Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who Am I?

This post is liable to be the start of a whole new series. Because I'm of course egotistical enough to think that "Who am I?" is a very complicated question. I'm heading this direction mostly because I have had occasion recently to look back at who I have been and be shocked and amazed and how much I've changed. I'm a very, very, very different person than I was 10 years ago. And I think in most ways the change has been good. But in some ways I need to stop and reevaluate who it is that I think that I am because now, apparently, some of my assumptions about myself are false.

So a while back Blogger added a new feature to my little dashboard called "Stats"that I have found endlessly fascinating. I can see how many hits my blog has had and when. I can see what posts are the most popular. I can see how people find my blog, what country they're from and what browser they're using. And I've been absolutely floored at the number of page hits I get.

I mean I'm definitely not getting anything huge but its still A LOT more than I thought I was getting (or would EVER get for that matter). And I've had some people follow me publicly that I don't even know. Ditto for my Twitter feed (which is @fleipaper btw). And this plus the strange levels of affection I receive from my crew on Evony has lead me to the VERY strange conclusion that people seem to actually like listening to me talk.

Because part of why I like to blog and twitter is it gives me the chance to run my mouth with out inflicting my talking on anybody. If somebody actually reads what I have to say then its totally self inflicted and I'm not forcing my blathering on some person. Because prior to now with real people I'd feel obligated to stop talking when they show signs of rigor mortis or the like but with this I can talk as much as my little heart desires and if they don't like it they don't have to read it. I think its just FANTASTIC.

And they are! Reading it! At least some of the time. Which means they actually want to hear me talk.

How weird is that??!

I say this is strange because for most of my grade school years I was that kid. The obnoxious one that ALWAYS had her hand in the air (I have impulse control issues) and I know for a fact that for long periods I think most of my classmates were thinking "For the love of all that is HOLY SHUT UP" and I"m moderately confidant that at least a few of my teachers thought the same thing.

I got this message through my thick head some where in middle school and thus began the years of challenge to find a balance. I discovered I had to be doing at least two things at once b/c either I would totally wander off and day dream and miss the whole lesson. Or I'd want to comment on everything. So I needed something to keep my hands busy so the brain could focus on the lesson with out feeling the need to talk and discuss it. In school I spent A LOT of quality time doodling. I learned how to finger spell in sign language so I could spell along with the lecture. I took up calligraphy. In college and church I'd even crochet and cross stitch my way through things.

College was a lot better mostly because the pace was faster. I wouldn't have time to get bored. That was the big problem in grade school. I was BORED. The teacher asked a question and refused to move on until somebody gave the answer. And for some completely retarded reason my fellow class mates decided knowing the answer was not cool and would therefore NOT speak.

So the teacher would stand there and stare until somebody would raise their hands. And ya know what? For me it was a agonizing battle - do I do the unpopular thing and annoy my fellow students and the teacher (who wanted to hear from someone OTHER than me) and give the answer so that we can move on so that I'm not bored or do I just sit there and try to sing songs in my head until somebody else gives in and I can finally learn something else?

I usually tried to limit myself to some arbitrary number - like I'm allowed to answer no more than 2 questions in class today and then space them out so as to help alleviate the pain. Honors classes helped with this A LOT but still college was SO much better because they'd usually move so fast I'm taking notes for all I'm worth and I don't have time to get bored. And they usually don't ask stupid questions either.

I did have the problem in class if I read the book in advance, which I tried to do to keep up but then it would create this problem of, I'd keep up a running commentary under my breath on what I'd like to say if I could raise my hand.

Yes I am a freak of nature and I have Issues. We know.

Usually it worked just fine unless the prof had dang good hearing because I have to sit front and center because I am half deaf. And then some professors would find it more than slightly annoying and I'd really have to watch myself. Or just not read the book in advance so I wasn't anticipating the direction of the conversation and making the connections under my breath.

Which of course created the problem of getting behind. Because I swear I'm either ON the ball or horribly behind. There is no in between. My house is that way too. Either the room is perfect or the room is a disaster area. I don't quite know how that happens but it does.

But I digress because the point here is that for most of my life people were asking where the "OFF" button was to my motor mouth and then I started to have a very peculiar experience in college. When I'd make a comment in a group of people.... they would smile. And laugh. And later even, sometimes, thank me for my thoughts. This was a strange experience.

And now there are people who tell me that they like my blog. And they're rather emphatic about it. I have a guy friend online who describes listening to me rant as "relaxing" and enjoys it. And I wonder what it is exactly that people like so much. Usually when asked I get the response "I like the way you talk."

Which is just perplexing because growing up I got told repeatedly that I "talk funny". And I have no idea what it was I said or how I said it that was so "funny" but I got that all through out my youth. That or they'd declare my an arrogant beotch. That happened more in middle school and early high school.

Which lead to me making jokes about my being fat or dumb because if I made fun of me first then they would laugh and I wouldn't get called a fat arrogant bitch. Which happened. More than once.

The problem was that after several years of being told that, and calling myself that. I started to believe it. I had roughly the self esteem of a gnat and some remarkable door mat like personality characteristics and a nice dose of codependency too.

I really truly believed that I was dumb, or maybe even average intelligence and I just worked hard. I wasn't any smarter than anybody else. I've now determined that is a complete crock of manure. I would say I'm statistically significantly more intelligent than the average population. At least one standard deviation above the norm. I'm not sure if I'd credit myself with more than that but I'm there for sure.

And don't you dare accuse me of being arrogant. I'm still not saying I'm better than anybody. I am saying that I can learn faster than some people. And I don't think that makes me the bees knees or anything its just being aware of my abilities so that I know how best to use them. And also in being aware of how I differ from other people I have better expectations of what other people can and cannot realistically do.

Also, while I might weigh more than I want to, I do think I look good. I like that I have curves. No matter how much weight I lose I will still be SERIOUSLY curvy. And I like it. 

Momma got some junk in the trunk. And she likes it.

I now actually like the shape of my own hind quarters. Do you have any idea how MASSIVE a mental shift that is for me? I used to LITERALLY burst into tears after looking in the mirror. I also think I'm pretty. I never used to think that. I think I'm getting more attractive as I get older. That or I've always been attractive and I'm just now seeing it.

No I don't think I'm all that and a bag of chips. But I do think I've got some good things going for me. Which is a huge, massive, giant change from my teen and young adult years where I was sure I was so ugly I should probably go around with a bag over my head and no man could possibly ever want me or find me attractive because I was so grotesquely fat and I was going to die alone.

No there was no drama there either.

I can go out in public with no make up on and see a mirror and not wince. I do still really want my make up if I'm meeting some one new (the whole "first impressions are most important" thing) or actually if I'm feeling sad or insecure and I need to hide that for some reason. Its like my war paint. With it I can face anything. With out it, we're good for daily living. lol. Used to be I religiously applied it every morning. Not anymore.

And since I think this is approaching novel length now I'll stop for now.

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