[Originally written May 4, 2006]
Strange quirk about me, I guess (I really don't know, maybe this is a commonplace among humans) but every morning I wake up with a different song in my head, as though I've been listening to it in my dreams or something. Sometimes it's random, like Laura Brannigan's "Self Control". Sometimes it's a nice friendly wake-up call, like "The Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python. Sometimes it's obvious, like when I wake up with "Sand Man" by America, over and over and over.
This morning, it was a song that is not from my genre of preference, per se, yet it was strangely exhilarating. It was Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be". Now, assuming you're as cool as me, given the fact that you're reading this, you probably don't know who Gavin DeGraw is, or have any idea what that song is. Fortunately for me, I do catch American Idol once and again, which is where I heard the song in the first place. (***sidebar, remember, this post was written in 2006***)
So, explained, the key lyric in it is,
"I don't wanna be anyone other than who I've been tryin' to be lately."
Thusly, inspiring a post.
As a rule, I've almost always been misunderstood or misinterpreted...not for the lack of trying, however. I have reason to believe I'm actually quite eloquent, articulate, and generally good with..............words. Like most people, I'm much better with the pen than I am the sword (or crayon, or box-cutter, or spoken word, what have you....I digress), which is probably why I've fancied myself a "writer" since I was in first grade (that's when I wrote the first 4 chapters of my book, "Why Can't I See?", a tragic tale of a 9 year old girl slowly going blind...a morbid child, I was, no?). I was first published shortly after that, albeit in Kids Korner (you KNOW you know that one). I was actually published once a year from that point on, until I got too old for Kids Korner and had to graduate to the Penthouse Forum.
Ok, fine, I never wrote anything for Penthouse...but it's a thought. Digress again.
I wrote poetry through my pre-pubescent years, I wrote prose through high school, and I got off on writing thesis's (thesi?) in college. I started writing another book when I moved to Albany in 1997, but I quickly went into a "dark" place, where even writing hurt too much. Whether I was inspired or not, I just could not pick up that pen and put it to paper. Every word seemed to cut into my flesh like a fork through a well-braised chicken. What was once my outlet for frustrations and thoughts and trials and tribulations, was now simply too painful to even think about. That period lasted about 4 years.
I entered the wonderful world of drugs relatively late in life, and to this day is still something I don't regret. I was once again able to channel that inner author, and with the help of some mild (or sometimes not-so-mild) toxicity, it didn't hurt nearly as much. I wrote and wrote and wrote...until the middle of the night, I wrote. And I might add, they were some of the most inspiring, cathartic, not to mention BRILLIANT pieces I've ever come up with. I've got them all at home....maybe I'll bring them in and show them to you sometime...like an online show-n-tell....once again, digression. (Is that even a word? Some literary genius I am....)
SO, back to my original point, I've made some real leaps and bounds in the last five years, in really getting to know myself, as well as "who I've been tryin to be lately". And for the first time in a long, long while, I'm feeling ok in my own skin. And I think the reason for that, is because I've done nothing more than be what I am. Like Popeye said, "I am what I am and that's all that I am." I'm not trying to be anyone else...I'm not going to sell myself short....I'm not going to let one or two set-backs literally set me back 5 more years. That wasn't right of me to allow to happen in the first place, all those years ago. But I suppose, it HAD to happen for me to get to this point. I'm writing again. Ok, so it's on a blog right now, so what? At least I'm channeling again.
In the past, I've been a bit "reserved", but reserved in the not trusting, not believing, not jammin' on anything anyone said, or on anything I thought or said myself. It was a giant mind-fuck from day to day, and then, one day, I said "Enough". Enough of the bullshit, enough of the games, enough of self-doubt. I'm a pretty fucking good person, when it comes down to brass tacks. And my inhibitions, while slightly more lubricated after a few boilermakers, have begun to disappear again.
Now I'm not saying I'd run up to an old man in Walmart and smack him on the back of the head, hoping his teeth would fly out so I could dance around them Mariachi-style....or that I'd go up to my boss and tell him he's the biggest ass-ache until he's had his first cup of coffee. Trust me, I've thought about doing both.
Many thoughts have run through my head, as I'm sure they have yours, like "What would happen if I just jerked the wheel". I've thought "What would happen if, during a job interview, I just told this interviewer to suck my ass, and got right the fuck up, gave the ol' "su-fi" on the way out"....I've actually thought about that DURING an interview.
BUT, the long and the short of it is (ok, mostly long), that I have reason to believe that people can misinterpret my inhibitions as crazed, psychotic, stalkeresque...when really all I'm about is having a good time, and maybe learning a thing or two along the way. Maybe it's from being part of "GenerationX" or "GenerationPepsi" or whatever the hell they're calling those of us that were born in the mid 70s. Before Nancy Reagan got in my head with "Just Say No", I had already been pulverized with "If it feels good, do it."
This is not to say I have no regard for my actions, no respect for repercussions....I take full responsibility for whatever it is that I do.
But when I do it, I'm just being me. And I honestly think it's pretty cool that I'M finally ok with that. What you see is what you get, and what you get, is what you see. I'm not exactly an open book at first, but I sure can tell some stories.
JFK once said "You can forgive, but you can never, ever forget". I like to believe I'm a forgiver. And who wants to forget anything....everything that's happened, in the end, IS who you are. So don't forget what's happened, or you forget yourself.
And I don't wanna be anyone other than who I've been tryin to be lately.
PS. I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.