Damsels-in-Distress and a Love Letter to Myself
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I have an interview tomorrow for an adjunct position at a community college. Teaching pre-college writing skills - not in my normal oeuvre, but still something I firmly believe in. So, at the suggestion of a friend who used to be a job recruiter, I've been in the process of going through all my old blog posts, searching for a few samples for my portfolio. (A.k.a., "this is what I do for fun!")
And I realized something in going through all of my stories. Allegro Mazerati and dental trauma. Blaring David Bowie while driving over a mountain in a blizzard. Talking about gaming and ninja cows and channeling my inner Batman. Matrix quotes and metaphors I didn't think all the way through. It wasn't that my life was exciting. It was just that I saw the excitement in it. In short?
I miss myself.
This person I've been the last span of time, the one that has no confidence in herself or her life, the one that bursts into tears at insurance commercials and has trouble making positive statements about herself, and most of all, the girl who has approximately no sense of humor about the world?
I don't want to be her anymore.
It feels like I go around the same mountain again and again, because I just can't think of another road to take. But damnit, peeps, reading through those old posts, I like that girl. She's ridiculously cool. Ridiculously nerdy. And she finds something good (or at least something ironic) to say about every part of the world, even if the going is rough.
And you know what? I want to be her friend.
I think maybe the relationship I have with myself is the easiest and the hardest I will ever have. On one hand, she'll always stick around. But on the other, getting her to accept me is one of the hardest battles I've ever fought. Reconciling the Jami-in-the-slumps with the Jami I know I can be. And knowing that there's something truly, incredibly special about every aspect of who I am, not just the brilliant, witty, idealistic and nerdy parts.
Yes. I'm deliberately using incredibly flattering language.
And yes. Nerdy is a flattering word.
The point is, I've been coming out of my depression (with a few setbacks) over the last few weeks. But I've officially hit the point where I'm ready to be me again. I'm ready to be confident and sophisticated and geeky as hell. I'm ready to stare someone in the eye and say that I'm in love with my strengths, my flaws, and myself. And if they don't love me for it too, then that's too bad. It's going to have to be a personal problem.
I'm ready to stop being a shadow of myself, hiding in a hole because I'm afraid of taking more hits.
So I'm not going to apologize or be self-effacing. Because I've given myself so little credit lately. I deserve better, peeps. I deserve so much better than what I've been giving myself. It's like I've become my own damsel-in-distress, imprisoned in my own tower, waiting for someone to pull me out.
Only I made this tower.
I'm the one that has to tear it down.
I said in one of my blogs that I'm not a quitter; I'm a dirty fighter. So screw the pickaxe. I'm going at this with a cannon and several pounds of explosives.
Oh look. A mental picture of Princess Toadstool in her floofy dress has invaded my synapses. God save me from that metaphor. It has too much pink, too many pipes, plumbers and miscellaneous unclassifiable beasts (rather like my college mascot). But most of all?
"I'm sorry, Mario, but your princess is in another castle!"