In My Own Skin

This is the online person I like to log in as when I’m feeling self-critical, or self-absorbed, I think. I am wearing my red flannel shirt and drinking my coffee and feeling myself in a thread-bare state of mind. I hear my own voice getting anxious in the direction of others and I can tell I’m wearing on them, and that makes me a bit unsure of what I’m good for, but for testing people’s patience.

I have a scorecard on my window sill that keeps track of my own idea of my own progress, and it looks like some sort of art project. My own progress is an art project.

This is the online person I like to log in as when I have an overabundance of first-person, personal pronouns to divest myself of. Me, I, myself, and so on. Ad nauseam, truly.

I become somewhat queasy at living inside this guy – the one I’m driving around like an old truck, or maybe a station wagon. I’m a hatchback. I’ve got some mileage and there’s more where that came from – not sure though how much.

At times I flippantly tell others that I’d like to have a cloning machine, but really, I most definitely don’t. I wouldn’t want another copy of anybody brought into the world, much less this one. I’m enough of me for myself to take. I make myself tired with all the worry and then the writing about it.

Ok, so it turns out I have nothing to say, except that I have nothing to say again, but a compelling need to say it anyway. I used to just write this kind of thing in my Hilroy notebooks, sign it under some pseudonym, and move on with my day. Now I post it on the Internet. I didn’t know the Internet was coming then. Maybe I was practicing for the day I’d be able to say nothing, at scale (and at everybody).

You know, I don’t actually mind who I am, all of the time. A lot of the time I think I’m OK enough. When I’m talking less, especially… then I’m actually pretty tolerable. Maybe even nice to be around. Being solid and even-keeled and sensible and confident at all times would probably get boring.

I haven’t been bored in years. “I’m bored” is a thing lucky kids get to say – until they get lucky enough to begin earning all the junk adults have to contend with. It’s not boring here; you will have plenty to keep you busy.

I don’t miss being bored. I also barely remember it. I must have been a lot calmer when I was able to be bored. I’m not sure I’d go back to bored, even if you let me. Bored is a flat place to be. I like hills and scenes and walking with weight. Don’t get me wrong- I’m not looking for more weight at this time. I’m just saying that I know I’m lucky for being able to carry some. I still get to rest often enough.

Most mornings these days, as I rise out of sleep and gradually into the world of the waking-up, I feel myself go through a gentle array of emotion. I feel depressed, anxious, at peace, uncertain, fortunate… faithful that however low or high I might get, there is a corresponding shift to follow, to balance me out. I am annoyed with myself today, but I’ll be proud of myself tomorrow; I’ll have hope after losing it for a while; I’ll like something I said after disliking something I did – and/or vice versa.

I’ll maybe remember – more and more and day to day – that this is what life seems to be: bettering the business of my being me.

Instead of discarding this into the Draft Bin (to possibly rescue it later), I will instead just post my business and move on with this day.

Stay safe!

2 thoughts on “In My Own Skin

  1. I think it’s okay to have those days where you’re just questioning what the heck are we doing in these bodies of ours. Necessary, even. I’m glad you didn’t abandon this in the draft bin. What is this scorecard on your windowsill of which you speak 🤔?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will post about my scorecard this weekend! It’s related to the mason jar full of wooden cubes, which I posted somewhere else. I recently added a progress bar using a rainbow of thumbtacks. The game of scoring myself has gotten quite elaborate. I think I just miss tabletop gaming.

    Now I’m going to go sleep for 2D3+3 hours…


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