Create Fearlessly

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Today I was flipping through this Moleskine reporter’s notebook I frequently use to jot down random ideas and I found a quote I had taken the time to not only write down, but to note the author, book, and page number. I suppose I thought I may need to use the snippet eventually.

“So, this above all: Find your own voice.” Christopher Hitchens in Mortality, page 50.

I have this idea for a story that may not be as completely original as I think it is, but I have certainly never read it, and I want to. Unfortunately, I have realized my idea might be becoming a bit of a Sci-Fi adventure and I know very little about the genre.

Are there still truly original ideas, or is everything simply either satire or pastiche? Yep. I learned a new word, AND I took notes on three of the possible meanings. I also read a couple of things discussing the concept. 

I don’t want to write some silly little story. I did that in college and my instructor gave me a C- on one of my favorite stories from my adolescence. He said it was trite and I should work harder to write something more significant.

What if trite is all I can manage? How can writing bring me so much joy and leave me terrified all at the same time? It seems genuinely and dramatically unfair. Now I want you to imagine me running into my bedroom and dramatically flinging myself on the bed facedown and sobbing until someone notices my need for more attention and comes to console me as I protest the injustice of my personal insecurities. 

I have been mulling over this idea for about 15 months or so. While I was working on a different idea I finally thought of a possible way to solve the problem I was having with how to introduce a certain situation in the story. Which was a bummer, because it was the thing making the whole story possible. 

I think I have finally figured out why “Only the good die young” and how to explain fate and the secret of life. Turns out, it’s not just a good cup of coffee. Despite my inability to believe in the popular religious explanations of our creation and our death, I may have found a way to explain the purpose of it all.

I feel like I have been searching for an explanation for my entire life and when I was unable to find an existing one I decided to come up with my own. I don’t imagine it is much different from Joseph Smith and his golden tablets. Oh! Except I invented mine. There was no revelation or scripture delivered to me. Phew. That would have been awkward. 

So, in light of the absence of divine intervention, I am going to try to tell the story in my voice. The way I write and think. I am going to tell the story I have been working on all this time.

Worst case scenario?

Someone will call it trite instead of funny, clever, or original.

Best case scenario? I write my story and I am proud of it. That rarely happens.

Wish me luck! No. Wish me courage.

I just need to Create Fearlessly.

Robots chase me

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My mind is somewhere else, juggling an ever-growing to-do list, listening for my pager, and checking my phone for the latest information about the world when I hear a loud whirring and impatient beeping behind me. Turning my head slightly to evaluate the potential risk for being run over by some random vehicle in this deserted hallway, I see an unoccupied filing cabinet racing along behind me. 

Holy shit! The office furniture is alive and it seems pissed. What the hell is this? My pace quickens and I race to the nearest stairwell to escape certain death. 

I have no idea what this giant box on wheels is doing. I have no idea where it has been or where it is going. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’m certainly not going to ask anyone, what if this is simply a figment of my overactive, stressed out imagination? These people rely on me to make important decisions. Life and death stuff. I can’t let them think I am insane. My pager goes off and I promptly forget about my near-death experience. 

A few days later I see the box again, I am less startled and decide it must be no big deal. No one else even acknowledges its presence. I am obviously insane. Later that afternoon I see the box tucked into a little alcove in the hallway. It doesn’t occur to me it is the same murderous stalker I’ve been nervous about. It’s simply part of the environment. 

Later that day I see a woman typing a code into the keypad and see her open the door and remove a large stack of papers. This must be a medical records storage device of some sort. That night when the hallway is empty I stop to examine the device. Ah-ha! It’s like a Roomba! 

Now, so many questions remain. Where does this thing go? Does it go up to the floors? Can it maneuver in the elevator? Why did they purchase this? Is it really saving that much time? Who can I ask about this without seeming ridiculous? 

Furthermore, I find it moderately disconcerting no one would warn people of the automated robots who may be chasing them. 

Am I in danger of a hit and run? Can this machine sense when someone is standing in front of it? It appears heavy. It could really hurt someone. I am now convinced this is a machine of death. Just one more reason hospitals are indeed dangerous places. 

