Monday, October 17, 2005

know thyself

It isn't easy. The person I pretend or wish to be is, unfortunately, not who I am exactly.

Mythical Betty is rather admirable. In fact, her only faults happen to be ones which actually endear her to others. For example, she will occasionally appear overwhelmed. This presents the ideal opportunity for those around her to feel useful. Life's futility is a foreign concept to those who know Betty.

MB likes to read inspirational literature, and in her eyes, she is actually leading the type of life she reads about. She really seems to believe on some level that she harbors only positive, loving thoughts, and that her words, spoken or written, reflect that. As a result, she attracts nothing but wondrous experiences and people into her existence.

How utterly appealing, right?

I recall asking my mother once to describe me with one word, and with exaspiration and no hesitation, she said,"Willful!"

So that gives me a starting point. I suppose people who consider themselves religious would say that she was insulting me, because they seek only knowledge of God's will and the power to carry that out.

I choose to perceive my willfulness as a virtue- one that catapulted me out of a very stifling, limiting background and into the career which 8-year-old Betty chose.

As Willful Young Betty, I knew I needed certain things to happen early on to ensure acceptance at the college of my choice. To that end, as a teenager I informed my mother that she'd have to jump through certain hoops, such as driving me 300 miles roundtrip each week for special tutoring in my chosen field.

Fortunately, before she died I did manage to appologize for being so unbelievably demanding and controlling. Her response shocked me: she said she had actually enjoyed those outings and the spice they brought to her otherwise dull life.

OK- so far we have identified these characteristics: willful, demanding, controlling, ambitious and remorseful. Lest I lose my readership, I think I'd better save further dredging for a future post.


garnet david said...

What's interesting about labels is their self-fulfilling tendency. In any given moment you may be none or all of those things. Other people, including your mother, cannot really be objective. We all see through our own disfunctional eyes. So where does that leave you? I'd say striving to head toward the ideals you read about. And on any given day, you may already be there.

ME Strauss said...

Let's see willfill that could also be driven or self-knowing; demanding which is another word for asking for what's right or best; controlling or able to keep an operation running; ambitious which is, of course, deadset on growing; and then remorseful which shows a definite concern for others. Tell me what's there not to like?


Morris said...

Are you on drugs?

Mr. Morris
Ask Morris