thanksgiving "I'm going to have a breakdown when Morgan has her baby. I'm going to want to make a baby RIGHT AWAY. So don't listen to me"

    And I did. And he said "You said you were going to do that" "Yep that's why I warned you"

    lol. But I agree I think it is definitely something that you CAN be ready for. And I definitely want to save more money before then.

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