Friday, March 29, 2013

Major Lint in the Bellybutton

Ah… A quiet Friday night.  I really need to write more.  Remember when I was good at this?

I am going to try a new mini-project every Friday. Maybe I’ll call it "Friday Retrospective", to start.  Or "Navel Gazing Friday".  I wish I were clever, and could set it up with a link like ”Six Word Saturday”, so everyone could try to tackle a common question.  But I’m not that clever;  so, I’ll just write.

Here’s today’s question:  How did you view yourself as a child?  How did others view you?

I don’t recall having much of a sense of self.   I did not think I was pretty or smart, and mostly remember trying to create a world to which I belonged.  I tried to look different by giving myself long hair (three pairs of tights on my head, then braided.  It’s pigtails!)  I tried on a lot of personae as a child.  I read compulsively and modeled myself after the heroines of my books:  Caddie Woodlawn, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables, Jo March, Barbara Barry. 

Wow, I sound like a sociopath.  Can you hear the psychiatrist now?  “No personality.  She only absorbs the personalities of others.”

How did people view me?  Not positively, at least mot my family.  I remember very little in the way of kind words from  them:  drama queen; little Sarah Bernhardt; liar. 

Looking back, I see that I was too emotional to be a good fit with the rest of my family.  And it’s also possible that I was always playing roles instead of discovering who I actually was.  I went on to be an actual drama queen, acting in school pays and whatnot. 

Today, I have made friends with this emotional, passionate side of myself.  It mostly feels joyful.  Large!  Hyperbolic for sure, but also entertaining.  When I’m with my mom, though, or any of my siblings, everything reverts to how it was, so I shrink myself to a more comfortable size. 
Any of my readers want to take this on? 
How did you view yourself as a child?  How did others view you?

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I hear you on this, Kate. It's hard to get away from what people expect you or want you to be. It's even harder for writers and artistic types because we like to explore characters and try things on, at least in our minds. When we don't feel like doing something traditional or consistent, it makes others uncomfortable. Then it becomes a battle to protect the person we were really meant to be.