Did someone lose their job to this aggressive box of bolts? Who performs maintenance on this contraption? What is this all about? 

So many questions. No answers. I feel the need to investigate this further. To quote most of my favorite studies: further research is indicated. 

Diner Conversations

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The waitress is looking for a screwdriver. A Phillips screwdriver in particular. Thankfully, there is a group of what can only be described as “good ol’ boys” sitting behind me. One of them gets up because he has a screwdriver in the truck. 

The day has been saved. 

Now one of them is regaling the group with a horrifying story of a seventeen year old “punk” who shot and killed a Marine. Apparently, when the boy was questioned he had a “shit-eating grin,” and then he confessed. The boy’s parents were charged as accessories to the crime. There is something about a car that was stolen. This car is now “sitting on my lot.” 

These guys are now discussing the price of holding a car in impound. Apparently, it costs $111 to hookup to a car and only $18 per day. If you are overcharged you have to pay the bill then turn in the impound lot that overcharged. 

Now, the story is starting over and his friends are loudly telling him to “shut the hell up.” They don’t remember this incident and I don’t think they are buying his story. 

Now they are discussing John and Adam Walsh. This is proving to be a pretty interesting conversation. 

He got sidetracked. He wants to talk about Dan Brown books now. This is apparently the most literary conversation these guys have. 

Wait for it…. He just said “I shit you not.” 

My day has been made. 

PS: forgot to post this back in August when it was relevant. So, now it’s just a hilarious memory from Oklahoma. 

Rockstar Superhero

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I have been walking around all day with a ridiculous grin on my face. I have felt confident, competent, and strong. 

This morning was my first day at my new Locum assignment. I had no trepidation or fear when I waltzed into the hospital with no idea where to go. I had a strut in my step and felt open to meeting any new person I contacted. 

I spent some time last night talking to a potential suitor I have been texting. He was charming and funny. Pretty much knocked my socks off. I didn’t feel like I needed to watch what I said or put on some mask of the girl I thought he would be interested in. Nobody has time for that shit. People either like me for me… or I am not their cup of tea. It’s not that big of a deal. 

Then I met the doctor I was working with today. She’s a force of nature. After a little while she put her glasses on and turned and peered at me. Her eyes opened a little wider and she said, “Oh! You’re a pretty girl!” I was pretty much struck speechless. Not sure why she was surprised… but okay. 

The day went fantastic. I loved the view out the window and the job was challenging and fun. I felt like I knew what I was doing! On the first day! Holy crap! 

At the end of the day we were wrapping up and she called me confident and told me how great that is. Once again dumbstruck, I just laughed and sashayed out the door. 

More flirting and fun chatting with The Spy. He’s not really a spy… but I think he could be. Hehe. And he thinks I am cute with nice eyes. So, I have pretty much been blushing all day. 

Met a hairdresser who said my hair is fantastic and she would love to do my blowouts when I am here. 

I spent a good part of the day yesterday reminiscing about my friends and our adventures. They liked the little blurb I wrote about it. Telling them how much I love them gave me such a peaceful and content feeling. 

You wanna make a girl glow and strut around like a woman who knows she has good things to offer? Tell her. Tell her you are excited to meet her. Listen to her. Share things about you. Invest in the relationship. Make her feel like she is worth the effort. I promise she believes in reciprocity. She will make you feel like you are worth the effort too. 

I guess I have fallen into the trap of underestimating a phone call. There is an intimacy that encourages excitement when you are obviously paying attention to each other and not doing 35 things at once while texting. 

You want to make a girl work hard for you? Do you want her to actually meet her potential? Acknowledge the good parts of her personality that she has been ostracized for her entire life. Appreciate her gifts. Help her learn and grow so she can overcome her liabilities and shortcomings. Offer to teach her the procedures she has honestly been too scared to learn until now. 

