Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Peeling the onion...

Why am I so awkward? I used to be so cool, so calm, and so confident when I spoke to people. I could talk to anybody. Now, I can only have a conversation with a female (oh, he's talking about women) when either I am a friend, or when I see them as gender-neutral.

My head is messed up when I get into conversations or scenarios that may lead to something that is contrary to the lifestyle I set out to follow. When I have a conversation with someone that is not school-oriented, or acquaintance-impersonal, I become like a child unable to contain my anxiety -- you know, the kind of person that trips over a garbage can? I stumble, I trip over things, I stutter, I sweat, and my hands shake. It's like my first date all over again. I have ideas why this is so.

Over the years in my struggle to rid myself of the selfish gene, I have stripped away many extraneous parts that were not in line with the person I wanted to become. That meant that I stayed under the radar, far away from activities which would tempt me to corrupt my morals. To be complete, I still have many things about me I really want to change; I am working on these daily. There is the opinion that the best way to find out if you've made a change in yourself is to go back to the crime scene where you once would have acted, and to test whether you act differently now. That's rubbish. Put a bottle of gin in front of a former alcoholic, and while he might not indulge, he would certainly crave it. If he were not fully in control of his desires (which few people are), he would grab that drink with all the strength he could muster and he would indulge in the feeling of the cool intoxicating liquid sliding down his throat. I should hope cool; warm alcohol tastes like…

But I still think I'm not telling the whole truth. This topic is not about honor, desires, or moral convictions; I think the truth is deeper. As cool and as forward as I used to be, much of it was a shell and a mask. It was as fake as the Rolex that I once might have bought from a dealer on the corner of 86th and 2nd Ave.

It's been extremely difficult to come to this point where I unpeel those parts of me which are not real, because those inner layers still really stick. The goal here is not to be religious, but to be authentic. And behind all of the suave skills I once had, is awkward little me hiding in the shadows. These past few months, I have been having old feelings from old hurts. In the past when the original experience occurred, I would cover them up with a shell; I would separate myself from them and rephrase their meaning until I no longer felt the hurt. Recently those old feelings have been showing up in various parts of my life. Out of nowhere I will get sad, or will feel awkward when talking to someone in a way I never did in the past.

While I don't like these feelings, I am taking solace in the thought that maybe on some level, I am unpeeling the parts of me that do not fit with the traits I feel is right and true, and I am getting to know the uncomfortable parts of me that I'd rather just hide and tuck away. Most of all, I am learning to remove the learned personality traits and the garbage. If this causes me at times to be awkward, introverted, nerdy, stoic, overly serious, giddy, friendly, angry, or sad, then so be it. I think the value here is getting to the source, recognizing the deficiencies, and growing to become a better person. That is my goal.

No comments: