The curse of me and business cards.
Last week I finally splurged and bought some Moo cards for this here blog to carry around with me when I catch myself talking about, well, myself. The last time I bought business cards for my blog, I was writing at Queering Domesticity and about two months later, I decided to ditch it. I've been having those thoughts again about Oh Meaghan, but I realize that it's just insecurity about putting Me out there into the world.
Last night as we drove home from work, I was telling Em that I often do a lot of cheerleading for myself in my own head to make scary, mundane or uncomfortable situations more palatable. More than I ever realized, actually. Whether it's during the process of deciding to take the bus to New York City to visit my brother (in lieu of the train, which I love more and feel more comfortable riding, but is insanely expensive), or giving a speech about my[gay]self to a panel of students in a management class, or writing in this blog, or even deciding to go out to a hockey game with friends, there is always a little me in my head guiding my choices. Sometimes, she's pouting on the sidelines with her pom poms thrown on the grass. Recently, she's been more active and very reminiscent of Jessica and her bathroom mirror affirmations. I'm sure your eyebrow is raised in concern at this point..."uh, Meaghan has a small child cheerleading in her brain?"
This all connects back to the fact that I often feel there is a disconnect between who I share with the world and who I am inside. I'm not dishonest, but I'm cautious. Most people have described me TO me as someone confident, assertive and bold. Even more so after three decades of being exposed to the general public (often to my mother's chagrin). I've been taunted and tormented for a number of reasons, and those wounds obviously are things that I nurse immediately after they happen and until the pain fades away. The more quiet and sinister stuff is the stuff that digs deep into my psyche, affecting how I engage with certain people or the world in general - glances, body language, non-verbal cues or even just reluctance to engage. I've recently reconnected with a friend I had in high school, someone I remember caring about deeply and someone I've thought about often since we parted ways 14 years ago. She went her way, I've went mine, we've grown and changed and turned into people who are just amplified and more awesome versions of the people we were in adolescence. We were talking over lunch the other day and she said, "you know, I always felt like you hated me in high school Meaghan". Coming from her, this wasn't a harsh critique, and she did buffer it with the admission that she probably hated herself and thusly projected it onto anyone who cared about her. I can safely say I did the same to many, many people.
Nevertheless it hooked me, psychologically, and I've been processing it ever since in my own head. I'm prone to over-sharpening the pencil, if you will, when it comes to internal processing. Most people will dig deep enough into a problem and solve it; they'll sharpen their pencil enough to write and move on. I've always been that kid who would sharpen their pencil for a solid five minutes, shaving away layers of wood and creating the most perfect point (the most complete and organized reason for something) only to have the lead break the minute it hits the paper. I spent the weekend stitching, doing laundry and thinking about what I did that could've possibly given her the impression that I hated her. Hating people was something I avoided, and like wearing the color black, it was something I gave up for almost a decade of my life. I still try to find the humanity in everyone to the point where sometimes I'm annoyed with myself for the time I've dedicated to believe they are good. It made me think about the person I share with the world, the person my inner cheerleader forces me to be on any given day, and it was an important reminder to be present and engaged in all of my life's interactions. So I've given my cheerleader a stern warning - shape up, I need to be more checked-in. And, in truth, I have always adored my friend and now it just some beautiful cosmic do-over for both of us.
Where do people put these random ponderings, anyway? I feel lucky to have a space where I can write about my foibles and failings, my triumphs and complete inanity. Just like the cheerleader trapped in my enormous dome is charged with forcing me out of my shell, or out of my mood, when I would rather hermit and hide, I need to remember (and I am reminded, by sweet friends all the time) that I have this space to document the awesome adventure that is my life and the awesome person that is me. Even if I have cursed it by procuring business cards.
Image - "Won't You Come Out to Play" by lovesugar - $20