Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Layers of “Me”

onionIn Like the Layers of an Onion, So Are the Facets of Our Lives

from Sioux's Page, Sioux did a writing activity with middle school students about how we are made of many layers. Then she asks,

“What do people think when they see you? When strangers see you on the street, when someone hears you read your writing out loud but has never met you, what impressions do they form? What kind of "mask" do you wear, and what lies under the surface?”

I am going to try to be really honest here and even while saying that, I am having a hard time.

I start each day with a happy greeting on Facebook, Plurk, and Twitter. Everyone who “knows” me this way believes that I’m an optimistic, outgoing person. I think I’m very optimistic but I have “trained” myself to choose to be that way. My attitude is affected by how I choose to be. This cheery beginning always makes me feel good about the day, my world, and even myself.

When I meet people for the first time, it is really hard for me. It is hard for me to put a smile on my face and act natural as if meeting them is nothing out of the ordinary. At the same time my mind is berating myself for putting me in this position. I guess it is part of the “fight or flight” response and I so want to run and hide. I’m very nervous and sometimes talk too much because I’m so nervous.

Just recently I was invited to 2 group chats on Google + chats and I had to practically make myself join them. I was terrified. I actually clicked on the link to one and then closed it out. After giving myself a pep talk, I finally joined again and enjoyed myself. The next one was a little easier but I was still scared.
I love meeting my online friends in person when we travel around the country. I look forward to meeting them and talk about them all the time. Then when the time comes to meet them, after arranging a place, date, and time, I want to kick myself for doing this. What was I thinking?! But then I meet the person or people and I’m so glad I did. I wish I was more comfortable talking to people.

I have a lot of acquaintances but very few close friends. Over the years I have been hurt by my so-called “friends” that I tend not to get to close to many people. I’m lucky enough to have my husband as my best friend and sometimes that is enough. I have three friends that have been my friends for about 30 years and I consider myself lucky to have them in my life.

At the same time, I have no patience for overbearing opinionated people who have no sense of humor. If I feel that I have come in contact with this kind of person, I tend to tune them out and distance myself from them. I want no part of them socially or professionally.

I have many different interests and tend to jump from one hobby to another every few years. I love learning new things. Sometimes I’m not very good at one thing but I enjoyed it while I was doing it.

My life is very simple and so are my wants and needs. I am quite happy with my life so I guess you would label me as content.

I think those are the layers of me. What are your layers like? Please share.

Image: 'spacehog:in the meantime'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41754875@N00/1377369881

1 comment:

Sioux said...

Pat--I would never imagine that you ever get nervous meeting people. You seem ready to take on any challenge--human or otherwise--and do so many volunteer things now that you are "retired."

This was quite an illuminating and personal post. Thank you. You offer so much of the "teacher side" of you; it was delightful to see a bit of the below-the-surface Pat.

(I too have switched hobbies over the years. Embroidery. Bargello. Counted cross stitch. Hand quilting. Stained glass. Fused glass. Knitting. You and I must be alike in that way--we NEED a creative vent in our lives in order to survive/be happy.)

Again, thanks for the great post as well as the link, Pat.