On 20e, there was a sort of running series that almost everyone contributed to that we (Joshua) affectionately labelled, “The Love Conundrum”. Any post addressing the love conundrum was simply a few paragraphs musing upon whatever romantic issues we each individually decided were imperative at the current time. Looking back at these, with and without context, I throw my head back and laugh loud like the only way I know how. Oh, to be young. I wish I had my old problems back. I’ve noticed with no difficulty exactly how challenging it can be to look back on your life and describe the ways in which you are different or the same. It’s far too vast a period to compare. It’s like saying “well, when I was born, I couldn’t walk or see or speak. Now, I am a teller at a credit union with a nice used car I can’t afford and an adorable downtown apartment with mediocre credit and no degree.” How in the hell do you even cover a spread that large? Personally, it would take at least a year to go into any valuable detail. So instead, I’m hoping to start a new series by the darling moniker “The Me Conundrum”. Figuring out who has a crush on you is no longer an important thing in my life. I want to break down who I am and who I used to be and why those are two completely different, very familiar human beings. I like the formatting Anna used, and aside from her bodies of text, the headings could honestly be my own. I’ll give it a shot.
Who I was:
- I was so endearingly naive. I was like a character from a John Green Novel that thought she was invincible. I acted like I was. I read my old posts and its a nauseating combination of nostalgia, affection, and embarrassment.
- I trusted anyone I met immediately.
- I was extremely musically, socially, and academically inclined. I never slept. I had insomnia at the time, so my schedule typically consisted of waking up, making breakfast for myself and my little brother, going to school, doing homework at Off the Leaf (RIP) or my mom’s backyard (weather permitting), hanging out with as many friends as I could fit in my giant boat of a car and listening to the same 6 songs on a loop until we had them memorized, and then going back home and speaking spanish to myself while looking at old photos or reading. (I considered it studying to read an english book and translate it to spanish out loud to the best of my ability.) This fact embarrasses me and impresses mostly everyone else. I would often experiment with hair and makeup until 2 or 3 AM, knowing full well that I’d go to school the next day wearing only eyeliner, mascara, and a ponytail.
- I was unsuccessfully processing how to recover from the knowledge that my parents’ 23 year long marriage was over and pouring myself into anything I could to distract myself.
- I was in love with the idea of being in love. I remember it being so important to me to have a boyfriend, I wanted to prove my parents’ failed marriage wrong so badly. A sort of “it’ll never happen to me” gesture. I was angry that my family was broken. This is a feeling that only left in recent years.
- I fought with every single member of my family, all the time. I was a total asshole to the most important people in my life just because I didn’t know how to tell them that I was crushed. It didn’t seem like they cared. Of course they did. I was not alone in my suffering.
- I was really, really good at spending money. I no longer have any of the things I spent that money on, and I always wished that I had saved it instead. That’s life.
Who I am Now:
- I’m still really gullible and naive, but I am a lot better at pretending I’m not. Thanks to my favorite high school teacher, I literally “fake it til ya make it, kiddo”
- I’m still an incredibly trusting, give-you-the-benefit-of-the-doubt sort of person, but I’ve learned to make people earn the initial trust. I am learning to be a little bit more selfish and put myself first. It’s a difficult habit to break, but I’m feeling a lot better about the way I’m treated by others now.
- I’m still musically, socially, and academically inclined, but it’s a lot more uh, refined. I notice now that when I listen to music, I listen. I cant help but notice the way the drum beat compliments the rhythm guitar which compliments the independent cadence of the lyrics which of course are perfectly choreographed and harmonized. I am obsessed with music. I’m still staying polished on my spanish, I’m also trying to learn italian. I still feel most at home in a room full of people, but I’m learning to value solitude.
- I’ve gotten over the damage done by my parents’ divorce, accepted that there was nothing I could have done, and repaired relationships with my family members. We’re almost closer than ever. My mom is one of my best friends, not exactly something I saw as a possibility at the time.
- This next topic is always weird for me. I’m a serial monogamist. I’ve only been single for a total span of maybe 1 year out of the last 10. My shortest relationship in the last 6 years lasted 13 months. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had an affinity for getting through breakups quickly and painlessly. I suspect that since I’m usually the one ending the relationship, I go through the grief stages before the break happens. This goes back to the super-trusting-give-people-a-million-chances thing from before. I have explored this side of myself in therapy before, but it honestly doesn’t bother me too much. I see it as a blessing that I don’t get easily devastated over heartache.
- I still drive around for fun, only now I get paid for it. I am always figuring out how to capitalize on my hobbies. I enjoy drinking coffee and talking to people and creating fun flavor combinations, so I worked as a barista for almost 4 years. I love driving around aimlessly listening to my favorite music, so now I drive for Uber and get paid to meet the strangest people you’ve ever heard of. I love growing things and watching the process from seed to garden, so I’m going to get a PhD in Plant Biology and figure out how to do something with that for the rest of my life.
- I am becoming more acquainted with the logical, obsessive, organized side of myself. I used to be so lazy, and I still am, but I’ve learned to just do things before they end up kicking my ass later. My room still constantly looks like a bomb site, but every single other aspect of my life is nearly pristine. Everyone I work with thinks I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder because of how exactly perfect everything is at my desk, at all times. I don’t have a clue how this part of myself came to be, but I’m certainly not fighting it, either. It’s been extremely helpful in my independent adult life.
- I am still really good at spending money, but I spend money on nice things that I will have for a very, very long time. I have unfortunately impeccable taste, and I survive on 2/3 of the income I had 2 years ago, with nearly twice the expense. I’m not sure how I’m doing it either, it’s fine.
That’s as far as I can get today without completely exhausting myself, but I will do some more work on this whenever I’m able. Please comment with any questions, comments, jokes, insults, or concerns. You Stay Classy, World Wide Web.