Who the hell do I think I am?
When I was really little, my parents used to tell me I was special all the time. Apparently, I believed them, because after I went from a carefree life in preschool to getting hassled in kindergarten (yes, kindergarten) I went and asked them about it, and they said I was special some more. If you are wondering what the kids were teasing me about, it is that scar on my chin. There’s a photo of me when I was six. Do you see the scar on my chin? If you look close, you’ll see it, but people rarely notice it in person, much less in photos. But in kindergarden it was due cause for being repeatedly called “Frankenstein”. My parents said I was really cute, and didn’t look anything like Frankestien. They also said I was really smart.
That’s me when I was six. Apparently, this is still who I think I am
The next year, my school put me up in 2nd grade reading, and I decided maybe I was smart. I’d been reading since I was 3 so I was ahead of my 1st grade class… as a matter of fact, I would stay ahead for the rest of grade school. But I still didn’t think I was cute. I did think I was special. After all, my parents thought so,and my parents knew everything as far as my six year old self was concerned.Later, I would grow older. I would get old enough not to care if I had a scar on my face and to realize that no one even noticed it anymore. I had to be 12 before I could get surgery on it, and by then, I didn’t care about it, and no one noticed it… people were worried about puperty and soon many of us… including me… had such a mass of pimples covering our face no one could tell what was under them. Then I began to put on weight and worry about that. Eventually, I grew up.
When I grew up, I found out that I didn’t look like Frankenstien. By the time I was about 23, which is when my acne finally went away, I even decided that I was cute. I also decided that there were people much smarter than me, as well as much prettier, but that I was plenty smart and pretty enough, and I would be fine. I still wasn’t all that thin, but I didn’t think I was all that fat (I was actually a normal, health weight – just the upper side of it, then). Subsequently, I grew older as well as fatter. But by the time I was 25 I’d decided that everyone else was probably more worried about themselves than me anyway, that although my parents thought I was special, other people basically weren’t paying all that much attention to me… but were probably worried about their own pimples or fat thighs, too much to think about mine, so I just should forget about it.
My weight kept going up and down. And once I was out with my mom and she said “I think it’s really cool how you don’t act self concious even when you’ve put on weight” and I said, “Yea I used to, but then I decided people probably are too self-concious themselves to pay that much attention to me.” I wish I felt that way every minute of every day of every hour. I don’t…sometimes I walk past a window and see my reflection and think, “hmmm.. yea, you can defintely see that I weight 210 pounds.” But most of the time, I’m thinking about something else…usually some joke in my head,b because I seem to think I’m hilarious, or some joke someone else is telling, something I’m reading, something I’m cooking, something I’m repairing, something I’m watching on TV… something exterior.
Now I kind of feel the same way. I mean, they had this commercial for some skin care product with a bunch of chicks bitching about how they turned 30 and people stopped looking at them on the streets and they felt invisible, and I was like, “Why would you want people looking at you on the street? I mean if you do, well bully for you, but I don’t” I’m not striving to be invisible – if I was, I would leave my hair brown. But I do enjoy the fair amount of anonimity that being visibly older seems to bring.
When I was about 25, sometimes someone would say to me, “Why do you think you’re all that?” and I would say, “A better question would be, why do you think you’re not?” I think humility is good, but insecurity is not that great – insecure people can be mean as hell, and while being mean, tell themselves they are morally superior. It is not that I never have caught myself doing that, or that I can be sure I never will again. It’s just that I am aware of the fact that self confidence can cause you to be more patient with others and less likely to assign to them unkind motives when it’s real self-confidence. So that is what I strive to attain.I know I have a lot of flaws. I often talk too much, or get too caught up in the sound of my own voice. I have to remind myself to be thoughtful and treat others as I would have them treat me. I don’t always take my own advice. I try to do better when I can, but I realize I can’t improve everything at once. But this much I do know… I always feel like myself, no matter what I may look like.So I guess who I think I am is the same person I always was.
(reposted from a note I wrote on Facebook on May 11, 2011)
I used that photo for the original cover art of Moon Cried Blood.