So today I feel like a rockstar superhero. I have not magically changed overnight, I just got the right amount of awesome compliments at the right moment. When I looked in the mirror tonight while I was removing my makeup I didn’t see a tired mess of a girl. I saw a confident, strong, cute girl with nice eyes. 

It feels good. 

Tell the people in your life what you love about them. It will help them be the person you have always known them to be. 

Distorted Beauty

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Selfies became a lot more fun when I found apps like Prisma. Now I can make myself look like a cartoon character even if I don’t know how to draw. 

I guess some people may think selfies are ridiculous, however when you spend as much time traveling alone as I do, you gotta get pictures somehow. 

It has nothing to do with vanity. 

I spent years hating every single picture that I ever saw of myself. I struggled to smile for the camera. I tended to avoid pictures if I could get away with it. I simply did not want there to be any record of the way I looked. 

I made funny faces. 

I am too fat. 

My nose is too turned up and my nostrils flare when I laugh too hard. When I am mad. When I am tired, happy, or sad. Okay, my nostrils just flare a lot. They are active little boogers.

My neck is short and thick. 

You can’t see my collar bones. 

I am built like a potato, all lumps and no curves in the right spots.

I perpetually looked constipated or pissed off in almost every picture. 

I was dressed wrong. 

I was not thin enough. 

My hair did not look right. 

My teeth looked odd. 

I spent so much time berating the image of the girl on the paper that I couldn’t appreciate the memory that had been captured. 

It goes beyond a low self-esteem. I was full of loathing and resentment. I just knew I was not enough. 

I hated the camera. I made fun of “those silly girls” who had the audacity to playfully pose for their own shutter. I convinced myself they were somehow the antithesis of who I should be if I was to be taken seriously. 

There was not one single event that was the turning point. Slowly, I started posing for photos with friends. I started out standing behind everyone a peeking over their shoulder. There must be a hundred pictures of my son and I with me grasping his shoulders and peering around his head. 

Once iPhones had the forward facing camera, making faces in the camera replaced making faces in the mirror. Don’t lie. You know you do that too. It has nothing to do with liking the way I look, it’s almost like a curiousity about what my facial expressions look like to other people. 

Occasionally, I take a photo that doesn’t look too bad. If the light is just right and I am relaxed I like some of the photos. Honestly, part of it is practicing posing, angles, and lighting. I feel like I am making progress. 

I’m not going to pretend like I feel like I look good the majority of the time. I still hate so much about what I see. 

Aging is difficult. 

I have more acne than I did as a teenager. 

I can’t even begin to imagine what is happening to my pores, all of the sudden they decided to become prominent, and they collect debris like tiny gaping hoarders. 

The skin on my face is thinner, drier, more oily, blotchy, and something is happening my eyelids. It’s as if the tissue is migrating to under my eyes instead of holding my eyebrows up. 

My eyelashes have decided to abandon me. Perhaps they have migrated up to my brow. 

There is a very deep ravine marching across my forehead. There is no way to smooth it out anymore. 

There are gray hairs sneaking their way into my brunette locks, which has taken on a dull sheen if I don’t get it colored by a professional. I was also unaware of how the shaft would become thinner and increasingly prone to breakage. 

And don’t even get me started on my chin. All I can say is tweezers are no longer optional. Perhaps this is the lash’s new address. 

Despite my dissatisfaction with essentially every body part and feature, my son has my smile and my nose. Really he looks very much like me. I think he is the most handsome dude ever. I realize you are most likely suffering from the delusion that your son is the best looking kid to walk the earth, but you are mistaken. It’s okay, I won’t correct you. Well, not out loud anyway. 

How can I despise the features of my face, when I see them on my son and feel they are perfect? How can I tear down someone else’s child? Bet you didn’t know I was someone’s perfect child. I would never say the things to another woman that I say to myself. There is a bit of honesty I was going to insert right here, but it really made me sound like an asshole. It had to be cut. Just know I am not as kind as that last statement sounded. I am really quite snarky. 

So, what have I learned? 

It takes a conscious, purposeful effort for me to be kind to myself. Sometimes it takes just as much for me to be kind to others too. I have to frequently redirect myself and somehow prove that I am not quite the ogre-spinster I picture in my head. 

