In High School I used to know this girl, well "know" isn't maybe the right word. I knew by sight and occasionally spoke to, this girl whom I went to high school with (that's better) who had this reputation around school as "the party girl". In fact, you know those Senior polls every high school seems to do around year book time? Well she was up for the "life of the party" award our Senior year and rumor had it that she was campaigning heavily AGAINST herself because she didn't want to have her party status recorded for all eternity.
You know, she didn't want to be "that girl".
Ahh... How I loathe those words. That. Girl.
In fact in high school I spent considerable amounts of time trying to live up to other people's (unrealistic) expectations of me and any time I slipped, even a smidge, from being "perfect" I would be labeled as "that girl". "That girl" also was known by such other titles as "such a disappointment", "not living up to her potential" and my all time favorite "the bad influence".
Now people, I grew up in the church. My father (the one I never speak to admittedly, but whom I DID see when I was wee) was some sort of deacon or elder and my mother always took me to church. I went to a Christian school in the 2nd and 3rd grades, and then again in junior high school. I was active in my youth group until the end of high school, never missed a Sunday service and had a freaking promise ring for that whole "true love waits" movement. I was hardly a bad kid. In fact, looking back I would say I was damn near saintly when compared to other teens!
Wow. Tangent much?
So. As I was starting to get at before I climbed up on a little soap box there, someone today called me "the biggest party girl I know". My initial reaction was "ouch" followed by the ever-present justification of "well she doesn't know me THAT well". But on my way home from work today I started thinking about the differences between the person that we all are, that deep down inside being honest with ourselves person that we ARE, and the person we portray to the world. And I realized, almost shamefully, that the person I portray is not even close to the person that I think I am, OR the version of myself I am working so hard to be.
So then I started thinking about WHY I portray such an out of character persona... All I can come up with is that I feel like I don't really have anyone who understands ME, the real me.* I either know people I met years ago who are used to a certain version of me, or I meet people now whom I instinctively distrust (whole other issue I know) and feel like I can't be myself around. But then I think... These people in my life don't know the real me because I don't let them in to SEE the real me. It's a catch 22, you know? My friends don't know me because I don't let them in on anything real, and then I feel like I don't have any friends because no one understands the real me.
I guess I really am that girl.
*Before I get a bunch of hate mail from the real life "friends of Tiffy" please stop to consider the truth of that sentence...