Wednesday, July 28, 2010

confessions of a weirdo

Yesterday, Austin the Actor and I met with the sound guy for his upcoming film and then did some last-minute location scouting. When we were done we went back to Austin's place and when he sat down and started playing a video game it hit me: I do not play video games. I mean I have, but that was a long time ago and only for a little while. After this thought sunk in, I started to think about the other things that most everybody in this culture does for fun and I realized, I don't do any of those things. I am really, really weird. For example...

I do not watch professional sports - not at all, not ever. I am pretty much done with snowboarding, wakeboarding, or any other sport that requires me to set a whole lot of fossil fuel on fire.  I do not enjoy talking about cars, or any other sort of machines. I have a motorcycle, but it is the most boring, wussy motorcycle you can buy and I ride it primarily for fuel economy. I am not into guns, or shopping malls, or fashion. Although I really like movies and sometimes watch TV on my computer, I do not actually own a television and that doesn't bother me one bit. Nor does it bother me that I do not own a cell phone or a credit card.

I do not smoke cigarettes, nor do I smoke drugs. In fact, I have never put any form of mind-altering drugs into my body (except prescription painkillers, and I always quit taking them before I'm supposed to). Although I will happily overindulge on home-baked sweets, I have very little sugar in my diet. I eat almost no comfort or junk food and generally make a lot of my food myself, at home. I can't remember the last time I drank a soda.

Although I tend to think about sex more than I feel is particularly healthy, I don't have sex with women. Or men. I do not enjoy parties with lots of people, and likewise do not enjoy bars. I do not generally like group dances, so I almost never go. I do not drink any alcohol - in fact, you could probably fit all the alcohol I've ever sipped in a shot glass.

I am not a member of any clubs, societies or cults. I am not affiliated with any major institutions of any kind, or any political party. I have no magazine subscriptions. I have never been in a fist fight, and in fact do my best to avoid angry arguments.

In short, I am a very, very boring person.

No wonder I feel lonely sometimes. No wonder I feel isolated, and walk around wondering why anyone would ever love me.

They do, though. They do - and not just the people who have a blood-reason for it. One of those non-blood lovers-of-me (JJ) suggested recently that I ought to write a list of things I love about myself, so I will remember to love myself; and a list of things I don't love about myself, so I'll remember what I am trying to change. I squished my finger today while working on my motorcycle and it is pulsating pain up my arm to my forehead, so I am not going to do the latter and make this painful funk I'm in worse with a public airing of the things I don't love about myself.

Instead, I think I will cheer myself up by listing the things about myself that I do love. Since we've already determined that I am a boring person, I might as well admit right up front that I love that I enjoy scrabble and chess, and am pretty decent at both of them. I think I have a fairly handsome, symmetrical, acne-free face - and as shallow as it is to admit, I love that about myself.

I love that I am a good father to my son. I love how I almost always catch myself before losing my temper with him, so that he knows me as a very gentle, attentive person. I love that I get to watch him discover life.

I love that I have weird, random skills picked up from my weird, random life - skills that are not particularly useful day-to-day: like tossing a hand net, climbing a tree, driving an oversized truck at high speeds through mud, tying cardboard boxes onto a four-wheeler, or capping the exhaust system for a high-end natural gas fireplace. I love walking around knowing that if someone was ever like, "Oh, my gosh! Is there a guy handy with an angle grinder in the house!?!" I would be able to jump right in.

I love that I am creative and  get to make stuff that bears my mark and connects with other people. I love that I am a good writer and painter, and that I have written and painted things that have had deep, personal significance to friends and strangers. I love my singing voice, and I love that I have finally begun to get over my fear and am learning to play a musical instrument.  I love that my creativity has allowed me to know and befriend an inordinate number of people whom I consider to be creative geniuses. I love that I, personally, bear the mark of a Creative Genius beyond my capacity to understand. I love that I don't have to understand it to enjoy it. I love that I am comfortable with silence. I also love that I am comfortable being alone, and that I have a rich inner life.

I love that I find intense pleasure in simple things - smells, sights, sounds... cleaning a toilet - and that I am surrounded by a natural world that perpetually blows my mind. I love that I can appreciate beauty, and that there is so much beauty to appreciate. I love the whole world, and all its sights and sounds. Boom-dee-ya-da!

