I have serious control issues. I always want to be right [read: I always AM right]. I am a perfectionist. I am not a risk taker. I follow the rules.
And I am a lot of fun. Sound it, right?
I’m not all of these things but at the same time, I am. But who cares? Who is keeping track of what I “am” and what I’m not? I am learning more and more that in making definitions, naming myself, I’m putting myself in a box.
We all do it.
We take our whole, complicated existence and try to explain it away in sentences, putting ourselves into little shoe boxes as if it can hold everything about us and we’ll be understood. It’s not that easy and once we start understanding that it’s okay not to know exactly who or what we are we’ll be much happier. It’s okay not to be able to put ourselves into words or definitions.
I used to think it was cool to be able to say, “Oh, I always do that.” Or, “I’ll never do it.” I felt it gave me some sort of sense of self. Like, “okay, if I know nothing else about myself at least I know this one thing.”
In fact, I keep wondering how I can be such a realist and a deep thinker at the same time. How can I be a creative writer and enjoy using a spreadsheet daily as well? How can I be extremely competitive and caring at the same time? I like so many things and it makes me often feel like I don’t know who I am.
When people ask if I’m a risk taker or a follow the rules kind of person I don’t know how to answer it. And why would I have to be either or? I’ve driven cross country with no sort of schedule, yet I don’t like starting a day without knowing how it will play out. Strange? I used to think so but why can’t we be two completely different things at once?
We’re humans and humans are supposed to be complicated. We aren’t supposed to make sense. There is no defining Danielle Clark or John Doe.
I was recently reading a blog by Kate Bartolotta on the Huffington Post website called “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps,” and she said it right.
“..somewhere along the line we tacked on those ideas about who we are that buried that essential brilliant, childlike sense of wonder. The more we stick to these scripts about who we are the longer we live a fraction of the life we could be living.”
Now, go out and surprise yourself. Do something that’s not “you.”