Yes. I know. Looks are not everything. If you are nice and behave in a warm, loving way, you are are beautiful. There are a million other cliche phrases I can insert here to fight the good fight against the shallow tide pool of my judgemental mind. Let’s be real though. A girl wants to be pretty. I want to feel pretty.

I’ve spent years trying to pretend I didn’t care and acting out all my tomboy fantasies. I kept my hair chopped off, dressed in horrifically ugly T-shirts with obnoxious sentiments, I even wore a doo-rag religiously for several years. I was trying to prove to myself it was okay for me to hate the way I look. I didn’t care anyway. So there! 

All I managed to accomplish is a profound delay in acquiring the skills necessary to operate the various tools of femininity.  

I still don’t know how to use the curling iron. The blow dryer is frequently a disaster.

I can’t paint my own nails. 

Eyeliner is pretty much hit or miss. 

Eyelash curler? Oh, the medieval torture device that must have been invented by a masochist? Nope.

The eyebrows? Yeah, that’s tricky. Mine are frequently crooked, giving me a mildly surprised expression. 

My clothes frequently don’t exactly go together. How the hell do people know what makes an outfit? Maybe there is a book. I should google that. 

Despite my desperate and often humorous attempts to appear like I have an ounce of taste, I like it. I like wearing clothes I think are cute. I enjoy having long hair. Red lipstick is my absolute favorite thing in the world. Sometimes I even feel kinda cute. 

So, I am going to keep taking the damn selfies and practice smiling like a girl. I am going to take selfies making funny faces too. I may even try to learn how to giggle. I owe it to myself and all the people who love me to record the fact I was here. 

When I am lucky, I will see a glimpse of the daughter my mother thinks is beautiful. Maybe someday I will feel a little less disdain towards her. 

I Found Me

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My life has certainly not turned out the way I thought it would.

I never got to accept my Academy Award, which made the acceptance speech I have spent hours practicing in the shower a complete waste of time. (Oscar, Grammy, Tony… I wasn’t picky. I just figured I would win at least one someday.) Of course it doesn’t matter that I can’t sing, dance, or act. Those are minor details. The point is I fully expected to have a stage to stand on where I could thank all the folks who had made my success possible. Obviously I would have been exceedingly humbled and shocked by my win. I would have felt awestruck and I probably would have gushed about the amazing company I was keeping. I would have been charming and the darling of the paparazzi. I just know it. 

I never traveled the world discovering buried treasure and dinosaur fossils that would unlock the mysteries of the meaning of life. Once again, it doesn’t matter that I would never have done the actual exploring necessary for these accomplishments. I just figured it was my destiny. 

I never fell in love. That strange love they taught me to expect in all the movies. I never had a guy chase after me in a rain storm just so he can tell me he can’t live without me. I never walked down the aisle in a pretty white dress, blushing with happiness and excitement to start off on my new life with my Prince Charming. It goes without saying I am not the kind of girl who hangs out in a lot of rain storms, but that should not totally erase this experience from my life. The prince should have known how to find me. I’m the girl who ducked into a building to avoid the downpour. I wasn’t that hard to find. Besides, he could have looked for me on Tinder. 

I never became a famous movie editor. I was also never the White House Correspondent for a major television network. I have failed to research and find the cure for cancer. 

Despite all these things I have failed to accomplish even with my secret knowledge that was who I was supposed to be, I have managed to do many other things. 

I found a career that allows me to support my family. 

I have three of the most amazing little men in my life that I love, and they know I love them. 

I have met amazing friends who make me laugh and call me princess. 

I have managed to find a social circle at home that loves me exactly as I am. 

I manage to find new adventures and I have overcome so many fears. I have finally managed to convince myself most of the time that I am not completely incompetent and inadequate. 

I have learned to stand up for myself and to be brave and embrace who I am. I have learned to welcome my femininity while still being true to my inner tomboy. I can rock red lipstick and a baseball cap. I can be exactly me. 

