Today I was driving back from an early-afternoon spent at Books-A-Million, while on my way to work, and I had the strangest feeling. The sun was beating down on me through my open sunroof and open driver-side window, my recently-cut hair held back from my face with a silver headband that might just be my new best friend, and I was covered in a thin sheen of sweat from the Alabama heat. But while I should have been uncomfortable, I felt more alive then than I have in years. I switched my iPod to play “Chocolate” by Snow Patrol because of the line, “This could be the very minute I’m aware I’m alive.”
The weirdest part of this experience, which probably sounds like the cheesiest, fruitiest thing you’ve ever heard, was that I had the thought, This is the summer I discover myself. What that means, I don’t know.
Lately I’ve been reading through the backlogs of the PostSecret tumblr, a decision that has made a ton of my own ‘secrets’ bubble to the surface and spill out through writing in the journal I received as a gift from one of my longest internet friends, a girl in Australia I’ve known for seven years now. (Hello, huge behemoth of a sentence, sorry to my readers!) But these aren’t really secrets, I’ve discovered, because I want to — and I’m planning to — share them un-anonymously. They’re just thoughts, I guess, but thoughts I wouldn’t ‘vocalize’ were it not for PostSecret.
This entry sort of piggybacks off the last entry, in which I declared I was letting go of my habit of defining myself based on other people who influence my life in some way. I don’t know if I’ve ever done this, if I’ve ever felt this individualistic before now, but I hope it continues. I want to be my own person, even if that person bitches about rude customers entirely too much.
In Limbo last Sunday, we continued a conversation about legacy. I admit these were conversations that stumped me, that made me think hard about what kind of impact I have on the lives of others around me, and how others might choose to remember me. Katie G. said something awesome: I’m paraphrasing, of course, but it was something to the effect that she hoped people would say that she had many aspects to her personality — that it couldn’t be summed up in one word. I feel that way too, and I suspect many of us in the room felt the same sort of sentiment.
It’s hard to pin down one personality trait to describe a person, and even remembering my dad, I think of a number of adjectives to attempt to describe his personality. He was extremely loyal and loving, protective, short-tempered, stubborn, humorous, not slow mentally but slow in getting ready for things, did I mention short-tempered?, understanding, extremely intelligent but extremely humble, considerate, never abusive, and so on and so forth. I think we sanctify the dead too much, but I don’t think we need to focus on the negative, either. A person is a person is a person; we all make mistakes, we all say things we wish we hadn’t said, we all get a little short-tempered sometimes.
I’m ready to tackle my personality head-on. I know this summer will change my life, change my outlook, and change me in ways I can’t yet imagine. I want to, and I’m going to, post my ‘PostSecrets’ so people get an idea of some of who I am.
All this from a drive to work. I guess I should be glad the bowling alley was closed for ‘technical repairs’ or whatever it was — otherwise I might never have had this feeling.