I sat down yesterday to start writing a new story as I often do. I realized after a paragraph or two that I wasn’t just writing a random character that I came up with off the top of my head, I was writing myself, but not an easily recognizable version of myself. Everything I’d written was true, but they weren't the characteristics that define me, or that I use most often to describe myself, but they are very true.
So I thought it might be fun, and interesting, for people here to share with others a description of themselves or a part of themselves that they’ve never used before. It can be newly shared information, it can be something regular and mundane, it can be anything, just not what you’d usually use to describe yourself. To give you an idea of what I mean, this is mine:
I like knowing that everything has its place.
I like planning. When I go on a trip, I spend hours pouring over maps, researching things to see, campsites, hotels, B&Bs, the stuff I should get for the campsite, the shopping near the B&B, who the owners are, the weather to know what to wear, where the nearest “world’s biggest” something or other is, planning every second of the day and then bumping things so there’d be leeway in case unforeseen events came up.
I like lists. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a long list of things checked off. I feel like I’m making progress with lists, and each item crossed off is a satisfying measure of how much I’ve accomplished, or a sign of how much harder I need to work. I like chronologies and schedules that details exactly how long something will take, the order in which it will get done, and then checking off each item as it passes by.
I like budgets. I like setting out all my bills, seeing exactly what must be paid, allotting funds for certain things, saving some aside for a rainy day and then forcing myself to survive off a modest amount of free money. I like saving up for things. I like looking at hundreds of models of one item, comparing all the pros and cons, coming up with the perfect item, finding the best price, and then coming up with a plan of how much money I’ll save every month in order to have the money to get it. I like making lists and spreadsheets that detail the money to be spent and saved every month for the specific things I want to buy, save and pay for. I like planning a budget for a trip, mapping out how much for food, for lodging, for gas (checking destinations for local gas prices and adjusting accordingly), for spending money, for admissions, for emergencies. I like creating multiple versions of the plan and budget so that I can present people with lots of options so they'll never turn me down, so we find the best plan for everyone. And I also like that since I always plan everything, any plan agreed upon is still full of things I want to do.
I like organizing. I like putting things neatly into their assigned place, I like taking a messy desk or a messy room, mentally cataloging every thing in it, and then doling out those items to a more appropriate place, resulting in a neater, tidier space, even if later on I find it’s harder to locate the things in the organized room than in the messy one. Most especially I love organizing my books and my coins. I have a couple hundred books, neatly organized by category (history, classical history, primary source, secondary source, biography, fiction, encyclopedias, etc) and then alphabetized within their category. I have a couple hundred dollars worth of coins, some rare, some not so rare, all separated by type and date.
I like writing papers. It’s a battle with words and paper. You start with a blank sheet, formulate your arguments, spread them out, then move them around until they fit into their perfect, preordained places. Then you smooth out the edges, add in some wit, some bite, and what’s left is the result of a thoroughly satisfying fight. I like pouring through books to find facts and lines that support my arguments, facts and figures that also fit into neat little spaces. I like stringing things together and building a case. Really it's more like building a house than fighting a battle, with foundations and supporting layers, until at the end you just can't knock it down it's so strong. I like the satisfaction that comes from completion.
And the funny thing is, half the time my overly wrought plans turn out entirely differently from what I had on paper, my lists go unchecked, my budgets (sometimes) get thrown out because of an impulse buy, my things are often sitting in piles awaiting organization, and I put off writing papers until the last minute. Take that however you will.
I try to see what someone's phone number spells out, and then that becomes a secret private nickname for that person. Sometimes the secret private nickname is very incongruous.
Posts: 10397 | Registered: Jun 2005
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I recently marked my fourth anniversary of not eating chocolate, which is symbolic of my recovery from codependency. But my husband thinks it's just my OCD. I suppose the real significance of it is whether I will let it bother me that he misattributes my motives. P.S. I don't interfere with other people having chocolate. I can even cook it for them, but they complain we, as a family, don't have as much as we used to.
I used to feel time apart from my spouse was valuable in letting me be myself, but I don't need to be apart from him to experience that anymore. The question is whether I ever am "with him" in the way I was back when I needed space and whether I would even want that.
Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003
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