I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of my thought patterns, some of my behavioral patterns. (Generally speaking,
I think I think too much, period. Normal or nuts?)
For instance, I recently added a page to my website called “Frugal Fashionista.” (Am I really that into myself? Normal or nuts?) I’ve been wanting to do this for months, maybe a year or more, because I am so proud of my ability to dress for very little money. The talent was born out of poverty, but my motivation to express that talent comes from the daily compliments I receive on my outfits. (I am pretty certain that I would simply blend into the background in a city; here, I stick out like a sore thumb!) I truly enjoy the compliments, but even moreso, I get a real kick out of telling people how little I paid. Not to mention that this is a relatively new experience for me (receiving compliments), given the fact that, for years, I buried myself under the biggest, baggiest, loosest fitting clothing I could find (fit into), and even after that, I was relegated to my “uniform” at Wal-Mart and had very few opportunities to play dress-up, which is really what this has become for me. (An unrealized, or re-visited childhood experience? Normal or nuts?)
I made quite a few unsuccessful attempts at photographing myself (normal or nuts?). A full-length selfie is difficult, to say the least, and this was well before selfies became so proliferate (normal, now). Then this past summer, I found a tripod at a yard sale. $10.00, a splurge for me, but I treated myself to the “fantasy” of what I might be able to do with said tripod. (I’ve always had a yen for photography.)
Most recently, as I joined the ranks of the online dating population, I suddenly realized that I have very few pictures of myself to post. I, personally, will not even consider someone without a photo. Call me shallow, but let’s be honest…so I think it’s really nuts not to have pics of oneself. I have no photos of myself because I am alone. (Damn it to hell, when am I going to teach these dogs some tricks and make them earn their keep?) Even when Damien was here, all our pics were of the animals, the house, the garden, our craft shows, the band. We never had friends, we never did normal things, ever. In fact, now that I think about it, I think that’s what happened to my normalcy. It got sucked up by my relationship with Damien, although I think I was pretty nuts at the time I met him. Then, by the time I lost weight (found myself again), myself was a different person.
So, very recently, I set up my camera and my tripod, and set about trying to create an acceptable backdrop. That was a serious challenge given the fact that my house is so “tore-up.” Even the linens I hung (in doorways, from tension rods and clothespins) are “tore-up.” I was able, finally, to make an acceptable “scene,” but I won’t really know until I plug my camera into my computer, so we’ll see. And I figured while I’m at it, I might as well take some selfies for the dating sites. Put myself out there, see what happens. What’s the worst that can happen? (Do not answer that, please!)
That is the road I am on now. Discovery, re-discovery. I’m trying really hard not to judge myself too harshly when I think about the person (I thought) I was for the last 10-or-so years. I’m trying really hard not to judge myself too harshly as I try to define/redefine myself going forward. I’m trying really hard not to let the was-me influence the can-be-me, the want-to-be-me.
Even as I write this, I’m doubting my normalcy. Before I sat down to write, I had a lot of things running through my mind about the direction this “story” would go. I was thinking about the very-specific-details of what I’ve come to deem normal, through necessity, through survival. I even had a warning in mind for the more squeamish readers.
But that’s the writing process; more often than not, the story just tells itself, regardless of the intentions of the writer. By the way, that’s normal for a writer. At least it is for this writer. But, trying to feel normal. That’s another story. And, if I’m honest with myself, I’ve never really wanted to be normal, anyway. Therein lies my true conundrum.