Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Me Vs. Me

      There's the person I want to be and the person I am.  There may even be a few others, such as the person I think I am and the person other people see.  Perhaps the actual me is the amalgamation of all of those people.  That's probably true, actually.  I fit somewhere between this person who actually does what I do and say and this person who thinks she does and says things slightly different.
     I often end up disappointed in myself.  This is an interesting sense of disappointment because on one hand it is incredibly personal and damaging.  On the other hand, other people aren't aware of it and if you don't make a big deal of it and learn from it, you can move on pretty unscathed.
     I don't read as much as I'd like to.  I do, however, pretend I read a lot.  If you were to peer into my apartment, you would see evidence of a reader.  I have a few bookcases full of books in my living room.  In the bedroom, I have a stack of books next to my bed and another short stack next to my TV.  Also, most of these are not light reading; you would assume I'm a serious reader.  It's bullshit.  The truth is, I just never put books away.
     I want to be a reader.  I'm jealous of all the people who have read all the books on their shelves, who exit bookstores with stacks of books and then actually take them home and read them.  I used to be a reader, which is why I have all the books I have.  I like the idea of reading; I even like the act of reading.  I don't know what the trouble is anymore.  Every time I stare at the books I've started with their bookmarks in them, I'm disappointed in myself.  I wallow a bit in the idea I might be getting dumber.  But then I try to start over, pick up another book, read a little more (bird by bird) and I suppose I come out the other side relatively unscathed.
     I'm not overtly professional.  At times I attempt to put on airs that might indicate I am.  I own a few suits and I have on occasion worn them to places.  This is, of course, bullshit.  I would like to wear jeans, flip-flops, a t-shirt, and a hoodie every day.  I understand how to pretend to be professional, but I'm not really it myself.  I pretend it's a switch I can turn on and off.  It's not really, as I've learned from experience.
     This also leads to a certain sense of class and poise I'd like to think I have.  I actually have very little class.  I look down on cheap beer and short skirts, but I have no basis for doing so.  Sometimes I pretend I'm demure, but then I eat an entire pizza.  Ah, fancy restaurants.  I try them out and pretend I belong, but it doesn't always go well.  Recently someone said very earnestly "can you believe we used to eat at Taco Bell?"  And I responded, also quite earnestly, "Um, yes.  Because Taco Bell is fucking awesome.  And I assume by 'used to' you mean yesterday."
     Pretending I don't like Taco Bell is pretending to be someone I'm not.  And herein lies that giant chasm between the person I am and the person I think I am.  I think I've become a person who reads, carries herself professionally, enjoys the finer things, wakes up at a respectable hour, and uses her gym membership.  None of those things are true.  Left to my own devices I'd watch hours of TV, sleep till noon, and eat hot dogs for most of my meals.  I'd only run if being chased.  I am not who I think I am. 

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