Sunday, March 21, 2010

Who Am I?

I don't know how to reconcile two pieces of my personality. Not two separate personalities...I do have my own struggles with mental health, but I do not mean to sound flippant, but rather, genuine, when I say thank God I don't share Sybil's woes.

I have been struggling my whole life to adequately merge these two pieces of my personality. And those two pieces would be: Social Butterfly Bailey and Bookworm Bailey. And I would like to report, for the record, that I blame my parents for this, because I inherited Dad's social butterfly DNA and Mom's bookworm DNA. I also like to think that while my brothers each got more of a 25/75 split on each of these traits, making up for the leftover 25% missing from the second parent in things such as eye color and muscular definition, I feel that I was the lucky sibling who drew the 50/50 card. Mom and Dad each gave me an X chromosome, and they each decided to pass on their respective introversion and extroversion. The boys got one of each of the chromosomes, and they got to either be the life of the party, or the star student. I landed somewhere awkwardly, neurotically, trying to be both, occasionally succeeding but more often frustrated.

And! I got to be the only girl, spending my adolescence maneuvering around brotherly wrestling matches that would break out in the narrow hallways of our home, and now sit here in my young adult life wondering how each one of them has already landed their perfect mate while I, according to some, continue to intrigue and intimidate men without ever actually landing one. But I digress.

I'm not complaining about the bookworm/butterfly "glitch." Well a little bit, I am. I have noticed some fictional examples of young females who seem to compromise these two personality traits, and I am here to tell you that it just isn't possible. Hence, explaining the fact that these young women are fictional. And also, to take the opportunity once again to make my pro non-fiction plug.

Friends, I give you Exhibit A: Hermione Granger.

Hermione manages to read the entire library at Hogwarts, yet keeps up a friendship with the celebrity student on campus, Harry, and all his crazy, life-threatening shenanigans. In the films, she is always dressed cute, her hair is always curled, blah blah blah. I can manage to read a maximum of 50 pages a day, working around my work and exercise schedules, my just-for-fun class, filling my car with gas, deciding on a graduate school, etc. As a result I manage to shoot one-liner emails to my best friend Nick (who, arguably, was kind of a celebrity on our tiny college campus as a noted cutie pa-tootie actor), talk to him on the phone once every two weeks, and you'll never see my hair curled. The best you can hope for is a pair of dangly earrings. Maybe a flirty scarf. And, personal interest aside, I don't even have time to read all seven of the Harry Potter books, let alone star inside their pages.

Exhibit B: Rory Gilmore.

Pshawww, right! No one could pull off Rory Gilmore's life! Lorelai's (Sr.) life, maybe.

(I will admit, I am partial to Lorelai, so I am more likely to argue that her life is do-able while Perfect Rory's is not. But, I probably wouldn't be so partial to Lorelai if Rory would lead a more realistic life. Just sayin'.)

Rory reads, supposedly, all the time. She is valedictorian of her private high school class. She comes into that private high school as a sophomore, and catches up to the rest. I entered my college's honors program as a sophomore, and believe me, I never caught up. Socially, anyway; I never quite fit in. Just ask my classmates, they'll tell you. Rory gets into Harvard, Yale, Princeton. She gets to choose her Ivy League. And she manages to go shopping, keep an adorable wardrobe along with cute, curly, Hermione hair, gossip with her mom, watch movie marathons, keep up on all the latest, most fashionable tunes, and date three beautiful boys (minus Jess, who does not have a beautiful personality) throughout it all. In the end she gets an engagement ring, but has the freedom to turn it down to go report for Obama on his campaign instead.

Doesn't happen in real life, people. If you need proof, just look at my life. Rory and Hermione have read more books in one week than I have in one year. There have been beautiful men nearby me, but never belonging to me. No engagement rings, no invites from Barack to hang out (probably because he knows I would inappropriately flirt with him), no romping about the Ivy League.

Wow I just sounded really bitter. Which is good, and accurate, because I am. But the point of this whole discussion was to say that it is just hard to reconcile being outgoing and "ingoing." I don't want to trade in my chatterbox self just to read, nor vice versa. I mean I have my moments, yes, where I want to hibernate, but I know from experience that if I try that I will get depressed, anxious, annoyed, not to mention hungry. At some point I have to come out of the hole. So I try to go to social events before reaching that point, but a lot of times I'm not done reading (more accurately, I'm never done reading) and so after going to work, going to dinner with friends, chit-chatting on the phone, I get so irritable because I have no time left to put my antisocial nose in a book. This wouldn't be so much of a problem, you see, if it followed a monthly, or bi-annual schedule: introverted January through March, extroverted April through June. But for me this is literally an everyday battle.


1 comment:

  1. Edwin McCain's "Wild at Heart"

    If nothing else... read the lyrics-- it's my theme song.