Identity

“It is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” Marilyn Monroe thinks so, at least. I’ve been thinking a lot about identity lately. I agree with her; I know my life says as much, because I have a thousand times more broken, messed up, flawed, interesting, and crazy friends than I do bland ones. I’m fond of intriguing, unique people. Boring is, well, boring. If I’d rather take a nap than talk with you…well, then we have a problem.

Anyway, Monroe’s words get me thinking about how I let them, and phrases like them, shape my identity. Who am I? As a person? As a writer? As a friend/lover?

I mean, I know who I am, how I’ve gotten here and how my past has shaped that. But does everyone else? More than that, I guess I’m curious about how my identity, who I am right now, influences my writing. So here I am, articulating how I see myself so that I can understand why I write the way I do.

I’m ridiculous because I choose to be. I’m a good listener because I think most people have interesting stories. If I find that you can’t make me laugh, I’m rarely comfortable with you. I think that I could be happy with anyone who could make me laugh and share in good conversation.

I love the way F. Scott Fitzgerald writes and how he seems to have perfected a tone of practiced indifference. I love being around other writers and artists and creative people because they tend to be interesting, flawed, insane people who make a conscious effort to participate in the world. I don’t want to pick my head up one day and look at the sky for the first time in years. I want to be present. It’s important to me to be present. It’s important to me to be honest, too. I may be blunt, I may make a terrible teacher one day, but no one ever became a better person listening to other peoples’ bullshit.

I believe that sparks exist, that another human being can make you see fireworks. I don’t necessarily believe that means you’ll live happily ever after. I believe that if you love someone, you fight for them. If you don’t care enough to at least give the relationship a shot, you don’t care – period. People make relationships work through deployments and across seas, time zones, and years. I believe that these are all lil’ old speed bumps when you find someone with whom you want to spend your days and your nights.

I am completely enamored with all of Ireland. When I think of that green island, the feeling I get is something akin to rolling around on a hillside of clover. Sort of Sound of Music-y. I would gladly spend the foreseeable future following my trad-playing friends all over Galway and Dublin and the rest of Tara, listening to music and drinking and writing.

I believe in being passionate about something. I despise general apathy and devil’s advocacy. Acting in these ways is the quickest way to lose my respect. I believe that you should stand by your own opinions and use them to further productive conversations. Passion is interesting; apathy is not.

The idea of making a living is slowly becoming more and more repugnant to me. Can’t I just write and write and let that be enough (obviously, no, considering I already owe Uncle Sam several thousand dollars for schooling). I wish it was not necessary to spent time doing things you do not enjoy in order to maintain an average sort of lifestyle (read: one that involves eating regularly and paying your bills on time). I am scared to trust writing as a career because I don’t want to be 26 and living with my parents, I just don’t. But I wish that I could write and learn and that that would be enough.

I tend to be a rather emotional person but overly emotional writing bores me to tears. I don’t want to be that writer. I want to be like Hemingway, like Fitzgerald, like Yeats and Boland. Perhaps this has an averse effect on my personality.

I like who I am and am perfectly content being with or without companionship (most of the time). I firmly believe that there is always a bright side and situations are what you make of them. I finally realize that it isn’t my job to help every single sad, angry person fix their life, especially when they seem to have no inclination to try being happy. I wish that I was better at not caring about certain people, but I’m not. Because of this I push a lot of new people away…unless something about them interests me.

 

And this is who I am.

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