I have learned relationships are messy. I have learned to have good friends means to be a good friend. It also means I can let go of relationships that no longer suit me. 

Mostly, I have learned that I get to be me. Even if who I am changes on a day to day basis. I don’t have to refuse to embrace new ideas. I don’t have to maintain the status quo. I can be whomever I choose. 

As far as the acceptance speech goes, I’ll probably keep practicing. You never know. 


Bad American

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 Despite my deep love of taking photos of flags, I am a bad American.

I do not get all up in arms over the latest political scandals.

I do not look forward to exercising my right to vote.

Let’s be honest, I watch election coverage with a dispassionate view and mostly just laugh at the stupid things people say. Sometimes I make fun of their outfits.

The problem I consistently run into  centers on the wide array of conflicting ideas I have about everything. I am neither liberal or conservative. I am not really moderate either. While I have a lot of opinions about “the issues” I just don’t care what these politicians think about them. I don’t know who I am politically. At this point in my life, I am not sure I care.

On the bright side, I watched coverage of the Iowa caucus and had a lovely time texting asinine comments back and forth with a friend.

I just don’t feel all that strongly about the election process. It seems like a bunch of standing around talking and never saying anything. I watched the debates and was not enlightened one bit about these “pundits” and their stance on the issues.

So, I am a bad American. Perhaps if I were more grateful for my freedom I would be a better citizen. Until that time comes, I am just going to watch the spectacle and go on about my business.

P.S. I know I should be more responsible and take a more civic-minded approach. The problem is… I don’t want to. I do not want to be responsible for making those decisions. I cannot even get information about what these people intend to do. All I ever hear is what they think about their opponents.

P.P.S. I would only be voting for the one I liked the best anyway. I have poor judgment. You really don’t want me choosing people because I think they are having a good hair day. Or do you?

P.P.P.S. The problem is really a lack of education for the voters. It took me a great deal of work to determine what these people see as the future for our country. Do all voters do their homework? Do they even know what they are voting for?

*** Rand Paul is one of my favorites. He seems like such a nice guy. I do not agree with everything about him but I like a lot of his policy ideas.

*** Why is everyone so mean to poor Jeb? I like him. I think I would like to have a conversation with him. He is so dry. I love it.

*** Why is Bernie Sanders so popular all of a sudden? Is it just backlash against Hilary? Or do people really agree with him? Isn’t he kinda old to be president?

*** I want the first female president to be cool as shit. None of those creepy suits. A touch less scary. (But, I love Bill. I don’t know why.)

*** I just wish these guys could come off a little less douchey. (Is that how you spell that?) Seriously, they need to get a grip, stop fighting, and come up with workable solutions.

*** Elections in general just confuse me.

Gilmore Girls and Wine Keys

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Here I am up in the desolate Berkshires and I had a “girl’s night” planned with a girl friend of mine. She may be all the way in Missouri but we can still watch and enjoy our time together.

This afternoon I trekked out to get a bottle of wine and I took a nap this afternoon in preparation for my amazing journey to Stars Hollow.

All of the sudden, I get a text.

“Nyki… You are my only hope. I can’t possibly get this bottle open without you.”

Okay. That may not be exactly what it said… But close enough. 

 I’m 

Imagine my expertise being put to the test over the phone. I only just mastered this skill a few months ago. Finally, my dear friend managed to find a video on YouTube and life was good again. YouTube was obviously my idea, so I guess you could say I did indeed save the day. Just call me Mighty Mouse. 

Now, Let’s discuss The Gilmore Girls. You know you are actually an adult when you no longer relate to Rory and you understand the struggles of Lorelai. I cannot help but wonder when this switch takes place. It does not appear to happen gradually. All of the sudden you are a real, live grownup. How does this happen? Does this mean I am old? Good Grief. I never learned how to be young successfully, how on earth am I going to tackle being a grownup?

I suppose I thought I was going to be a kid forever, yet here I am creeping up on middle age. I still do not have it all figured out. I do not actually believe I will ever have it all figured out. I find myself struggling with figuring out who I am supposed to be. What is my role in my life? Who is this strange woman? She certainly has some strange ideas about life and love.

