I didn’t really feel like following a prompt today. But I still need to write to keep my commitment to you. So, I thought I would write about paradox.
After all, I am a living, breathing paradox. I find myself wondering if others are the same, or if most people are diamonds carved with a few less facets.
People tend to tell me I “play my cards close to my chest” or I am “rigid” or I am “so closed off” or that I need to “live a little.”
They don’t tend to see the girl within me that craves life so desperately that I jump out of planes and ride motorcycles and repel down cliff faces.
People see the social butterfly who attends events and enjoys mingling with people, the girl who can talk to anyone. They see the girl who laughs the loudest and isn’t afraid to make a fool of herself. Yes, I am the girl that can’t dance, and the girl that dances all the time.
People don’t see the girl who has to work up the courage to walk outside her own door every day. They don’t see the girl who would rather be home alone, cuddled up with a good book and a cup of tea.
I am the girl who is excessively busy all the time, but enjoys my “down time” thoroughly. I have workaholic tendencies, but I struggle with procrastination. I love to help people and I also find myself in need of help more often than not.
I care deeply about the welfare of our world, the state of our nation, the ecological consequences of the choices we all make on a daily basis, but I refuse to be dragged into political debates.I am a girl who is forever a wanderer, always looking forward to the next adventure. I am also the girl who longs to put down roots and raise my children in stability and routine.
Most people tend to perceive me as a dainty city girl because of my creative side and my love of proper grammar. They don’t see the country girl who grew up wandering the land, the girl who can drive a tractor, knows about gardening, loves to wade in a creek, shoot guns, fish, and ride horses.
Once, when I went to the hospital, a friend told the staff they had the wrong bag of clothes because there were flat shoes in it. Most people don’t realize the depth of my passion for sweatpants and loafers when I am at home. They just see the girl who knows how to dress to the nines for a night on the town. But xl sweats and a tank top are my favorite outfit, if I am being honest.
People see me as “Miss Independent” who doesn’t need anyone. I usually know who I am and what I want in a situation. I am accustomed to not needing anyone, and tend to do what I want, when I want, without asking permission or informing anyone. And I love this about me. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t need people. I need my people more than anything. Connection is the only thing that keeps me sane.
I’m stubborn and I like to get my own way, but sometimes, sometimes I wish people would stand up to me more, question me, speak their mind, give me their honest opinions. Those are the people that turn into long-term friends. Sarah, Amir and Kendra have never been afraid to tell me when I am being an ass. And that is why I love them so much.
I have been told I am a “soulless ginger” and “unemotional,” but I find myself shedding tears of both happiness and sadness at least once a week. My walls are strong and high, but to those I let in, they find a softness and vulnerability that is oh-so-easily broken. I believe the best of people until they have proven me wrong time and time again. And then I still try to see the best in them. Meanwhile, I tend to forget what I am doing/have done well and focus on the things that need improvement in my own life.
I am the girl that searches out the depths of people, while hiding the depths of myself. People always find a “connection” and feel as though they can tell me anything, even strangers. But I am the girl that it takes years to get to know, and then when you think you might be getting close, I reveal a whole new layer of myself. Sometimes the layers surprise even me.
I am the girl who considers you a “new friend” who can’t know the big, bad, hairy stuff until we have known each other more than a few years. Only those with a considerable amount of patience will ever get to see the real me. I don’t like letting people in because I know what happens when they leave.
I push people away in hopes that they will pull me closer. I keep pain and heartbreak to myself because I never want to be a burden to anyone. I suppress emotions in an attempt to make things better, and inadvertently make them worse (although I am working on this).
Getting to know me is no easy feat. I protect myself with aloofness, mystery and laughter. I like doing things my own way. I withdraw when I feel like I am getting too close. I am strong in so many ways, but I am also fearful– fearful of losing love, fearful of being emotionally dependent on someone, and definitely scared of being vulnerable.
I cry when I am happy and sing when I am sad. I am a dreamer and a realist. I love my life while I am always perpetually dancing with death. I am truly a paradox in so many ways. But as I get to know myself better, I am learning to love the rigid, crazy, unemotional, sensitive me.
Do you feel you are a paradox? In what ways?