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I feel like the same person

October 21, 2007

There are these old friends of my mother’s that we had dinner with last night. I haven’t seen them in a long time, since before Chica was born and it was lovely. They are funny and sweet together. A marriage that lasted in love during a time that I thought everyone got divorced. They had two sons one of which I forced to play with because we were close in age and one I ignored because he was about 8 years younger than I was. The youngest was at dinner last night with his 2 beautiful children and wonderful wife. He is like a big kid still and my children fell in love with him. His wife is a nurse who graduated from the same school that I attend. My mom’s friend is a nurse who attended the same school that I attend now.

My mom’s friend was a lifeline for me when she was sick. She worked in the same hospital as my mother and knew everyone there and it was particularly comforting to know she was around. She understood many things that other did not during that time that my mother was so sick and dying.

Before that time I had not seen them in a long while. I was living in Cape Cod and did not get back to my hometown very often. My mother usually came to us as it was a lovely place to visit and we traveled in the winter when we were not working.

NO one ever called me by my name because my parents decided to name me Nicole but to call me Nicci. Which I hated. Hated from age 4 when I could tell people my first and last name and spell it all and tell them my name was Nicole. No one listened. Everyone called me Nicci anyway. At home it because Nic and that was fine, I guess. At school I was always Nicole and to some I was Nic. I moved away from my home town at 19 and have been Cole ever since. It suits me and it eliminates the option of calling me Nicci and me being forced to choke you to death slowly.

I am not a Nicci. Nicci’s chew gum loudly and flip their hair around while wearing tiny cheerleading skirts saying things like, “YEAH! Alright! Like, oh my god, like totally!…” in a very screechy cheerful voice, braces sparkling in the florescent lighting of homeroom.

So, like yeah, I am totally not a Nicci.

The question I have after dinner with my old friends is who did they think I was before and who do they expect to see now. I was this mouthy, punk-assed crazy dresser who loved music and acted in plays and never cleaned her room and worked a lot from the time I was 14. Who knows what my mother told them. What did they think of me?

I only ask because the impression I get now is that they think I am this type of person and clearly I am not. I felt like it was expected of me to be a certain way and whatever that was or is I am not.

Who do I think I am? I think I am a goofy, outgoing, loud, affectionate, talkative, weird, nice dresser, girly-tomboy, shy but brave, mother, wife and friend.

I don’t know exactly who they think I am but it seems far from what I am. Far more complicated. Far more exotic and strange. Difficult to understand.

I feel pretty simple. Pretty normal and ordinary.

I wish I were exotic and far-0ut but I am not. I am married for 15 years, have two children and basically no interesting social life. I don’t spend nearly any money on clothes anymore and dress pretty dull. Frequently I skip makeup so I don’t have to wash my face before I go to bed. I use moisturizer everyday. I still wear some of my maternity underpants because they are loose and roomy. I have 3 tattoos and my nose is pierced on the left side. I dye my hair all the time and right now it is dark and I have bangs and it is long. I study. I go to class. I play with my kids. I love my husband. I like to sleep and eat potato chips. I talk entirely too much. I yell at my kids to much. I don’t clean my house nearly enough. I hate sports and think they are all stupid. I think my children are brilliant. My husband is a great artist who is too nervous and disorganized to become famous like I think he could be.

I am nothing special. I am nothing in particular. So it makes me nervous to think that I have given people the impression I am something I am not. I abhor a liar and feel like I have been made into one. Someone that can never live up to the image they were portraying as a teenager.

Should we be held accountable for the pie-in-the-sky ideals we have as teenagers? Or can we just grow up to be who we were all along?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2007 10:20 pm

    Oh, I love this post. “…can we just grow up to be who we were all along?” Yes. Of course. And (like you) I think that we do know a lot about who we are when we’re teenagers. We just don’t communicate it clearly or well then. Nor later. Not until much later, usually, when middle age either makes us all transcendant in the scariest ways (as in, you’ll tell anyone what you really think if barely provoked) or makes us unconscious for the rest of our lives. Rather, depending on what we choose.

    This is what I think at the moment. I may change my mind later; but since people look at outward appearance and the real self is of the heart, naturally it takes quite a bit of work to be able to communicate the inner self to the outside world in at least an adequate and accurate way.

    You come across (sometimes) here as punk-assed and mouthy a bit more than affectionate, goofy, nice dresser, shy. So I can see how people who have known you since you were a teenager might think this still.

    I also am a shy person, but in college one time when I ran into an old friend from elementary school, he told me that he and “everyone else” had always thought I was an outgoing leader type. And, since I’ve held several positions appropriate to outgoing leaders, I’d have to say that I probably really was shy, but over-developed my extraverted (weak) function because I realized that meant survival; and my innate introversion had to get in the back seat. Now I’m pretty balanced, but it took me a long time to become so. Now sometimes I’m quiet and observant, and other times I’m gabby and boisterous.

    So, (I’m about to go Jungian on you) maybe you could think about what made you or makes you appear to be punk-assed when in fact you feel shy and affectionate, even goofy. I wouldn’t have ever guessed you feel yourself to be goofy. But I kind of get it now that I read it. Kind of like, “ah, now I see… from this perspective… see it?”

    It took me quite a bit of practicing and of evaluating people for their trustworthiness before I began to offer large helpings of my Real Self to some others. I think the Real Self is pearls and we ought not to throw it before swine, as Jesus said. So maybe your high school acquaintances have cloven feet and even then you knew enough not to show so much of the real self to them. Maybe it is not you who are dishonest… maybe you perceive something in them. Or maybe you are practicing communicating all the aspects here.

    Just some thoughts. Probably strange ones. :o) Eve

  2. October 23, 2007 3:47 am

    don’t you think your both?

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