Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Out of the Blue

I was a total goody-two-shoes when I was a kid. The thing I dreaded most was getting a "talking to" from one of my parents. It didn't take so much to please them, just to get good grades and stay out of trouble. So I did. Staying out of trouble meant a lot of things--not running wild with my friends, getting home by curfew, showing up at church on Sunday, not disagreeing, and not talking back. Somewhere along the line, I learned I could do whatever I wanted as long as I didn't get caught, and I started compartmentalizing. I just kept my mouth shut, and everything was alright. Even as an adult, some old habits are hard to let go.

I started this blog in the interest of expressing my truest self and thoughts. And, for the most part, I think I explain my views honestly. However, both in this medium and in real life, my distaste for open conflict holds me back. Because I hate fighting with the people I care about, I censor the pieces of myself that I feel would offend them. For someone who prides myself on not giving a shit what most people think of me, I spend a lot of time creating the spin that will make me more palatable to people I love but have decided can't handle the "real" me. I don't tell, and for the most part, they don't ask. They are relationships of mutual delusion.

It's not even that I don't want to fight. I wish I had the balls to stand up and tell the bluntest truths. I stay silent because it's easier, because I don't want to sit through a well-meaning lecture about all the ways I am "disappointing" someone else's expectations, because when it comes down to it, I really don't care what anyone else wants, because I'm still going to do whatever it is I want to do. So, maybe it comes down to something as simple as laziness.

Or maybe it's something more serious. I hate telling half-truths in this blog, but then I'm worried that the wrong people will read it and somehow I'll get "in trouble." I'm almost 29 years old...what's the worst that could happen to me? That my parents won't love me anymore? Maybe. I've never tested that supposedly unconditional love. If my life goes in a different direction than theirs, can they accept me and have a relationship with me? That's a tough cliff to jump off of blindly.

I don't want to harm my relationship with anyone, but I also cannot, under any circumstances, be the person they think I ought to be. The best I can do is a poor fictional version of that person, a version that makes me resentful at family gatherings because I have to stay in character for hours on end and can't talk honestly about what's going on in my life. I'd like to look forward to those gatherings instead of dreading the conversations I'll have to avoid to keep the peace.

Maybe it's just that over a decade after I became a legal "adult," I'm ready to grow up already.


  1. i say don't worry about it, angi. i mean, if you know who you are, be it. i learned a long time ago that you weren't the person i thought i wanted you to be, but in reality i just wanted you to be the person that i wanted to be. once i figured that out, i realized that i could work to become what i wanted rather than just trying to be a clone of my older sister...though i still must have copied the "i hate confrontation" trait haha.

    i don't know where i was going with this, or if it even applies. but it needed saying. so rest easy because i think i'm better than you anyway ;)

    i kid of course.

  2. Damnit! I thought you weren't a lesbian.