"I asked you first."

How much of what you do every day is an act?

I just asked that question of a friend of mine, but I'm fearing the point where I have to answer it for myself.

There's not a numerical answer for the real questions in life, and sometimes that leaves me feeling trapped and incapable of functioning on the level I know I should. I find that when I run across questions like this I can create eloquent but meaningless responses that let me off the hook. They leave me unchanged and the question unanswered.

I have always played my various percieved roles to the hilt. I'm an overactor, and I'm pretty sure everyone (friends, enemies, family) knows this, though if asked most of them would try and politely deny thinking such things. But overacting can be as much a blessing as a burden. Playing my parts to the fullest exent of my ability is what keeps me from feeling like I'm useless. It's something that allows me to feel that somehow I'm living life to the greatest extent and siezing the day.

But isn't my gung-ho 110% persona, overbearing and blustery as it can be, hindering my search for answers? Do I actually search for answers for myself, or is that just another role that I think I'm supposed to play, and so I go through the motions.

I told someone once that I'm very good at engaging in long conversations that feel very meaningful, and when finished, my companion will realize that they've shared lots of information about themselves and learned almost nothing about me. I've got a disgustingly effective gift for turning a conversation away from myself and onto the troubles and cares of others.

This gift can work wonders when I want to stay inside my shell, and helps me learn a great deal about others and how to help them. It doesn't allow me to open up much, or allow others to get past "How has your day been?" and actually find out who I am.

I'm going to sidewind on that topic. They say that No Man Is An Island. Well, I'd say that is true, and that nobody really can know themselves unless others also know them. Does anyone know me? I'm beginning to doubt it. Can I hope to know myself while others remain in the dark? Can I hope to ask others to understand me? I doubt it.

And if being known by others is one of the keys to understanding, then it is a key that I am keeping out of reach via my gung-ho shell and my diversion of any conversation that reveals anything about myself.

Very few people even notice the diversions, even after I point out that they occur, and even fewer try to get past them and actually find out whats behind them all. Why is that?

And why do I want people to defeat my instinctive methods of self-protection? And why do my entries so often end in question marks?

Sunday, October 24, 2004


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