 I love that my friends can count on me to fill any need of theirs that I am able to fill, and that some of them ask me to do ridiculous favors for them because they know I'll say yes. I love that my friends can trust me with their darkest secrets, knowing that I will keep them secret and listen without judgement. I love that I learned to be hospitable from my parents, and that I take great pleasure in serving other people.
You know what? I may be weird and boring... but that just worked. How could anybody feel lonely, surrounded by all that love?

Do me a favor, will ya? Write your own list. Put it in the comments, even. I would love to hear about it. Even if you don't want to make it public, though, you should still write a list. It will be worth it. You're amazing! When was the last time you noticed?

7 comments:

  1. I love that I am enthusiastic about my love for my family and dear dear friends. I love that I fiercely protect those I love. I love that I am usually (inadvertently) emotionally transparent, so my friends don’t ever have to guess that something’s wrong or something’s right- they see it. I love that I’m a fast learner and can almost always be the first to catch on to tasks, new procedures, and concepts. I love that I am very forgiving; even to those that no one understands how or why I would forgive them.

    I love that I’m comfortable in my own skin and not much about my body embarrasses me. I love that I have two good friends that will cry with me when I cry and I always reciprocate. It’s an understanding. I love that when a friend needs me, no matter how badly, I am there no matter the obstacles I go through to get to them.

    I love that I pick up foreign languages very quickly. I love that I can do advanced math in my head. I love that I’m a smart cookie and can shine in most anything I apply myself to.

    I love that I’m a fun mom, a funny mom, a sometimes unpredictable mom, and always (above all else) a nurturing mother. I love that even though my mother and I had some horrifyingly difficult years, she and I are now the very best of friends because we pulled each others’ heartstrings the hardest.

    I love that I have overcome an addiction and once I finally committed to it, I did it with a homerun without looking back. I love that I have seen hell, so now I can see more beauty and color in my life than I would have otherwise. I love how I learn from and become enlightened by my pain instead of whine about it.

    I love that I am thankful and take the time to appreciate good souls. I love that I am extremely multi-faceted and multi-skilled so not many jobs, duties, activities, people, or situations in general faze me or stump me. I love that when there is a fight, people in the fight want to stand by me because they know if I love them, I’ll get their back and would be willing to take a punch for them.

    I love that I actually survived a fight with my ex husband and came out bloody- I had to fight like I never knew was possible and I lived through it and got past it and didn’t give up because I had to save my son.

    I love how my hair can look like a model’s when I really just leave it all alone. I love when my “On” button is turned on and I can really make some killer jokes and remarks and make myself and my friends laugh for hours. I love that I’m spontaneous and maintain a childlike lack of inhibitions.

    I love that I usually have a clever and catchy personality and almost every company I work for wants me in sales right away. I love that I often fail to acknowledge and walk around oblivious to my greatness, so when I overhear others speak fondly of me, I am all the more flooded with butterflies and an overwhelming sense of surprise and gratitude.

    I love that I have gone against the grain of my family and have altered my world view to be just that- MY world view. I love my world view.

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  2. You are not weird and definately not boring. A creative person is NOT boring. In fact, qite the contrary. They are The Most interesting because they are fascinated with life. God is the ultimate Creator and creative. Creativity is one of the ways that we bear the image of God.
    My husband, George is one of the most creative people in the fact that he is always thinking of new and better ways to do things and is always excited about learning new thinks, be it mental or skill-related. Life is never boring if you are willing to keep learning and if you are willing to think beyond yourself and serve (help) others.
    It seems that you do both.
    You might be lonely because you want someone special to share your life with but as you continue obeying God, loving Him, serving Him, and thinking POSITIVELY (with humility) about yourself, He will answer your heart's cry and give that to you. Sometimes our most creative times are our loneliest. At least that is what I have found in my life. I LOVE being creative but I don't always get the opportunity because I am too busy taking care of my responsibilities. It is when I draw back from people and am quiet from the world that my creativity is allowed to surface.
    Let me clarify my statement about thinking positively about yourself. Romans 12 says not to think to highly of yourself but with sober judgement. I think that is saying that we understand who we are in Christ. All that we are and have is because of Him and His great love for us. Nothing is because of us. At the same time, because of His great love for us, He has elevated us to a high position as His child and we are special and important to Him. So you can walk with your head held high because of who you are in Jesus. Women like men who have confidence in who they are and who place their confidence in God alone. At least godly women do.
    Blessings. Your art work is FANTASTIC and your writing is though provoking.
    Love, Aunt Ruth (Smith)

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  3. You're so, like, Thoreau. I can totally see you in the Peace Corps (or something similar).

