November 29, 2011

Rearview Mirrors

"Never tell anyone anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

- Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

As I often do, I read through a lot of my old writings tonight. I've been thinking about entering a writing contest or two just to have a new challenge and force myself to write about something other than my quarter-life crises. As usual, it left me yearning to be more like my 18-year-old self. And yet that self wasn't so different from the current version. A lost young woman striving to do something great and find what will help her fulfill her purpose. A lot of things have changed since I started college over six years ago, but I'm still the same at my core. It's like past me is a friend I haven't seen in years, but then we hit a point an hour into our conversation over coffee where we realize we're the same people we always were, no matter the specific circumstances that had changed.

Six years ago, all of my grandparents were alive. I always appreciated that on some level but not nearly as much as I should have. I miss them. I miss the certainty of their presence. I get paranoid about receiving phone calls with more bad news.

Does anyone else get caught between the reality of life that involves chores and errands and your favorite sitcoms and your favorite new shoes and the concert you can't wait to go to and sipping hot cocoa while you drive around listening to Christmas music and gazing at light-adorned homes...and the reality of life that involves faith and death and struggles and making ends meet and making difficult choices? Because I do. I feel like I'm shallow if I focus too much on the first and borderline crazy if I focus too much on the second.

I think my coworkers always think I'm a little bit off, and I just realized why. Family members have watched us grow up and basically accept us as we are, and friends have made the effort to get to know us better over time because they liked what they saw and heard from us and wanted more. Coworkers, however, inevitably get to know us pretty well over time, whether they truly enjoy us or not. Therefore, my coworkers have slowly but surely been subjected to my somewhat neurotic ways and quirky views on life as well as my tendency to over-analyze situations and extrapolate life lessons from the tiniest encounters. Let's face it, I'm probably weird.

I think I'm the kind of weird that a lot of people don't know what to make of. It's like...I'm basically a normal person who gets it, but then I say something awkward or strange that doesn't seem to fit or quite make sense. It throws people off, I've learned. Heck, it throws me off. It's times like those when I realize why my sister tells me I have a lot of "Larry David" moments. I'm so self-aware that it's ridiculous.

I'm not saying any of this with an agenda. It's just what I think, and I'm okay with it.

Are we ever truly comfortable in front of other people? Or will there always be this imperceptibly thin wall between all of us? Maybe it's unavoidable since we're constantly figuring ourselves out, too. Fabulous. All day, every day, all over the world...groups of people, none of whom truly know themselves yet, are thrown together to interact. It's a wonder that things aren't more screwed up than they already are.

I'm curious...what are you passionate about? What do you think is your "thing"? And how did you figure it out?

This post is all over the place because 2am is rapidly approaching. Also, the space bar on my keyboard is frustrating and has to be hit extra hard to make a space. So I'll stop here.

1 comment:

  1. Thinking about those two realities of life that you mention, I think I often focus too much on the latter, and that happy people focus more on the former. And I like reading about your quarter-life crises because I can relate!