Preception: Me vs. The World

How I view myself doesn't match how the world views me. And maybe I'm the one who is wrong.

If you asked me who I was, I would answer very briefly.

I'm a girl who was born in the south, grew up in the north, and went to college in the midwest. I like to think I'm kinda funny, and I try my best to be nice to others. In my free time, I play video games or read. I live a very basic life.

Not because of trying to play the humble card, but I just don't think much about who I am. It isn't so much that I have a negative opinion of myself, it's that I have a non opinion of myself. I think I'm pretty run of then mill, bordering towards boring.

I like to play games, but I'm not like an amazing pro player. I like to read, but it's not like a have a PhD in Literature or anything. I have a lot of pets, but that's probably all that I really recognize as interesting... and even then not really, because that doesn't say anything about me, that just explains that I have animals in my house.

I'm a slightly overweight girl who hasn't truly dated someone in quite some time, I don't whine about that fact or revel in it, it just is who I am. I don't repulse or draw in people to date. And that's fine.

I don't truly see anything extraordinary about myself.

But... sometimes...

I remember, very clearly, in a memory that I still get confused by, an older coworker at an old job stopped me while I was chatting with someone a few years back.

"Hey, M. Did you know that you're like the most interesting 22 year old I've ever met? Like, you've done so much cool shit already."

I remember tilting my head at her in confusion, my brows furrowing to try and decipher what the hell was so interesting about me.

Picking up on my confusion, she continued, "I mean, you're running a fundraising department at 22. You are friends with (people), you just casually talked about how you know how to use a harpoon and know how to do the rigging on a 16th century ship, you just always have a relevant story and skillset for everything and it's kinda impressive."

And while each of those things is/was true, and I guess they could sound impressive. I just, I just don't think that they are. They are just things that I've done.

My life isn't exciting. Everything that could sound exciting was just another mundane moment in life.

I. Am not. Interesting.

End of story.

In the past few months, I've come to realize that maybe, just maybe, that old coworker was right.

Maybe, just maybe, I could be interesting.

I mean, there are all the things that she said about me.

And then:

  • I went to college for Community Management and Nonprofit Management.

  • And I can talk English Literature at a Doctoral level due to having a professor for a mother.

  • I've recently discovered a talent for writing.

  • I've always been quick to make friends.

  • I've always had a way with words.

  • I was a drum major for a drum corps at 16.

  • I scared a doctor once with an injury that I had just learned to live with for years.

  • I was begged by a top teacher at a Top 3 internationally ranked music school to be a Voice major.

  • I once went a full week without sleep.

  • I've spoken at national conferences.

  • I've gone toe to toe with internationally famous people in arguments and have incontestably won.

  • I've won awards from internationally recognized sources.

Maybe I am interesting.

Maybe I was just too used to it to see it.

Or maybe it was because I wasn't paid attention to when it happened.

I didn't have a ton of friends growing up. I was good at getting people to think I was nice, but not enough to get people to be my honest to goodness friend.

I was bullied a lot. Some liked to act like I was stupid. Some liked to act like I was ugly. No one wanted me to be happy. I picked up on that then, but I therefore never really got an idea of where I was, just where I was not.

I was just always put in places of leadership, I was never told what I was doing right or wrong, I just assumed that I stumbled into everything somehow. I now recognize that it is uncommon to put a 16 year old in charge of 150 other people, especially when they don't have a ton of experience in the field themselves, but at the time I was just wideeyed.

I always liked music, but was never honestly told my talent. Even when the vocal teacher in question was begging, I just kinda shrugged her off and laughed, thinking she had to be joking. And I still don't know how I feel or where I stand or anything like that.

And everything that happened because of work, well, I just assumed they were part of the job. And, my performance for that entire year in that position, I just assumed I was doing the basics for my position. It was only just recently, as I've been doing job interviews and applications to get back into the field, that I've realized that maybe I did more than expected. Maybe I went above and beyond. Maybe the reason that I was able to get those celebrities to chat with me how they did was because I made fun of them like I would anyone else, was because I was able to draw them in like I have everyone else. When they're the one's used to be the one drawing people in.

I don't know.

All I know is, all that I can really gleam from all of this rambling that, even as I write it, I know is just half formed thoughts and fragments....

All I know is that while I may find myself uninteresting, boring even, that doesn't seem to be the consensus from others.

What I've been through might be boring to me, as I lived it as my mundane.

But, that doesn't mean that it isn't something special to someone else.

I don't really know how to word the final point I have.

But it is a strange mix of "I need to stop discrediting myself and try listening to others more" and "it isn't bragging and it isn't shitty of you to talk about the things you've done that you think are cool."

And both of those go against everything I was raised to think as a girl.

But I'm gonna try my fucking hardest, and I'm going to share my interesting with everyone, so that others may share theirs as well.

Because, honestly, fuck hiding the cool shit about you because you were told that you're not allowed to be proud of yourself.

You fucking are.

Be proud.

You're great.