Friday, February 18, 2011

Chewing on ME

Maybe the right word for what I've been doing is "stewing." Or perhaps even better, I've been "chewing" on some thoughts from Valentine's Day.

Our Valentine's Day turned out to be the best I've ever had because it was everything I needed. After an emotional week that was trying for me in many ways, I really needed undivided attention from Michael. I needed to talk without talking over children. I needed to hear without straining over children (somehow it still surprises me once in a while how much noise a toddler and a baby can make). And I needed to dress up for something outside of home duties.
Michael took me to Tucanos. While we waited until our reservation time, we browsed Borders across the parking lot and talked about what we like and expect in a good book. And we laughed about ridiculous books (have you ever read through the Harlequin titles? They make us laugh every time-- The Greek Billionaire and His Virgin Captive or The Italian Trillionaire's Baby). One book in particular caught my eye--oh, and this is not a Harlequin--because of  beautiful calligraphy. Look at this number four:

I love that four. It is gorgeous. It's like a little torch and flame. Things like that stand out to me--I appreciate the detail. It made the rest of the book immediately intriguing somehow, so I read the blurb on the back, and guess what? I think it sounds fascinating! Charles C. Mann has written this book, 1491, about the surprisingly advanced technology of the Native Americans at the time Christopher Columbus "discovered" them. Guess what!!! They had running water! They had immaculately clean streets. They were big into landscaping! Their skills in architecture were so advanced that certain enormous buildings have stood for over 400 years looking pretty much the same (and isn't Europe full of ruins?). Their technology, actually, was even more advanced than their contemporary European friends'. Very sad that the Europeans then came to visit with all their germs and diseases and pretty much killed everyone off. Now that's a book I want to read. I really like history, and I'm especially enchanted by ancient history.

There was another book that intrigued me, but it's lost in the shadow of 1491. I simply can't remember a thing about whatever it was.

At our lovely and completely satisfying dinner, Michael and I talked forever. Talked and talked and talked. Such a good feeling. We covered topics from blogging (which made me fall in love with him all the more that he would be so interested in something that's important to me) to Mockingjay to communism to the pathological liar that is Russia. And all sorts of things inbetween. It was intelligent, stimulating conversation that felt so immensely rewarding. Better even than the food!

Most specifically, I've chewed on our blogging thoughts. Michael and I can honestly talk about anything, everything. And it's always with love. So when he said "I think there's a lot you don't say on your blog. You're a really interesting person, and your blog doesn't really talk about what's unique about you, or even very much about what you do--like with your drawings and everything," I didn't feel defensive. I agreed with him. My blog's not a lost cause, but it's not as open as it could be.

I've done a lot of thinking about ME.

Now, before you laugh, let me explain. Well if you laughed so what, but I must explain. It has been brought to my attention--which is a good thing when I say it--that I am a very private person. Duh, right? But no, it hasn't been quite so obvious to me. I already knew I'm pretty much an introvert, but I feel like a practiced extrovert. Not hypocritical, just that I do indeed love company and can be extroverted. Just not as much as I thought.

My sister Rae said "I have always loved and been intrigued by how private you can be (is that weird? That I love that?), because I know when you share something with me it's because you've chosen to and you trust me. Whether that's tears or something else. And I love that feeling."
That's just some of the fuel for my thinking lately--my stewing and chewing. :)

I'm like Deep Thought. You know, the super computer from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? They go through all this trouble to build Deep Thought, and after centuries or something, all they get from it is:


Gee, thanks, Deep Thought...what about all those deep thoughts you've been having to arrive at this 42?
Wouldn't you think Deep Thought would share a little more? Is that REALLY all we get?

When I need to think or calm down, I love being alone. Sometimes routine fulfills this, like when I wash my face. That provides some soothing time for thinking (or not thinking). It doesn't so much matter what I'm doing as the fact that I'm alone (or quiet, not engaged in conversation). In the end, it means I don't divulge my feelings and thoughts to friends or even family. I've done my thinking on my own, and when I'm finished, I'm finished. It's like it would be too exhausting to try and get the same result by talking to someone. Even Michael has seen this; I talk with him all the time, but when I'm really into some deep thoughts, all I can usually share is a snippet at a time. My processing just works better in my head.

And then when it comes to blogging? No way! What if I say something about myself, and my words don't paint it right, and then it's wrong, and I've said something "incorrect" about ME? Or what if I change my mind and decide that I feel differently than I said before... it's not so much a fear of being misunderstood as a desire to say nothing wrong. If I really wanted to share my insides, I'd plug my mind into yours so you can see every prism and tangent of each thought.

Then there's the fact that it has a lot to do with trust. I'm a trusting person, but only at a certain level. When I meet someone, it's like there's a default setting for benefit-of-the-doubt Trust. As I get to know them, maybe the trust shrinks, maybe it grows, but it's a very one-sided deal. I trust them to be who they are, but I hardly ever want to trust them with who I am.
Now that was a very honest thing for me to say, and I really want to erase it. Part of me doesn't like it. I'd rather say...something else, and I can't even think of what else, which is why I'd typically remain silent.

It largely comes down to the fact that I am so comfortable with myself that I don't feel a need to make others comfortable with me. Trust me, I can see the good side of that! But can't you see how that has the potential to leave me selfish and my friends less able to be my friends?

I know it's pretty much impossible to open up everything about myself (or I wouldn't be myself), and you can be sure that's okay with me. Still, I want to try harder to share. I've had the idea of making something of an exposé out of my blog with ME as the subject.

Without invading my sense of self, I want to be more inviting.


1 comment:

  1. Q....this is a good question you pose. I admire and am pleased with your desire to be more open and to help your readers get to "know" you. But I would also say--remember this is YOUR space! Don't feel forced to share things that make you feel emotionally naked. I think it is okay that you're private. The only drawback I can see in that would be if a problem really needs addressing or talking-out, and you're not making yourself available in that respect. I would say there's not much need for an expose, necessarily, and to remember that the majority of your readers are people who already love whatever they know about you. So share what you love? Share stories, maybe, memories, maybe, and if you so feel moved, go ahead and share "secrets" or things you hold dear...but don't feel forced, and definitely don't feel that we don't love you as you are, private nature or not! :* (That's a kiss)


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