I have been trying to define myself all my life. There is one way that I want people to see me and it includes multiple facets, yet I fail at this all the time when leaving behind what I feel is my definition. For example, I came across the “List your Favorite Bands” page in my Listology book and I hadn’t even written Red Hot Chili Peppers or The Beatles! Like those ARE two of my favorite bands but they weren’t there. How is one supposed to know who I am if I die? And this is the conundrum I’ve recently been playing out in my head. The more important question is: “Why would anyone care about these details?” It’s not just if I were to die, it’s also right now, as I’m living, that I want everyone to know these details about me that have created the unique multifaceted beam of controversy you see today! But ultimately when people write your obituary, all of these things that mattered so much in the individual you were building go unannounced. So why do ANY of these things matter? Lately, I’ve been wondering if they do at all? I think I may be having a mid-life (not so much crisis) but epiphany.
I recently read an obituary I wrote about myself while in high school and it was wrought with traditionalism and nothing in it is how I saw myself then or how I see myself now. I think I was writing in fear that the person I was dating would see it and get upset if it did not include certain traditional representations. Boy, am I people pleaser. And this brings to light a huge point that I have noticed recently in anything I have written over my life – there are sometimes things I’ve left unsaid that would paint the whole picture and there are DEFINITELY times I’ve left things out in order to not hurt someone so, in fact, some things I have written are not entirely true. I once threw away multiple journal entries that were very true to what I felt in that moment in order to appease ANOTHER guy. That was a mistake because I’d love to read them and be able to feel those feelings again. I feel like most, if not all, of the posts in this blog are relatively true although I know they could be enhanced if I wasn’t considerate of every single person’s feelings.
And this is why, unfortunately, each person is covered in layers that no one can ever wholly know except that person. This is why I like God. It’s nice to know there is someone who actually truly does know you as you know yourself and STILL loves you. That’s pretty insane because if I were God, I could NOT love everyone in that way…..so many people make this difficult.
So. What exactly DOES matter about who you are? I think to answer that, I need to look outside myself and think about what I value in others, but more importantly how I think about them and how I’d remember THEM and what this means for my life. In what ways have people affected me? Maybe that’s exactly it. What matters is how you are affecting other human beings……maybe I’ll come back to this thought.
I’ve always despised when people are defined in all the same exact way when they pass. “They were so sweet! They lit up the room! Always smiling! They cared about EVERYONE!” I literally don’t think any of these statements would be what people should say about me. In fact, it will anger me and I will come back and haunt each one that said these things. 😉 (I’d say I know 2 people that these statements could define and it makes me sad to think that these 2 people will be overshadowed by a bunch of people that these ideas are NOT FOR!!) Most people do not light up rooms upon entering…why is this something people say? I know why they do. It’s just what they’ve heard and they think it will make others feel better BUT people should try harder to think of genuine statements about people when they die. Each person is unique and we should act like it! I’d much rather hear a statement such as “He/She was a character.” This statement in itself explains that they were one of a kind. Once, a friend described someone who had passed as “genuine.” I liked this because I agreed with it and it was not like all the other typical statements about people. I suppose my anger with this is the same anger I feel when people use the same adjectives to describe a variety of things. We all just need to think a little harder and build better vocabularies so that when we speak, our thoughts are more accurate as well as thought-provoking.
What’s the easiest way to define someone? I think it is with activities that person was engaged in OFTEN. This is always been difficult for me to accept – knowing that others only see the you in the activities you do often. It bothers me because I feel my character is also in a million tiny moments too. At this point in time, some things I have engaged in often are the following: I’m a school counselor, I’m in love with NOLA (New Orleans) and would love a second home there. I also love NYC. I like to write this blog and I’m a thinker. I love communication more than anything and would love to sit and talk about philosophical ideals ALL. DANG. DAY. That all being said, I don’t know if even the people closest to me would remember to make these points clear. So, maybe it’s too short of a time to be defined at a funeral or with a few sentences while living. I don’t think we actually CAN define a person. There are way too many facets – edges, faces, and vertices that would have to be examined under a microscope and for as long as that person had been living to fully understand anyone. That’s one thing celebrities have on us commoners. If they die, we can look at so much information about them because it’s been captured, and I think that is all I’m talking about here. People’s essence needs to be captured. I want MY essence to be captured. But who really cares besides me anyway?
So, how should I proceed? Should I quit caring about all the little things I like to do that most people don’t know – line drawings and water color (especially when put together), needing to have a funny, light hearted sitcom on TV in order to fully enjoy eating dessert on the couch with a glass of milk, my addiction to milk (while we are on the topic), my love of quotes and words and how they are so much better at defining or describing a person or situation than most people are at communicating or the fact that I love birds – BIG birds and analyzing what my dreams mean. There are just so many little things that I feel are vital in completing the puzzle that is me. Should I just continue with my life the way it is or should I look outward and try harder to help others WHILE I’m here? This may be a better use of my time instead of worrying about the 10 sentences someone may say about me either now or later. Let’s be honest, no one will get it right like I would.
In the end, we only have this life. Maybe just enjoy all the little things that are important to you for YOU and you alone. And if you STILL want others to know about them, write a blog or post about it on Instagram, or explore a new snack on your tumblr or pin it on Pinterest! Given these capacities continue to exist or at least still be accessed until the end of time then I am covered. I feel pretty good about how I have defined myself on all of my social media accounts. SO THERE. I don’t have to worry anymore, my definition is all over the internet! Just like it says on my Facebook account, if you want to get to know me, go to these locations:
Word Press Blog: https://onthecontrarykelly.com/
So, go forth and just help others and make people happy! There really can’t be a purpose that’s more important than that. Don’t worry about if others know how important and cool you are. The people that are closest to you will and that is all that matters. Even if it’s like two people. 😉
Great post. Don’t quit any of the little things…the little things make us whole. Definitely keep analyzing those dreams, dreams tell you a lot. Thanks for this post, it made me think about some things I had forgotten.