I suppose the best thing about me is that I remain open minded. I allow myself to grab hold of an idea and when it does not come to fruition, I am willing to change course. Speaking of being a grownup, I need to do some laundry. I have work tomorrow.

*Photos courtesy of Miranda. Who learned how to use a wine key. We are going to finally figure out this crazy world of being grownups.

Just a switch

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Life is interesting. There are so many things to see and do. There are people to meet and stories to hear. Sometimes life is challenging. I find myself overwhelmed by the minutia. I find myself bogged down by the climate and solitude of this dreary, cold, dark place.

It is amazing how much power the sunshine holds. All it takes is a few moments in the sun for me to feel whole again. The cobwebs recede. I can think again. I can feel hope and excitement for the future.

The ability to overcome our personal dark places is not something one just learns. It is the product of hard work and self evaluation.  I still struggle at times. I have bad days. These bad days could stretch into bad weeks or months, if only I allowed them to. I learned somewhere along the way I have complete control over the way I feel about things. I have complete control over my personal response to any situation. This has allowed me to find my way through all of the change of the past year. This has given me the courage and confidence to put myself out there and try new things.

For me, happiness is not a goal. It is something I choose to feel. There are times I am at a loss for those elusive feel-good vibes. Feel-good vibes? Seriously? Is that the best phrase you could come up with? Ignoring my snarky inner-voice requires vigilance. She is somewhat difficult to manage at times.

Flipping the switch. How should I describe this? Duh. You just did. Flipping the switch… Why can’t you just say what you mean to say already? Shh. I am trying to write about something serious here. There are times I find myself dwelling on the negative. I am entertaining self-absorbed, pretentious thoughts about who I should be. I am focusing on all the things I failed to do when I was younger. I forget to give myself a little credit for accomplishing my goals.

So, I turn on the light. I look at my life dispassionately. I evaluate my actions without considering the intentions. I honestly ask myself how much more I owe the world. Hmmm. Yep. You have a lot of shit which requires some serious atonement. When I stop focusing on the mistakes of my past and look at the reality of the present, I realize I am okay. I have so many opportunities. I am smart. I work hard. I want to be of service to others. These are all great qualities. I should focus on developing this side of my personality rather than the flagellation of myself for my weaknesses.

We have all made mistakes. Many of us have slept with people we should not have. We have said cruel things to or about others who were weaker than we are. We have harbored resentments and jealousies. I dare you to find someone who has never made a mistake. You should not regret all the bad ideas you have had. Some of them turned out to be fun in the end. The others, well at least you learned something. 

I can choose to regret so many things from my past. I can choose to resent the people who let me down. I can also choose to hate myself for any number of transgressions. This is simply not amenable to forward progress. By living in the darkness of the past, I fail to use the illumination of my present. All I really have to do is flip the switch.

I may be overanalyzing EVERYTHING

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 I know they are completely random. I know they are stupid and simply a way for people to troll for your private information. All of that aside, this one needs to be evaluated.

First of all, I do not have a boyfriend. I am not even dating at the moment. If anyone wants the job, I am taking applications. I am too busy finding new ways to love my boyfriend??? Are you actually kidding me? Who finds this appealing? Is loving someone that freaking difficult? Yuck. 

My favorite line is “Nyki is a real girl.” This has actually been a goal of mine for a while. I have practiced fixing my hair, I even own a good hair dryer and a flat-iron. I wear dresses. I shave my legs with some regularity. Okay… that part is a lie. I only shave my legs sometimes. It’s okay because I am the only one touching them. I have been saying for ages I just want to be a real girl! HA! Facebook is stalking me.

Part of me found this random result funny. Another part of me found it revolting.

I am noticing some interesting things about myself. It’s funny how so much time alone gives you plenty of time to *think. Well, thinking may not be the best word for what I do. I agonize. I dwell. I have internal debates with myself. I tear myself apart and judge every facet of my personality. I judge myself for every quirk I find. I have to convince myself to ignore the little voice emanating from somewhere in my mind.

