So I’ve realised a few things about myself lately. Things that aren’t really a big deal but things that absolutely contrast with the characteristics of the type of person I want to be. I want to be a wanderer. I want to travel light and be breezy and spontaneous and adventurous. I want to be creative. I want to be talented. I imagine myself to be all of these things to some degree or other, but I’m not. And that’s not a bad thing. I’m just not that person.
I want to be able to pack up and go whenever the need arises but I can’t. I’m a planner. I like to pretend I’m not but unless I know exactly what I’m doing and when I’m doing it, I’m not content – I can’t relax. Sometimes I like to think I’m being spontaneous but it’s just an illusion. I wrap other people into my plans and while they might not know where we’re going, I have every step carefully calculated in my mind. I would like to be a spontaneous person but I’m just not.
I like familiarity. I like home. I miss home. I like having somewhere to put my things. To put myself. To settle down and close my eyes and be home. To feel secure, I need things around me. Not just material things (although we are living in a material world and I am a material girl) but also specific things, things I think I’ll need. Spare underwear, spot cream, hand sanitiser, hair curler though I never curl my hair, Bonjella in case a mouth ulcer erupts from nowhere. Things I won’t necessarily need but you never know. That’s the reason I was never able to travel home lightly from college at weekends. Because even though I’d only be spending two nights there, you never know. A spot might rear its ugly (black)head or I might get the strong desire to floss my teeth even though the latter only happens once in a blue moon.
I don’t use most (or any) of the things that I carry with me from place to place but I feel better knowing that they are available. I mean, in my regular, everyday bag I carry hand moisturiser, hand sanitiser, Vaseline, hairspray, a hairbrush, perfume and a compact mirror. I use the Vaseline regularly enough and the rest usually never see the light of day. I don’t know. It’s definitely a security thing.
I don’t like to think of myself as being anal but I am. I like to give the impression that I’m laid-back and carefree and in many respects I am, but certain things get to me and easily so. I am very easily wound up, for example. And if you know me, you will know how very true that is. I am an easy target for all of my friends because I react fiercely and immediately and they get a great kick out it.
I also worry a lot. I mean, not about everything and not unnecessarily, but I do worry. I pretend I don’t but I do. A lot. Right now, I’m worried about my new job. I’m waiting patiently for something to go wrong (my social security number has already thrown a spanner in the works and though it has resolved itself now, I’m sure it won’t be the last obstacle to come between me and employment). I’m also worried about booking a new flight home, filling out my insurance claim form and providing enough evidence to get me home in time to sit whatever farcical repeat exam Íde will have set for us. I’m worried about getting home before the exam and after I’ve seen Death Cab For Cutie. This will be a tight squeeze and I’m something close to petrified. I’m worried about the three- or four-thousand word essay I have to come up with for said exam. I’m worried about paying the deposit on next semester’s house. I’m worried about the money that I ended up inadvertently owing to the bank. I’m worried about my grant. I’m worried about things not working out love-wise. I’m worried about meeting my sister-in-law’s mother tomorrow. (I convinced myself for a while that she was a Mormon and even though I now know that she is far from it, I still can’t help feeling that she’ll frown upon my incomprehensible and sometimes vulgar sense of humour. And my hair. I’m worried she’ll hate my hair with the same passion that I do and think me very working-class. Which I am. And proud. But you know. She’s middle-class.)
The point of this post was me attempting to articulate that I am not the person I want to be. I am kidding myself. I’m not primed and primped like I want to be. I’m scruffy at best. I’m an idiot. I make very bad decisions on a regular basis and I rarely learn from them. Actually, that’s not true. One thing that can be said about me is that I learn from my mistakes. I learn what not to do ever again. But then I still go ahead and do that same thing again, make the same near-fatal mistakes two and three and four more times just to make sure, you know? I am constantly revolting against myself.
I’m very easily distracted. I have a terrible memory and I’m painfully slow at times, both physically and mentally. I lack motivation a lot of the time and I’m not nearly ambitious enough to follow my dreams. I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. I’m fickle and illogical. I am one-hundred percent ruled by my heart; my head rarely gets a look-in. I have such pretty clothes but I generally end up in my pyjamas or track-suit bottoms. Usually bra-less. I am not who I want to be. I want to be the kind of girl who always looks fantastic – made up and couture. The kind of girl who knows what she wants and actually goes about getting it. Focused. Not distracted by boys or alcohol or shoes. But also the kind of girl who is spontaneous and adventurous and carefree? I’m a contradiction. How can I allow myself to want to be this person when this person is a complete contradiction? It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy or something. I tell myself that I have to be a certain way but then I set my aspirations so askew that it just can’t happen.
I’m my own worst enemy at times. If only I could categorise myself. If I could compare myself to someone and know that I’m not a complete mistake of a human – a prototype that went wrong – then I’d feel a bit better about myself. But I don’t like having things in common with people – at least, not people I’m close to – so that sounds like a near impossibility.
But maybe I’m not all bad. I mean, there are definitely things I like about myself. I’m a very empathetic person. I’m very loving. I am a ‘feelings’ kind of person. I mean, I used to be. I still am. Deep down. But recent events like being dumped for something I have no control over and yet still being sidled with the blame, as well as a stint in hospital, and the fact that almost every boy I’ve shown interest in in the last six months has rejected me made me think that feelings were over-rated. Where have feelings gotten me before?
My feelings have just acted as a magnet for heartbreak since the age of fifteen when I had my first boyfriend. And as for the most recent fiasco of a relationship? Well, as it turned out, I was the only person in that relationship who had feelings and it ended pretty badly, my feelings getting crushed to a powder, the other half’s escaping unharmed. So it’s no surprise really that the conclusion I drew from that learning curve was that feelings are useless. They are futile. They do not assist you in any way and they hinder you in most. Feelings are what got me in hospital and feelings damn near threatened to put me back there when I was being shot down the length and breadth of UL. So I gave up on feelings. I told people that ‘feelings are gay’ (and of course I don’t mean ‘gay’ in the anti-homosexual way). It was almost easy for me to pretend that I didn’t care about emotions. So much so that I started to believe it myself. But it’s not true. I think my heart is still broken and I have just been pumping it full of morphine, trying to numb the pain (however tragically cliché that sounds). I’m a very thin-skinned person. It’s what allows me to understand other people’s feelings so easily – I can easily imagine myself feeling those same feelings. After all, I’ve had pretty much every feeling. Being on the verge of bipolar, I ricochet between them regularly.
So I’m a feelings person then. I’m ready to accept feelings again. I am ready to let them back into my life. I am a Born-Again Feeler. I have been doing that here in the States, that feeling malarkey: if I felt sad, I cried, and I’ve allowed myself to miss home and I’ve thought about love and I’ve thought about … everything.
I have a question though. I think my only talent is feelings – and not other people’s feelings, just my own – but how do I turn that into a career?
This has been a painfully honest albeit convoluted post about feelings.