Know thyself. Be thyself.

December 7, 2009

in this i believe


It is 2:03 am. I am all of a sudden wide awake.

Note to self: Listening to PRI Selected Shorts podcasts while cleaning the house is a sure way that your mind will become overactive and that you will have trouble falling asleep.

I will pay for this indulgence: lying down on my Therapy Couch and talking to you all, my imaginary friends, (I am going to start calling you Soren Lorensen I think…) soon since I have a 6:30 am flight to catch and I have not packed yet. Coming here has clearly become a serious addiction. I carry this urge at my throat to write something down all day long. I am afraid to open my mouth lest a scream may come out.

I often panic when I am made aware of this since it feels so similar to Narcissism…

Someone very wise, probably wiser than Confucius since she is female (and Confucius was obviously not) and women rock because of our uterus, that I have had the privilege of meeting through this little patch of heaven I call my Therapy Couch (or hell on some bad days I won’t lie to you) told me that she could tell that “blogging is both a creative outlet and just outlet” for me.

She was right. When I first started doing this, I really did not expect anybody to come by and get into a conversation with me. I saw this as a different medium of talking to myself since I have been doing that inside my head for a long time. Why not? I simply jotted down whatever came to my mind. No self-censorship. And no editing either, to be very honest with you.

It felt like liberation from Facebook. From the potential for censure by family, friends, colleagues. It felt like liberation from Twitter. From the bondage of 140 characters. And it felt like the earth after rain. It felt good.

When I began to have supportive friends who stop by on a regular basis, to check me out and make sure that I am still operating in a socially acceptable manner, I was flattered yet incredulous. “Surely they have mistaken me for someone else, or something else.” With that self-congratulatory realization of “OMG I have fans” came the burden to please. Or at least, since I have no mental filter once my mouth starts running, the fear for offense. The desire to please everybody, nay, the compulsive need to please everybody is one of those soul-killers that I am trying to escape. I am afraid I may have lost my way.

At the risk of sounding like I am trying to recast myself as the cliche in I’ve Never Been to Me… I am getting back on my journey to understand myself better. The peeling of the onion. What is more important though, is that once I find myself, I really need to just be myself. Perhaps the being and the finding happen at the same time.


Dear Soren Lorensen,

I hope you will stay. But if you outgrow me or the other way around, I wish you the very best.

As always, a pretentious rambling such as this will not be complete without a quotation from a famous, yet just a tad out there, writer. Preferably by e. e. cummings. Here it is.

To be yourself

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

mepsipax December 7, 2009 at 9:35 am

Great post. Keep it real. Some other cliche. Actually, I will stay around to see what happens. 😀
.-= mepsipax´s last blog…Awww yeah Motherfucking Monday =-.


Absence Alternatives December 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm

You HAVE to stay. You are my token male reader. (At least I am going to assume you are male. So don’t tell me otherwise. Just play along…)


Robin December 7, 2009 at 10:51 am

I can relate, too well, particularly right now. Yes, do whatever you must to stay yourself and true to who you are. I like who you are anyway, what I’ve come to learn of you at least.
.-= Robin´s last blog…Whatever You Do Don’t Look =-.


Elly Lou December 7, 2009 at 11:30 am

That’s it. We’re breaking up. I just don’t have time for individuality. If I’m going to spend all morning reading various blogs, I expect them to all sound the same, damnit. Don’t go bucking my system.

I’m having frickin’ nightmares from the Poe story they read last night, btw. Safe travels and hugs.
.-= Elly Lou´s last blog…Poconos (Part Two) =-.


Absence Alternatives December 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Thank you for beating me into my senses with sarcasm sticks. *heart*


TheKitchenWitch December 7, 2009 at 11:35 am

Love the e.e. cummings. Genius. Good for you!
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog…Meatless Monday: Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup =-.


December 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Funny, I just read another blog about how attached we become to our blog friends. It’s true! Some I have a casual, visit-the-blog-occasionally relationship with, others I wish lived nearby. I admire their kids and their pets, try their recipes, read the books they recommend, envy their crafting/knitting/birding/writing/sewing/cooking/mothering skills. I love reading the blogs of retired women who are comfortable with themselves… blogs of amazingly intelligent young women struggling to maintain an individual identity even as they struggle to raise good kids in a very screwed-up world… blogs of people with more courage than I could ever have.
I check yours every day and love every note from you.
PS. My daughter cross-stitched To Thine Ownself Be True for my husband about 30 years ago. He still treasures it. And follows it.
.-= Merrilymarylee´s last blog… =-.


Absence Alternatives December 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm

The more you talk about your husband, the more I am becoming attractive to him. You may want to keep me away. Just sayin. 😉


magda December 13, 2009 at 7:27 am

ok, i like that you claim to becoming “attractive” to him. a little presumptuous.
.-= magda´s last blog…Dude, I Just Work Here =-.


