So, the comment from the person who Clearly Does Not Know Me got me to thinking. I was remembering my "not a good girl" posts and thinking of linking to them, and then expanding that for the new people to show them all of who I am. And then I thought, you know, I've changed a LOT in the last decade or so. The core of who I am is the same, but a lot of layers have been peeled from this onion, and a lot (a LOT) has happened and...it's time to look at myself, and show myself, with new eyes. Today, I'm letting the past be the past and seeing myself as I am. So.
Here I am, minus all of the stuff that made me who I am. You can search back for it if you want, but this is what really matters most now.
I am fierce. *grins as I think of Bette Midler's "I'm Beautiful, Dammit"* By that, I mean that I am determined, independent, strong, and passionate in my approach to life. Update: Well, I am, but I'm also deeply interdependent, because I'm a human being and we are wired to be that. I depend on my support circle and they depend on me and I'm good with that. Also, I get tired of being strong a lot, but I can't help but continue to be so. Living with chronic pain and other health problems sucks, but I'm pretty good at it.
I am just a little bit hard. Alongside that, I am sensitive and loving. It is far from the only dichotomy you will encounter, and I am comfortable with them all.
I am highly intelligent. (Update: Which took a long time to come to peace with.)
I am unambitious. (Update: Yes, I said UNambitious. My goals in life are simple and mostly met already. That said, I work very hard for the things I care about, most of the time.)
I take a realistically positive approach to life. (Update: I was raised by a cynic.)
I am patient as a rule, but sometimes very much not.
I have anxiety issues that I am working on in a subtle and long-term way. (Update: Which is working!) In a related note, while I tend to be risk-averse, I have embraced a considerable amount of risk in my life and am finding quite a lot of value in doing so.
Update: This next paragraph is true, but comes across snottier than I want it to. And I DO hold grudges, terribly, though I try not to and I'm getting much better at finding ways to work through things so I can let them go. I can't let something go until I HAVE worked through it, though.
There are lines with me that you should not cross. If you do, I will reject you, after giving you sufficient chance to correct any error, always assuming you knew the line was there...ignorance is definitely an excuse in this case. I rarely hold grudges. I find them to be negative to myself and a waste of energy. If I have forgiven you, I have forgiven you and we will move on...most of the time. Some injuries take a long time to fully work past and through. If you are out of my life, you are out of it, period.
If I cross your lines, and I find them to be reasonable ones, I will apologize and do what I can to help you feel better/work it out/etc. If I find them unreasonable, we will probably go our separate ways. I will quite likely not bear you any ill will. I believe it is perfectly okay for people to just not have enough in common to associate on a more intimate level.
When I get angry, I speak very loudly and say things that are unkind. Occasionally, I punch walls or other inanimate objects. I consider this to be a bad temper, and I endeavor to control it. (Update: I haven't hit anything in a while, I must be doing better!)
I have a very strong will for having things My Way. It's not my intention to run over people or ignore other people's priorities or feelings, and I encourage people I care about to tell me if I'm doing that so I can correct it. But, outside that, I will do things my way. (Update: I'm a lot less controlling than I used to be, though, and let small things go a lot more now.)
Note that I said "people I care about". I draw a sharp line between the people that are close to me and the rest of the world. While I do love humanity in general and seek to benefit them (far more than a lot of people, actually), me and mine do ultimately come first. I am no martyr.
I find martyrdom rather irritating, actually. If you are going to sacrifice yourself, okay, do it. It is your choice. I may find your sacrifice admirable or I may not, depends on a lot of factors. Martyrdom is NOT inherently praiseworthy, in my opinion. We ALL make sacrifices, both small and large; it's simply a necessary part of life.
But I digress.
I am honest. I am very considerate of others' feelings, particularly those I care about individually, but I am honest, and more honest the more I care about you. This is something you either love or hate about me, and either love me because or in spite of. I prefer the former, of course. :)
I work, particularly, to be honest with myself. I find that this pursuit has led to a knowledge of inner motivation and mental functioning that applies far beyond myself, and thus I find that I can read people very well. I see and hear what's underneath. It's often not the sort of thing people want other people to see. I'm perpetually struggling with how perceptive it is acceptable in society for me to be...and how honest.
This talent of mine can make it challenging to be loved by me, because I find it very difficult to be less than up front with the people I love. I can do it, but I don't like it, and I'll probably ultimately end up distancing myself. On the up side, you will know that you can count on me to tell it to you like I see it and you will know that I know and love you for exactly who you are, and I will know the same, something I personally hold as one of the most desirable things in life.
UPDATE: I should have said something in here about the fact that I realized a long time ago that confronting people about things they are not ready or willing to deal with doesn't do any good and often does harm, so I do keep my mouth shut a lot in that way.
I am good at distancing myself.
I am not particularly loyal. I find loyalty that I consider excessive to be kind of sad. People should not maintain relationships just because they made them...relationships should continue to be of real value, depth and meaning to everyone involved, or they should be allowed to die.
See what I mean about a "little bit hard"? (That's an example, anyway.)
I am skeptical, but believe in a number of unprovable things with the certainty born of personal experience.
I am a firm atheist (Update: well, if you are down with a deity that has no kind of will or consciousness, you could consider me a pantheist) and mostly Buddhist (Update: Well, not sure how "mostly" it is. I think the nature mystic is pretty dominant these days.) I believe in a universal subconsciousness of sorts, a universal energy, and I practice a kind of magic (which is where I depart from Buddhism, in that I am acting to affect things in ways that Buddhism actually advises against, and I understand why and it's all quite complicated.) Additionally, I was called to be an auspex, which is an ancient Roman profession of divination and omen-reading via birdlife. (See wrenstarling.) This and parenting are the two overwhelming callings of my life.
I am, first, foremost, and always a mother, a nurturer. I was before I had children, and I will be when they are grown and gone. I think I'm a rather good one; I'm quite confident, actually. I have, unsurprisingly, a lot of strong opinions on parenting. (Update: Actually, after 8 years as a parent, my strongest opinions are mostly about respecting that almost everyone is doing the best that they can and focusing on helping not chastising.) They are not entirely predictable, so it's probably a good idea not to make too many assumptions. If you are curious, ask. (In fact, that's a rule regarding me generally. And I LOVE to be asked. ;))
I'm creative and I think outside the box.
I've got a highly developed set of ethics that I live by. They are complicated, and, again, be careful about your assumptions, and feel free to ask! :)
I have a lot of strong, well-formed opinions, but I am reasonably tolerant of the fact that mine are far from the only ones out there. I can respect most any opinion that is truly educated and carefully thought out. I may not want to be your friend, but I can respect it.
In sum, I am an unusual person. I can be hard to live with, and even hard to like, but I accept that many people will prefer me at arm's length, though I do my best to be at least palatable to the masses. I am content with who I am and proud of that fact. If I'm not for you, let us go our separate ways while we can still honestly wish each other well. If I am for you, I hope that I find you are for me as well and we can have a long and beautiful friendship.
All my love,
P.S. This took FOREVER to write, not least because I dealt with a great many distractions while doing so, and I am thankful that I finally finished, and I am thankful to those of you who took the time to read it. Thank you.
Update: When I read this today, it came across as a bit stiff and stodgy and maybe even a little defensive. It probably was; someone, as the first paragraph states, had just upset me a bit when I wrote this. That said, it's true, if a bit less relaxed and friendly than I normally sound. Welcome!