Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not so perfect me

Immediately after I wrote my last entry, I thought to myself that it sounded a little arrogant. As if I were saying that I can do anything. That is not what I meant at all.  I am in touch with the reality that there are lots of things I can’t do.   My last post was more about my overall positive outlook on trying new things. And my sometimes naive idea that nothing bad will happen.  So to even out the cosmic blog karma, here's a list of things I am not good at.


Do people even call it that anymore? I could never pull off that kind of exercise class where your arms and legs had to do something different at the same time. To be truthful, I couldn’t even manage getting my legs to do the right steps. Lift, step, kick, step back, lift.  I couldn't follow and was probably as graceful as a cow in high heels.

I believe it has to do with thinking.  I'm fine with coordinating my limbs to jump up and hit a volleyball (which I used to be very good at.)  But that is mindless action.  I'm not thinking about what to do with my left leg or how to position my right arm.  I'm just doing.  The aerobics classes required me to think too much about how I was moving and my body wanted nothing to do with that.  My body is smart sometimes.  I should listen to it more.


I am WAY to practical and detail-oriented to ever be successful at selling. If I were trying to sell a bottle of water to a guy who had just emerged from twenty days in the desert, I’d bore him to death with the mundane facts about the water bottle and make sure he knew all of the issues facing him should he choose to make the purchase.  And if it didn’t seem like a good idea for them to buy it, I’d probably tell them that too.  He'd wander back into the desert - still thirsty - just to escape my pathetic sales pitch.


Not that I have ever tried this but I am pretty sure I could never do it. I’m a little bit claustrophobic, so the idea of squeezing myself through small passages in cold, wet caves makes me very, very nervous.  I used to read Outside magazine and there were stories of extreme cave explorers that fascinated and horrified me at the same time.  They wouldn't just explore caves by walking and crawling around them like normal lunatics.  They would go diving with specially-made rebreathing scuba gear into deep, unknown, water-filled caverns.  They needed the rebreathing gear because it allowed them to stay underwater for much longer periods of time - because they had NO IDEA where any of the caves would lead, or how long they would have to be underwater.  I shudder just thinking about it.  Here's a link to a story about that from 1996 if you want to freak yourself out.

Being myself

This should be an easy one, right?  Who else would I be?  But I have always had a hard time sharing myself - my true and real self - with others.  At some point when I was growing up, I seemed to get it in my head that my role in life was to be the good girl who never rocked the boat.  I was incredibly adept at hiding what I was really thinking or feeling.  I was an expert level pretender.  We are talking first round draft pick material, people.  If they had an Olympic event for it, I would have been looking like Micheal Phelps with stacks of medals hanging off my chest (or Mark Spitz, if that's your era.)  It became so ingrained in my personality that I really and truly did not even KNOW what I was feeling most of the time.  I took my cues from everyone around me and did my best to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be.

That is one of the reasons I struggled so much in college.  Up until that point, my world had been a place where I knew my role and was pretty damn good at it.  When I went off to college, suddenly no one was around to tell me who I was supposed to be.  I was so used to defining myself by the expectations of others, I had no idea what I really felt or wanted.  I was lost.

In the twenty years since then I've managed figure some things out and I am pretty confident about who I am.  But I still struggle to show myself to people.  I seem to have the most trouble with people I am closest to.  On most days, I could not care less what strangers think of me.  But I still find myself feeling like I have to meet some expectation with people closest to me.  Always be okay.  Always be fine.  Always be good.  Even when I feel like total shit.  I know that it is something I do to myself and I am working on changing it.

This blog has helped.  I am better at expressing myself in writing than I ever am in person.  And I can write something revealing or difficult and then shut off the computer and go dive under the covers and hide.  Time to take cover.


Bethany said...

I LOVE your new blog header. Gorgeous and all photos you took. Perfect. Silly you and spelunking and aerobics. Yeah, me too. As for being yourself, I can understand why the struggle. That makes perfect sense about college too. I love your self and ever bit of it you feel brave enough to share.

Jennifer said...

I am so entertained by your writing. While reading this I had flashbacks of my unsuccessful foray into step aerobics. I think I lasted one class. And spelunking kind of scares me too. I'm sure I would probably get wedged somewhere and emerge like 4 days later after losing enough weight to finally free myself.

I don't have any awesome links to leave you like you have left for me, so I will just leave my appreciation. I hope you keep writing about yourself and your experiences because it's really great stuff!

Oh - and I love the weekly meditations too!

grasshopper said...

Thanks so much!

Ha! Cave weight loss - the new diet sensation. Great idea.