Absence Alternatives December 13, 2009 at 8:16 am

LOL. Touche. I wonder whether that’s why Marylee blocked me. (Just kidding! LOL)

Magda, you really did read through everything thoroughly. I can’t say that for myself (obviously. DOH and DUH!) Signed, FT aka submom aka Absence of Alternatives mental clinic #1 Patient


magda December 13, 2009 at 8:29 am

wait, while FT may have been coined by you, i have claimed it for myself as my new nom de plume. you may not steal or indian-give. i will consider sharing when appropriate. since it was especially FT of you. on being true to yourself. i am stuck. i feel i can do this in my responses on the blogs of others, more than on my own blog. before now, i would not have dared to say fucktard and not just for lack of cleverness.
.-= magda´s last blog…Dude, I Just Work Here =-.

Jessica December 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm

It’s hard to stay true when your once-outlet is…well, more. :)

But those that DO stay true…they get the best of both worlds.

(and the poem…i carry your heart by ee cummings – all time favorite)


Absence Alternatives December 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm

THAT is beautiful. Too bad I am married. No hope for me to get a love poem like that…


Jennifer Lynn December 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I have found, for me anyway, while finding myself is often PAINFUL and humbling, it is easier than being myself. “Finding”” is easier to swallow as a process…..while “being” is more static…..and we just aren’t static. maybe there is no being…….we just find ourselves forever. :)
.-= Jennifer Lynn´s last blog…………and she cried =-.


Absence Alternatives December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm

“maybe there is no being…….we just find ourselves forever.”

Tru dat.


Jane December 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I love e.e. cummings and I LOVE the quote you chose. I have it memorized. Truly! And ok, I’m going to gush but I love your blog. You keep it real. You make me laugh and think at the same time. So thanks lying on the couch and spilling your guts. I’ll always listen to what you have to say.
.-= Jane´s last blog…100 Posts to 100 Years =-.


mrsblogalot December 7, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Umm…Let’s get back to the “imaginary” friends part….Hello!!! Real girl here!!!! and there… and look….over there…and wait is that a fake boob…uh no…that’s another real person!!! (-:

We are all real friends in the blogging world…and the best part about that friendship is that we can visit whenever we want without calling first, give and get free therapy, speak our minds, not worry about looking fat and never having to help anyone move (-:

You keep peeling girl! We love all the layers!!!

And I’m staying!
.-= mrsblogalot´s last blog…Crazy Cuts =-.


Absence Alternatives December 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm

At first i thought you said “keep peeing girl”. I thought, “wow, she’s kinkier than I thought. Me likee.”
p.s. Please sign the attached Liability Release Form if you decide to stay… 😉


Jen @ NathanRising December 7, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Girl, I am totally empathizing with you right now!! I felt the same way when I started my blog. And every time someone leaves a comment, I get this warm, fuzzy, alchohol-like giddiness because hey! Someone out there reads my blog! I’m actually interesting! Anyway, I love your blog and am so happy to have found it. You rock!!
.-= Jen @ NathanRising´s last blog…The Laughing Baby =-.


Randa December 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm

I totally stole that e.e. cummings quote and I’m not giving it back! I like it. I don’t even know why I started blogging in the first place, I think it was because I was tired of actually writing in a journal. Except I censor myself way more on my blog, even though I have a small readership. It’s not like I don’t cuss, because I do, I just leave things out. Not a lot of stuff. Just stuff. Okay I’m rambling. Gotta go!
.-= Randa´s last blog…100 Things about me…You’re in for it now… =-.


Andrea December 8, 2009 at 3:39 pm

The only thing better than blogging is reading other people’s blogs. Yours rocks every time. But no pressure to perform — I’ll read whatever you write! 😉
.-= Andrea´s last blog…"She" =-.


Absence Alternatives December 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Dear all, I am very grateful for the support and love you have shown me. I am sorry if this turned into yet another navel-gazing post, an unintentional attempt to solicit compliments… They tell you “Don’t drink and blog.” Well, they should have told you, also, “Don’t STAY UP ALL NIGHT and blog.” Just as dangerous.


Jessica December 10, 2009 at 11:30 pm

OMG, you had me at Soren Lorenson. That is fabulous!


WickedBitch December 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I LOVE it! I am in the same boat! I have my very own little identity online that only my very, very close friends in life know about. They rarely visit my blog probably in real life though because they get an earful of me already. I even just recently took up a facebook account with a pseudonym though, so that I can keep my other parts of my life separate. I love your blog already and I just started reading it!!
.-= WickedBitch´s last blog…Exclusive Inteview With the Woman Behind Santa =-.


Absence Alternatives December 18, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Thank you for visiting my blog! I have been a loyal Twitter follower so I’m flattered. :-) I wouldn’t be able to speak my mind if people from work read my blog. Well, at least I wouldn’t be cursing so much. I believe in an office setting even “bitch” would be considered offensive. That’s why I gave up on my Facebook now. I don’t need to share my kids’ pictures with people that badly. LOL.


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