“I’m worried people will get to know me, realize I’m more complicated than just a funny, inappropriate, party girl and they’ll feel let down.”
Apparently nobody loves a socialite robot as much as they love a human being. Ridiculous humor, a questionable moral compass, and a complete lack of regard for normal decision making skills are only one aspect of my personality. I happen to find it the most amusing. As I’ve grown up, matured, mellowed out I’ve realized that while that might make for an interesting person in their early 20’s it’s not upon whom I want to be solely characterized. It’s not entirely who I am. Of course it’s a personality trait, maybe even a large component, but it’s not everything. I like to make it out to be. I feel uncomfortable in the other place: vulnerability. While it may be as raw as the humor I project, it’s a place I keep far more guarded. Instead of guarding it for the decency of humanity (as I do about some of my more off colored jokes), I do it because I’m not ready to let people in. I have this fundamental belief that if you adore the carefree, go with the flow, adventurous wild child how could you possibly and equally love the high strung, sensitive, overly analytical therapy baby? I’ve started coming around to the belief that authenticity is a value far more highly regarded than amusement.
I remember a time sitting in Mexico with my “vacation boyfriend” and his friends who were speaking solely in Spanish despite their awareness of my English-only vocabulary. After a few minutes of being confounded why they weren’t speaking in English I realized it was because I was there to be seen, not heard. My opinion didn’t matter, my stories irrelevant, for I was decoration. Initially amused by this notion, then repulsed- I mean how could I be just a decoration? Didn’t they know how smart I was? How funny? Then I realized it didn’t matter. I was the pretty, party girl tourist. I served my purpose, and he loved me for it. In the way someone loves a show pony, their tap dancing 2 year old beauty queen daughter, or a prized rose garden. It had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the entertainment I provided in that moment. I didn’t want to be someone’s trophy wife. At the time this seemed like such a revelation, though it came to be a passing thought.
I spent 19 through the majority of 23 being a trophy wife. A trophy wife for the downtown scene. I went to all the parties, did all the drugs, performed all the crazy antics expected of me. The biggest difference between playing the part then and playing it in Mexico was this was my life, and it wasn’t one dinner party. It was a reputation I was creating, a component of my personality I was capitalizing on. In the process I wasn’t letting most people in. Most people didn’t know about the hard bout of depression I fought in the Spring of 2010 that almost led me to an inpatient facility, the crippling anxiety stemming from a belief I wasn’t good enough that led me to medical leave from school for 2 semesters. As a good friend put it, I’m the most open, emotionally guarded person she’s ever met. I believed that by not letting people in I was doing them and myself a service. They didn’t have to deal with the days where I’d sit on my bed and sob from feelings of inadequacy, the benders I’d go on to numb myself, or the vacant look in my eyes from disassociating. What it took me a long time to realize was that they also missed out on my loyalty, my genuine passion for helping people, and intellectual conversation. I had manifested this belief that people wouldn’t love me for that because it didn’t make for fascinating pictures, status updates, and stories. The people I did let in never seemed to leave. They seemed to fall truly, deeply, and passionately in love with me and didn’t flee the second we broke up. Those who didn’t find me completely bat-shit insane intimated they fell in lust with the party girl, yet fell in love with the complexity. The polarities.
It’s been an arduous journey to get my head to believe it’s what’s in the heart that matters. That while being inappropriate and outspoken are some of my better qualities, they’re not the only ones. To find a space to embrace being a good person, being sweet, being honest and emotionally open are the traits that not only serve me better in long run, but more adequately define me. That while I don’t count my party friends as my best friends, my best friends don’t discount me as just a party girl. One day I hope to find an inner peace to fully believe that being multi-dimentional means trusting all my qualities are what define me, make me interesting, and above all, good.