30 March 2011

now i am actually curious about my facial expressions during conversations

Today, my blog came up in conversation. The other person was curious about my writing compulsion, and when I mentioned that I write a little bit each day, he asked, “What do you write about?”

Despite my overwhelming urge to correct his grammar so that his question didn’t end with a preposition (an urge that, by the way, drives all my friends crazy. At this point, I wonder how I have friends), I found myself at a loss for words.

The feeling I had was unsettlingly familiar to my initial response to the prompt “How would you describe yourself?” What am I actually doing here? Does it count as comedy? Creative writing? How long can I get away with not saying anything before this situation gets awkward and he wonders what’s wrong with me? What does my face look like at this point in time?

In the end, I noncommittally mumbled something about how I don’t really write about anything, or about a lot of stuff, or something else equally vague. I couldn’t think of anything witty to say, otherwise I would have distracted him with sarcasm and steered the conversation elsewhere. Based on his confused expression, I doubt I conveyed my thoughts very eloquently at all. I justified my writing by explaining that I want to keep myself in practice, and I also enjoy doing so, and it seemed to placate his confusion. But after this exchange, I was removed from the conversation. I wonder if he noticed.

Anyways, my inability to label my writing (and in extension, myself) was confusing. True, I’m not sure how to define my often-maniacal musings. Classification is tricky, even with a mnemonic. But attempting to explain my work was, for lack of a better word, weird. Like I was giving away a part of myself that I wasn’t ready to share. It was in this moment that I realized how personal writing is for me. I mean, I knew before, but I had no idea that my sensitivity reached this extent.

Another thing I noticed was my aversion to a concrete label. As you can probably tell, I don’t really like being confined. I think that people are far too complex to be put into neat little boxes. Doing so does everyone involved a great disservice in understanding the other. In sum, oversimplification sucks.

But the distinctly American school of thought that everyone is special has heavily influenced my way of thinking. By labeling, I feel like I am somehow cheating myself and the other person with the omission of certain details. Then I remembered that not everyone thinks like me, and not everyone cares either.

I didn’t say any of these things aloud, but nevertheless, he concluded our conversation by mentioning that I would be a fascinating subject for psychoanalysis. Was it so obvious that there was a storm brewing in my head? Whatever. It has always been an aspiration of mine to be a guinea pig.


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