I’m a pretty conservative girl. I get nervous easily. I cry when the setting so much as suggests it. I think I’ve been self-conscious since the age of 4. I read, I write; I try to learn as much about the world as I can. I’m openly enchanted when someone I thought I didn’t like shows me their charm. I’m a nice girl, you know? I believe in a higher power and I always obeyed my mother’s request that I never sit on a boy’s lap. Randomly enough, I still managed to pick up smoking somewhere along the way. I love troublemakers and the bad words that they are wrapped in. I haven’t gone to bed before 1am since 1999, I hide a vampire-like smile when the tequila first touches my lips, and I have a dirty little addiction to hellish island they call Manhattan. I buried half of my heart under a hole in the wall somewhere on Bowery and the other half is rolling around on the beach somewhere in Nicaragua. I have many parts and though for so long I had been working on labeling these corners, I am slowly finding myself wanting them to all coexist, namelessly and shamelessly. As if they were floating colored clouds, lap dancing on each other’s edges as they drift by and their parts graze.
We are a series of people and I think that it’s in spending so much time trying to separate and narrow down these sides that we lose so much time and energy. I used to spend so much time worrying over all the evidence I had on myself. Was I good or was I bad? Geez—can someone please help me understand? I couldn’t be both, so which one was the real side? I spent years going over details, making my friends hear every occurrence hoping for an accurate verdict. But I can’t say I ever got there. After reviewing both sides of the story, I couldn’t pick a side. Well, that was as fun as playing Monopoly with yourself.
The only thing we really need to begin that search is curiosity and awareness. Desperation helps, too.
You’re going to have sides that contradict yourself. I think that our sides are just the end bars that indicate points on the scale and how far the parameters go to our extremes. I think we all have a balance—a gray area, if you will. It’s where all our contradicting sides meet. It’s where our very complex persona lives; a place where the blunt writer who loves smoking & the romantic church-goer who hopes to quit someday can meet & be. As we shift from mask to mask, I think that we lose ourselves in the entirety of the role that we assume is ours. I’m bad! So there goes the idiot assuming the role of a full-on badass. Didn’t fit did it? Could we just be corners? I think so, and it is our combination of these corners or colors where we find our very unique selves; vivid and nameless.
Stop trying to label, instead just explore. Stop comparing yourself to the world around you. Search inward as if you were the last person on earth. You no longer need words to describe what you see, think, and feel. Now go in. Forget the names, just explore this new world. Think about it. If you’d discover a new species, you’d be enchanted by its details. If you observe how it works, you’d be able to identify similarities in others, you’d be open and receptive, unafraid maybe, and it’d be a long time before you began to classify for fear of jumping the gun. First: marvel, observe, and poke.
Ask yourself what kind of people are you? Are you risky? How? Are you obedient? How? When? Are you loyal? Sometimes? How? Are you a coward? When? Are you ballsy? When?
I think in watching CSI, Law & Order, or one those shows I remember seeing an episode on a detective who overlooked some evidence because he had spent the whole show trying to prove his theory to his partner. Of course, he was wrong. Trying to hard is a dead give away on those shows. Anyway, I remember how smart it sounded when the captain yelled at him; he told the detective that he would always miss things if what he only looked at evidence to fit a theory. You gotta put your theories (and labels) aside, look at all the evidence, and listen. Follow the evidence.
So do that, kids. Go do that, while I get back into it…