one word: ME
|photo by Amber Hargrove, Oct 2007||self-portrait, Dec 2008|
In truth, I don’t find it difficult to write about myself because I really do believe I am utterly fascinating. Of course, that belief stems from the acknowledgment that few others in my life have ever realized this. I’m sure this has everything to do with the fact that I’ve always lived inside my own mind and very few people have found their way in to join me. I was never the little girl who played outside with friends, but rather the shy girl sitting inside surrounded by books. The words on the page came alive in my mind’s eye, so these characters became my best friends and these worlds my personal hiding place. When books gave way to movies, the images simply became stronger and more vivid, allowing my mind to expand and develop more fantastical scenarios in which I was the star. With no one else in the world telling me I was as great as I wanted to be, I had to find a place where I could feel that I was. Thankfully, as I grew up I came to find a balance between fantasy and reality, but I can attest to just how fragile that boundary can be between the two. It’s hard to release a world in which you have control over every little detail and in which you can be anything you ever dreamed.
I still live a fairly solitary life. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not, but mostly by myself. I do have regular contact with family, which keeps me sane, and I have a few friends that I see every few months. I have a “pen pal” with whom I correspond almost daily, and she has become one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had despite the fact that we’ve never been privileged to meet in person. And I have acquaintances who I see at church but can really only count as sisters and brothers in Christ rather than honest-to-goodness-let’s-hang-out-together friends. This is simply the state of things and has been the state of things much of my life. As I enter quote-unquote middle age, I have accepted this aspect and don’t feel lonely in any way. I sometimes wish I did have a friend to call up and meet for a movie or dinner, but that’s not a request that God has granted to me yet. And He’s taught me to find fulfillment in individual activities and in solitude. It’s actually been quite rewarding in my relationship with Him, as there are no obstacles aside from what I choose to place between us. And I have all the time in world if I choose to put it to good use. [Which I rarely do, of course.] My solitary life is pretty good, and I truly have no complaints, and really can’t justify them if I do.
There are things about me that have always been true. I’ve always taken photos in much the same way as the ones above: sideways tilt of the head, crooked smile, squinty eyes. My hair has always cast a little red in photos with certain lighting (although now I put much more red in there myself). I’ve always been extremely uncomfortable with photos because I’ve always been uncomfortable with my self image. These days I’m learning to embrace whatever is thrown out at the camera and try to project a true smile and my best features. I’ve always had those curls in my hair, and I’ve worn glasses since I was seven or eight years old. I’ve always looked like my dad but in adulthood began to resemble my mom, as well. I’ve always pursued intellectual activities over athletic ones, inside settings over outside, and good friends over crowds of people. I’m still an introvert despite having learned the value of meeting new people. I care what people think of me, but if I’ll have to change my core eccentricities to satisfy someone else’s idea of me then I’m just not willing to bother. I’ve always wanted to travel and see the places that fill my mind and my dreams. I love the idea of being in love but I’ve never really missed not having a husband or a true relationship. And I’ve never really held the dream of being a mother, which makes my sisters’ children all the more dear to me. These things have not changed much since my personality was first formed, and I’ve come to really embrace that in myself. I can change some things, but in the end, I simply am who I am.
And yes. I do think that’s fascinating.
This post was derived from the list of inspiration words gathered on Ali Edwards’ blog and from the concept of writing about one word.
See! This word really was a random choice!