I Am Me

Nov 18

One of the greatest dilemmas of my life has always been–What am I? Who Am I? I know my name obviously, but figuring out my grand purpose in life has always eluded me. I had the “I want to be an astronaught,” or the “I want to be a vet” phases of my childhood, much like everyone else. The difference is that while others that I grew up with were able to just latch onto a career goal, I have spent my life trying everything and always coming back to the creative side of my life, even though I was constantly told that I’d never make a living out of it.

I had the curse of being able to pick things up quickly. If I set my mind to research and setting aside the time to actually learning something, I could become pretty damn good at it. My uncle gave us our first computer when I was 10. Because he was in California, any problems that needed to be solved were over the phone and I picked up quickly how to do them myself. I learned basic programming with a few books and it gave me the confidence to become proficient in all things computers at a very young age.

I call it a curse–because as children often do–anytime I had a whim of wanting to try something new, I was able to learn it and do it well. Photoshop? Self taught and proficient. That led to creating websites, designing ads, photo editing, etc.. All of which required dealing with people–which is where my weakness lied. I could talk to people, but hated small talk. I never got networking. The entire “Who you know” BS didn’t satisfy the wanting to earn what I got. I wanted to be appreciated for what I did, and I didn’t like the phony or empty achievements that were gained only by knowing someone.

I started working at 14, so from McDonalds, to various tech jobs, to landscaping, to the military, to retail–I fit in where necessary, but was never happy. Sure the money was usually always good, but I was just going through the motions. How I looked at what happiness was, was never realized. So of course I thought I needed relationships to satisfy that hole. Boy, was I wrong. It was a learning experience though, so of course I got good at it. I learned what I should do to be a good boyfriend, a good lover, a good partner. Of course learning isn’t doing, and going through the motions wouldn’t cut it. And it still doesn’t.

I feel deep. I can’t turn that off, even though I’ve tried. I’d rather stay alone than be in a bad relationship, although when I was younger it was the exact opposite. I felt that it was better to feel something, even if it was pain, than to feel nothing at all. I had a period of completely empty sex, where it satisfied that need to feel something, even though I knew it was empty and not worth it. I can even admit that I haven’t outgrown that completely. I needed friends, but of course I chose the wrong kinds. They satisfied my social needs and although at the time I saw everything that I disliked or that made me uncomfortable to be around them, I only now can admit that I used them as much as I was used for what I could give them. I used them to feel a part of something. When I got rid of all the bad friends, I suddenly realized I had no friends. Funny how that works out, but it showed me how poorly a job I did of actually bonding with anyone. Was I even capable of bonding with anyone at all?

I needed to be alone at times, but because of the comments that you’re a loner, you’re a recluse, you need to get out, blah blah blah, I used those that used me for my car or money or whatever, simply to not look weird. It only served to hide my true self, even from myself. I wanted so bad to feel normal, even though I never did. At times I thought I did, but that’s most likely because I buried myself in whatever I was doing. Wanting to be “liked” in a real way, way before Facebook even happened, was the most torturous life experience I could ever imagine.

I can honestly say I still don’t know who or what I am. I’ve probably hurt plenty of people along the way on my journey to trying to understand myself. I’ve most likely blamed others for situations I caused or even forced. Am I introverted? I don’t know and I hate labels. I got so good at adapting and learning things that I could probably be anything I wanted to be. But would I be happy? Am I happy now? Sometimes I think I am. Sometimes I think I’m just saying I’m happy because it feels good to say it.

So who am I? I’m just me. I live in my head. I’m probably not who I think I am, and others might have a completely different idea of me than what I think they do. I won’t know unless I ask, but that would involve actually asking. Like Calvin & Hobbes, my imagination is my biggest friend, except I never had any imaginary friends. The characters I invented in my mind never took a physical form, and they were always temporary. I’m hoping that isn’t always the case, but it might just be and I will learn to live with that. I’m a quick learner. I can adapt to anything, even if it is being alone. And alone isn’t always lonely.

As an artist I create.
As a lover I feel.
As a fighter I express.
As me I deal.
As a person I help.
In a constant search to find in my mind what is real.

 

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