Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Just Want You to Know Who I Am...

I was listening to that song ("Iris" by The Goo Goo Dolls) yesterday and the lyrics kind of hit me for the first time, especially the chorus:

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

That's how I feel most days--like I don't want people to know the real me for fear of their reaction, yet I'm tired of faking it.

I recently heard that a woman I know from church thinks I'm a fraud and a fake because who I am on this blog is completely different than who I am in real life.

Umm, yeah? I've made no secret of that.

But what she (and you) may not know is that this blog is the more authentic me.

Not completely--there are parts of me that I don't put here--but I'm more me here than I am in "real" life.

I've spent most of my adult "real" life doing what I'm supposed to do. Being nice. Pleasing people. Following the rules. I think part of it stemmed from being fat my whole life. If people weren't going to like me for how I looked, then maybe they'd like me because I was so darn accommodating and sweet*. Part of it is probably because I was (and am) painfully shy and awkward. Socially, it's easier to exist when you fly under the radar.

But inside I really just feel like breaking the rules (or at least some of them) and saying what I really think and accommodating me for once. And for the past several months I have been doing that more. Mostly here (Because it's safer. It's easier. Because I can be me better through writing), but some in real life, too.

The result?

Drama. Adult women acting like high schoolers. Hurt feelings (my own and others'). Exclusion from things. Arguments. My husband being talked to by my bishop about this blog. The loss of a few people I hoped would be friends. Gossip. And all that almost makes me want to go back to being a quiet, amiable doormat.

But the other result is that I found a group of people who like me. Me. This me. Who possibly even like the real me better than the me I've pretended to be. A group of people who, I'm pretty sure, would still like me even if I really let loose with the inner Brandi. And that's made it worth it.

You know who you are.

And you know, I don't mean for it seem like I'm a rule-breaking, rebellious, mean-spirited bitch on the inside all the time. I mean, I am those things--who isn't at least a little? But I guess I'm simply confessing that I'm nice a lot of times when I really don't want to be. I do a lot of things for people that I really don't want to do. I don't say a lot of things I want to say. I feel a lot of things people don't think I should feel. I follow some rules even when I don't think there's really anything wrong with breaking them. In other words, a lot of the time--maybe even most of the time-- when I'm good and when I'm kind and when I'm genial and pleasant, I'm also faking it big time. And it's wearying.

So, woman from church: You are correct. I'm a fake and a fraud, just not in the way you probably thought.

*I know my husband and family are probably thinking, "Sweet? Accommodating? Brandi??? Since when?"

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Be nice or I'll punch you in the taco.