I find myself wondering why I feel so unaccomplished. Is it normal to feel like you have not done anything worthwhile? Sometimes I feel excited or proud of something I have done. I may look in the mirror and feel attractive on that particular day. This short-lived pride leaves me feeling vain and cocky. So, I have to find all the reasons I should not feel good about myself at that moment.

I am terribly confused. How is a person supposed to have a healthy sense of self or “love” who they are without being arrogant? How are you supposed to maintain a sense of reality? What is the trick to having a healthy self-esteem?

I have to admit I am proud of my accomplishments. The problem is I am afraid to admit it, even to myself. I don’t want people to think I am conceited. I don’t want to be cocky. I desperately want to avoid being one of those assholes who think they are special. So, I hold myself to impossibly high standards and judge every shortcoming harshly. It is easier to point out my flaws.

This self-depreciation is not attractive. It makes confidence hard to maintain.

So, how do you foster a sense of confidence? How do you be realistic about the things you seek to improve, while giving yourself credit for the progress you have made? It is much easier to focus on the mistakes I make. It is easier to see the things I still need to learn.

I find the unique traits of the people in my life endearing. I love the quirks of my friends and family. These differences keep us all interesting. So, while I admire this in others I abhor my inability to fit in. Which is funny since I often do my best to stand out and not be part of the crowd.

We are all enigmatic in different ways. I like to be alone, yet loneliness often creeps up and surprises me. I think one of my main goals in life needs to focus on my need for moderation.

I tend to be all or nothing.

Black or white.

Win or lose.

All the while, I am fixating on the middle ground, the gray shades, or the process of playing the game. It is exhausting. I think too hard, too much, and too often. I find myself questioning the motives of everyone I know. I find myself disregarding the relationships I have. I minimize my role in other people’s lives. I convince myself I am not important to them. Worse, I convince myself they are unimportant to me.

I find myself wanting to be “cool.” So, I attempt (badly) to maintain an apathetic attitude towards much of the world. The problem lies in the simple fact that I am most assuredly not cool. I am warm, passionate, and above all loyal. So, I think I may be fighting with my inborn personality trying to achieve something I found desirable at some time in my life.

I wonder how many people are at war with their personality? Why do we seek to be someone other than who we actually are? It seems unfair to disregard our true self for some imaginary idealized impostor. This is certainly confusing when I think about how much I abhor apathy in other people. They just seem so much more relaxed and sure of themselves. Obviously, this could all be an act on their part as well. At what point is it okay to be honest about how you feel or what you are thinking?

This whole fixation of being politically correct and making sure our ideas do not offend anyone leaves me without much to say. Why don’t people pick up on my cues when I am being sarcastic? Or playful? Why do they assume I am being an asshole? When is it okay to point out the absurdity of most of the situations we encounter on a daily basis? So much of life leaves me shaking my head and wondering why everything has to be so damn difficult. Why can’t we do things in a reasonable way?

It may be my delivery. I am trying to be more soft-spoken and to not say every thing that pops into my head. My ADHD meds help with that.

So, does this rambling have a point? Perhaps.

It is okay to tone down your personality when you are with people you do not know well. It is okay to hold your ideas close to the vest. Is that even a saying? I think it is something like that. I could look it up, but I just don’t want to right now. 

Sometimes I need to give myself a break. Go with the flow. Stop evaluating my motives for every single thing! It is okay to feel cute when you look in the mirror. It is okay to feel pride when you have worked hard for something. It is okay to blend into the crowd when it would not help you achieve your goals to stand out.

I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, including myself. I need to allow myself to be who I need to be in that moment. This does not necessarily mean I am fake. Sometimes it is better to sit back and watch.

Someday I will figure out how to be at peace with myself. This won’t mean I don’t have things to work on. It just means I can accept who I am at the moment. I am not entirely certain where this acceptance comes from, and I imagine for me it will be an ongoing process. I am most likely okay with that today. I need to analyze it.