two things.

January 17, 2013

first thing.

for me, desire is deeply visceral and usually involves a twist-and-flop of something in the gut and the sudden inability to breathe. the most recent time it happened, I was at work, scraping out dirty dishes over the bin with the tap running. I scraped half-eaten mac n’ cheese into the bin, felt my stomach twist, and- taken by surprise- laughed. It’s so typical. Gut-wrenching sentiment in the most inconvenient, unsentimental circumstances. I love it. It’s the way my world works. I love the incongruity, the contradiction.

I would like to point out that my desire was not for the half-eaten mac n’ cheese. I am well aware that there are jokers in the crowd.



second thing.

there was a letter written recently. an exchange of letters. an exchange of voices, so to speak, although I gave up at the end of mine. I can see my sentence structures poking through my words. but there was a letter written as me by someone not me, and it was hilarious and well-written, because it sounded like me. an exaggerated version, yes. but.

if this is how people see me, I’m not sure I want to talk.

I went online and asked the people I know: do I actually sound like this? do I actually sound like this, this ditzy, this maniacal, this birdwitted and sugar-laden and fizzy and blonde? Loud and ostentatious and melodramatically crude, all fake eyelashes and dahhhling? and they said sometimes.

and sometimes I am. I suppose mostly I am, around people. but I think, I really do think that the inside of me isn’t. the me I am when I am most honestly myself- most usually, when I’m alone or writing- is something with a lot more stillness, a lot more truth. it’s why I like being alone. it’s why I like blogging. I don’t have to be socially functional, or lighthearted and cheerful or at least humorous, or please people, or watch what I say or make other people feel better about themselves or judge how much truth to give them or try to ease tension or try to make them like me. I enjoy a lot of these things when I do them. But when I don’t have to do any of these things, I can just be, and think, and not have to try. I can be unhappy and bitter and silent and turned into myself and not have to worry if I’m inconveniencing anybody else. I can let go a little. I can be wrong. there is space enough and honesty enough for me to be so.

and it is, more or less, with some exceptions, the person I am in this blog. so reading the funhouse mirror of my own outside voice jarred me a little. and I thought: I thought you saw more of me than this.

I thought I was more than this. and maybe some of it is the fear that I’ve misunderstood everything from the first off, that there is no secretive inner me with an innate dignity, that I’m always the idiot. always the fool. always and forever.

maybe I feel too much. maybe I don’t know how to laugh at myself; maybe I’m too precious about my identity or something. I know I’m hurt, somehow, and I don’t know why. and maybe I shouldn’t be taking it here and trying to figure it out where it’s most visible, because it was meant well and well-written and it was meant in jest. but it felt like mockery.

I have more substance than the obvious froth of me. I am a fool, and usually happily so, but that is not all that I am. I thought it was visible.

I am aware that a lot of this is my own continual armwrestle with the issue of identity and my own insecurities about how people see me, what people think of me. but because this is my blog and because I am alone and writing here, even though I am writing with the knowledge of other people, I will allow myself to actually be hurt and afraid, reasonable or not, nonsensical or not, inconvenient for other people or not.

if my feelings are inconvenient to you, that’s okay. you don’t have to engage with them. you can stop reading. but I have them nonetheless, and I will figure them out and deal with them.

and now I am going to go pack my wardrobe up.


One Response to “two things.”

  1. Peta-Maria Says:

    I like this Val. And I’m glad you wrote it.

    My dear, you are definitely a LOT more than the ‘obvious froth’, but at the same time – we also take great delight in the obvious froth. There is a part of you that is hilariously ridiculous, boundary-pushing, wildly creative, over-dramatic, roll-your-eyes kind of adorable. it’s the part of you that makes me want to let go a little, to let myself stop over-thinking and enjoy a moment, and do something a little bit crazy. to forget what I’m supposed to do and think and to embrace what I actually do and think, even if sometimes that seems a little bit weird, or OTT, or TMI or just irresponsible. I’m thankful for this obvious froth, as well as the deeper parts of you. I enjoyed celebrating it in that letter. It made me laugh.

    You’re right though. There is also another part of the Val I know. I suspect this part is a whole lot harder to put into words. If the other part was the froth of the waterfall, bounding over rocks and crevices, this part of you would be the pool at the bottom. Deep, clear, refreshingly lovely, stiller and yet still moving. More rhythmically perhaps. This Val is quieter, steadier. A plodder rather than a sprinter. The small silent part that grits it’s teeth and carries on. A Val with incredible strength and incredible vulnerability. Your honesty with yourself, with those that you allow closer to this Val, with God, it’s inspiring, hun. You have a compassionate heart, an incredible ability to connect and truly love other people, a hunger for truth and beauty, an abundance of grace, and a rich store of wisdom. And, as the froth is delightful, this pool is beautiful.

    I could go on, but what I mainly wanted to say was: Yes. You’re right. There is more. I don’t think the letter was intended to be a complete summary of your person. I know it wasn’t. But, I’m sorry that it hurt you 😦

    Please know that we love YOU Val. Froth and pool and all. You are amazing. (Please don’t move to Auckland…)

    Happy packing. ❤

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