I Contradict Myself
"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large -- I contain multitudes." This is one of my all-time favorite quotes, by Walt Whitman. I tend to surprise people who judge me by first impression, or who are only familiar with a few facets of my life. Like many of my fellow bloggers, I'm fairly outgoing here... my life is an open book, I don't hesitate to share my feelings or opinions, and I participate freely in friendly banter.
You would probably be surprised to know that I am miserably uncomfortable in groups of people, to the point of being reculsive. People often mistake me for being shy or stuck up. In truth I am neither. Once I get to know you a bit, which is what happens here, I can talk non-stop for hours, and I can listen just as well. I am patient, caring, and tolerant. I don't see anyone as above me or below me.
If you worked with me you might at first think I was a frumpy old woman, who pretty much keeps to herself and has a tendency make suggestions for getting things up to speed or improving the way they're done. I don't wear bar attire or gym attire to the office, I don't work with earbuds in my ears, I don't text more than I type on legal documents. You'd probably think I was prim and proper. You wouldn't guess that I've been married four times, have lived some pretty crazy lifestyles, and probably have more tattoos than you!
I love conversation... I love absolute quiet. I love sunlight streaming thru the windows, I love candlelight at night. I like bold, bright colors, I like soft pastels. I like fancy desserts, I like simple basic meals like homemade bread and cheese. I like Wild Turkey American Honey, I like really cold beer, but rarely drink more than one glass of either, (though at another time in my life I drank much more) yet a bottle of water is within arm's reach 24/7.
I don't like daring activities or adrenalin rushes, yet I love new adventures like getting to know new people and places. I get high on beautiful scenery and amazing in-depth conversations. I don't enjoy action movies, but I love intense dramas tied to real life experiences.
I don't own dozens of pairs of shoes, in fact shoes don't interest me at all, beyond their comfort level. I buy a pair of sandals and wear them 'til they fall apart. Yet I love to have my toes and nails done in beautiful acrylic colors. I wear very little jewelry, and leave the same earrings in my ears for years at a time. My hair flies long and free, except when I braid it or pull it in a pony tail to keep the relentless wind here from turning it into a rat's nest. I own an assortment of curlers and curling irons, yet never use them. I don't like to shop, I find all the enticement to "buy more" emotionally and spiritually draining.
If you talked with me yet knew nothing about me, you might think I was educated, or at least knew a little about a lot of things, yet in truth I have only a couple years of college completed and have spent a lifetime at meanial, mindless clerical jobs. Any knowledge I have comes from books I've read or experiences I've lived.
I will preach the importance of stability and responsibility, and then I'll tell you that I've lived dozens of places in my lifetime and chose partners that were anything but responsible... at least until now.
I will tell you to take good care of yourself, and I will eat junkfood and park my butt in a chair behind my laptop instead of in the seat of my exercycle.
I don't have a heart for killing animals, yet I can't imagine foregoing meat to be a vegetarian, even though I am a coward and buy my meat neatly packaged from the store. It pains me to see a fish with a hook in it's mouth, although I have fished.
I hate potty-mouth people who use the f-word in every sentence and can't communicate without it. Yet if I'm really upset or angry, foul words come flying out and I can swear with the best of the bad boys. I detest vulgar behavior, yet I've engaged in intimate behavior in some pretty unusual situations and locations. I like modesty, yet I felt totally comfortable with the easy familiarity of commune life, or with running naked across my deck to the hot tub when the drilling rig crew was less than 100 yards away. I figured if they wanted to be permanently scarred with those images, it was their problem!
I will tell you if I think you are too self-focused, yet I will also tell you that you need to love yourself and care for yourself and make time just for yourself. I preach the gospel of love and forgiveness, yet there are a couple people I have never managed to forgive.
What I believe isn't always the way I live, though I try to remain true to my core beliefs. I ask questions outloud, and then I answer them... much to the amusement of my husband. I have always done this.
Often someone will say to me "you just contradicted yourself," as if that should embarass me or at least make me reconsider my position. My answer... is always, much to their consternation... "very well then, I contradict myself." We are all multi-faceted and far more complex than we might appear at first meeting or in the words we post here, we are diamonds in the rough... and we are amazing!