Monday, March 10, 2008

Perspective

Okay, this is going to be a rambler so if you want duck out, I completely understand.

There is this thing about me that I have noticed in recent years that I may have always had and just didn't notice or just noticed because it just appeared. Regardless, it has come to my attention that I believe that in sharing something with someone else about myself, I change the way that person perceives me from that point forward.

I think I have started keeping a lot of things to myself because I don't want that permanent imprint to be there, unless it really is something that is permanent. Meaning, if I tell someone something about my history or experiences, that is fine because it is factual and happened and is part of who I am permanently, but if I tell them about something I am feeling or thinking about at that moment, it is not permanently part of me...just momentarily part of me but I am afraid it will be part of me in their mind forever more. Does that make sense?

Obviously there are things that I don't mind making a permanent part of my memory for others, like how I feel about saving the environment or cruelty to animals but I guess it is more the internal fears or questions that worry me will cloud a person's perception of me in a way that I can't stand. Sometimes I even find myself keeping anger to myself because I don't want to imprint them with me as being an angry person or a fly off the handle kind of person or a person that is not cool and collected.

I remember as a college student, who has kept a journal from the age of 12, that my mother asked if anything ever happened to me, could she publish my journals. Now the idea of being published is fabulous...I would love to be a paid writer, but I was scared that someone would read those things (which are all marked by date and time) and think that I felt all of that all the time, rather than just in that moment. This is kind of the same thing.

The other day, one of my friend's nicknamed me Oracle on the bowling scoreboard. I didn't get it and asked what it meant. She said because I know everything. I know, of course that she didn't mean this in a mean way, but all of a sudden I started to wonder, do I come across as a know it all? I do like to be informed on things....in my life, it is best to be informed (those of you that actually know me, will agree this is so) and I like to help keep my friends and those I love informed as well if I can but I don't want to be thought of as a know it all....that is for sure. I guess it seems like a negative thing to me but probably to others it is not.

I shared some things with my sister the other day, and then I started to think about it today that now she probably thinks of me in a different light. I know deep in my heart that this is probably not true that she just thinks of me the same as she always has as her big sister and none of it was a big enough deal to really dwell on for long anyhow but there is still that nagging little part that worries about it. Weird huh? Because I know things about her that are very similar to what I shared with her and none of that changes at all how I look at her so why should I think it would change how she looks at me?

Those are just two examples of what I am talking about overall here. I feel like even with friends and family, I am keeping more of myself close to the cuff so I don't leave a permanent imprint that I didn't intend to leave....at the same time, I feel like if I don't share myself, especially in the moment, will I end up leaving an imprint at all?

The thing is, because of my belief system, this life we have is the one and only final run, no rewinds, no do overs. As humans, we tend to think we need to have meaning to our lives (I don't know that any other animals think this way), and perhaps that is a good thing. It instigates us to make a difference and try to do some good. But at the same time, it fills us with this feeling like we don't amount to something if we aren't creating Pulitzer prize books, or curing cancer. Do cheetahs care about if they have made a mark on the world? No, they live, die and the world moves on....they can have a short life or a long life and the only difference will really be on how many offspring they ended up having.

As a human, I am stuck wondering if I am making a mark on the world, even a little one, and if that is enough to count my life as worthwhile. Should I be doing more? Should I worry about the permanent imprint a rash comment or outburst might cause or should I be focusing on the big picture and the fact that I am here for a very short time and should be enjoying this life I have for what it is worth and just try to help those around me enjoy theirs too?

For those of you reading this and going "ahah, she is having a mid life crisis"...don't think you have everything figured out just quite yet. Number one, I am not in mid life (in my thirties)....I plan to live a very long time (assuming I don't get hit by a bus), so this is in no way my mid life, and number two, I think that this age is a great time to think about these things because I still have tons of time to make changes if necessary and still affect the outcome.

I don't want to be a clique, so I hope that sharing this part of me has not left a permanent clique imprint on you.....(see, I am still worried about it).

8 comments:

sourpuss said...