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  4. Thanks, "M," Aunt Ruth, and Elizabeth. And especially thanks to you, "M," for reciprocating with the vulnerability and the self-love.

    I am learning that speaking or writing things down makes them more real, and gives them power. So just as it is important to speak or write words of love to other people, it's also great to give them to yourself.

    And Aunt Ruth, you've gotta know that I LIKE being weird... so don't take that away from me :) I don't really feel like I'm boring, either, just that by the standards of what most people I have known think is interesting, I'm a big yawn in the face.

    Oh, and Thoreau? Maybe. I read "Walden" in high school and remember thinking I'd like to do that - but then I remembered that I'm insecure and need people to give me hugs. What I really want is a shack in the woods with a steady stream of half-day visitors. That'd be nice.

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  5. Thanks Josh. It really did make me feel like a million bucks to take the time to think about what I love about myself then write it down. I usually make constant mental notes about what I don't like, but this was a good exercise and helped to balance me out and even put a pep in my step.

    I liked what you wrote too- as I usually do. So, thanks to you for being odd and interesting enough to write this out on your blog :)

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  6. What do I love about myself? I am faced with this question nearly everyday. Over the past few years, I have learned and developed more than I could have ever imagined. However, the more that I revealed, the more disgusted I was. For a while, I settled with an empty list of lovable qualities. But then I realized that I do not want to settle; settling is giving up. So amidst my self-discovery, I decided to learn to love things about me. I quickly realized this is easier said than done, seeing as I perceived myself as an undeserving candidate of love. I began this “construction period” with many doubts but ambitious still. I first made a list of everything I hated about myself and why I hated it. I found that every item on my list was put there because I kept comparing myself to “the norm.” That was and still is the problem. I hated things about me because most people were not like that and that is illegitimate reasoning. So I learned to love what I prematurely thought was unlovable.

    With that being said, I present to myself and to everybody, my list:
    I love my ambition.
    I love that I am different.
    I love that I am not included in the descriptions of “the average teenage girl.”
    I love that I have an odd obsession with math.
    I love that I like to be alone and in silence (just like you).
    I love that I just want to think sometimes.
    I love that I am not motivated by money.
    I love that when I allow my walls to come down, I am confident that I will love what I see.
    I love that I want to learn.
    I love that I want to teach.
    I love that I want to make a difference.
    I love that I am not afraid to be alive.
    I love my taste in music.
    I love that I have the potential to create beauty.
    I love that I can see through the masks that we daily wear.
    I love that I am in awe of nature.
    I love that I know I will fulfill my purpose before I leave.
    I love that I have my mother’s green eyes.
    I love that I have my father’s personality.
    I love my sense of humor.
    I love that I do not need constant stimulation.
    I love that I have no trouble saying “no.”
    I love that I am a good listener.
    I love that I continually try to “create more and consume less” (that was the advice Mr. Sharpe gave us on the last day of class).
    I love that I refuse to be told what to think.
    I love that I like and want to be challenged.
    I love that my list and everyone else’s list will never be completed.

    I was very hesitant to make this list in fear of feeling and seeming conceited. However, it did not do so; it not only made me feel comfortable in my skin but it also made me realize that if I can love my flaws and how different I am, then I can love other people just the same way. I can love the “unlovable.” I want to challenge everyone to do this: love what you think you cannot. But this is only possible if you stop being fearful of life and of diversity and if you are always searching for the beauty.

    With love,
    A former student who learned more about life in her high school art class than her teacher will ever know.
    I cannot thank you enough, never stop teaching.

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