I don't know if it's of any consequence coming from a stranger who comments occasionally (but reads daily!), but this is the first post where I've felt connected to you & learned something about you that I didn't consider to be 'surface' material.

Granted, I haven't read through your entire archives since I started reading your blog, so there could be more posts like this that I'm not aware of, but this one struck a chord with me.

I think quite frequently about the things you've mentioned here and feel similarly. Thanks for sharing a part of yourself and don't worry about having 'imprinted' anything or being judged in any way. I love it when people expose parts of themselves (well, not LITERALLY! heh) and let me see a different side of them & possibly give me a different point of view to consider. It's a valuable experience for all involved, if people are open to it.

Be who you are, say what you feel, feel all that you can, because like you said: life is short & should be enjoyed as much as possible.

Mishka said...

Thanks Sourpuss...I appreciate your thoughts. I know my blog is sometimes very much on the surface of things. Part of this comes from my desire to stay somewhat anonymous and part of it comes from knowing that people who actually know me read it and not wanting to surprise, gross out or hurt them.

Chicken said...

Sis, no worries. I look at and love you the same as before. In fact I feel more connected to you. I am honored that you can open up to me and I hope that my input is helpful in some way.

I believe everyone leaves a mark in some way or another. Whether you are working to cure cancer or share something personal with someone, you are leaving that mark. Some person out there might be a talented painter and maybe no one will ever see their work. Should they forget about painting because the rest of the world won't see it? It still has meaning doesn't it? So I guess what I am saying is that it has a lot more to do with you and your perception of yourself and not as much with others although that factors into your perception. I am guess going with the "big picture" view of it.

I believe that people's weaknesses or perceived weakness can be their strength as well. Sometimes it forces us delve deeper and perhaps discover something about ourselves that we would never had before. I have definitely learned more about who I am and how I want to grow because of my "issues". I feel like it has taken me too long to become the person I should have been a 10 years ago and I wished I didn't waste time trying to push it in the background.

I understand about having people think of you a certain way if you share something with them. Sometimes I find it empowering because it may help someone understand how it feels. Sometimes I keep it to myself because I don't want every action I make to be attributed to it- by family, friends or whoever. I don't want it to define me but it is a part of what makes me who I am. I guess that line is different for each individual.

I'm not very open on my blog for exactly the same reasons. In fact I have contemplated quiting altogether. I guess I continue because it gives me a license to lurk (uh oh now I'm a lurker :-).

Mishka said...

I hope you don't quit your blog and your comment was written quite well and definitely hit the point. Thanks sis, for understanding and not judging....

Haha said...

Most people do not expose every thing or emotion they are experiencing at the time. I think we share as needed on both sides of our relationships. I find I evaluate the situations the older I get (could that be wisdom)???? You do leave an imprint on this planet, we all do in our circles and those circles continue out into infinity. I can think of many ways you have impacted the lives of your family and friends and people who do not even know you have - I think that is the true beauty of our life on this planet. Although I believe there is more than just this earthly life, we have plenty of riches to give and receive. You have certainly provided me with some of my greatest joys and learning on this earth and have been and continue to be a wonderful daughter and friend.

Mind Sprite said...

I have to agree with Sourpuss that this is one of the few personal posts you've ever put up and I feel more connected to you in a human way.

I know that you are protective of your privacy, but our quirks and foibles and thought processes are what make us unique individuals. Sharing what makes you, YOU, is a way of reaching out and connecting with other humans on the planet.

I hope that I am not judged by my every thought and utterance and I would certainly not judge you by them either. I can be impulsive, selfish, lazy, etc. but that is not ALL I am and certainly not all the time.

I would just say "lighten up" and stop worrying but we all know it's not that easy ;)

Mishka said...

Thanks guys for all the kind words...

Just a Girl said...

This post resonates with me as well. I find I am guarded with thought and feeling because I have an underlying fear that if I change my mind (due to new info and/or experience) people will think I am a fraud, liar or failure.

I don't think this way about others but I still have moments that I worry they will do this to me.

I also get people referring to me with a word that causes me to hear know it all. I know that I don't know it all and I hope people realize this...I just a a memory that holds on to weird and random information.

I think you are good.