Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's In A Name?

Why the Introspective Liar? Because the older I get, the less certain I am. I now question whether long held assumptions are accurate. Lately I’ve realized that at least some of them, are not.

I thought I was essentially honest, if not always with others, then at least with myself. Through the years, no matter how hectic my life, there have been pockets of time when I was overly reflective, introspective. This led me to believe I knew myself well. I should. I’d sure spent enough time thinking about me. Because of this assumed self-awareness, I’ve claimed that I am my own worst critic and that I am painfully aware of all my faults and foibles. I believed I dressed myself down far more often and far more sternly than anyone else ever would. But now, I’m not so sure.

Rationally I know this current re-evaluation of my essential Lulu-ness has a great deal to do with the fact that I have more time on my hands to think. My career, my family, my friends and my outside interests still occupy much of my time, but not to the degree they did when my kids were younger and my ambition ran rampant.

As I’ve said before, if I have extra time on my hands my instinctive response is to fill it with worry. Right now there is so much in the world to worry about. But too much worrying about things over which I have no control is hazardous to my mental health. To avoid spending all of my available “worry” time bemoaning the fate of mankind in general, which I realize I can do very little to affect, I spend time worrying about my little corner of mankind – my family, my closest friends and mainly, me.

I know. Extremely self centered. It is embarrassing to even admit. But even more embarrassing is that I have concluded I don’t know myself as well as I thought I did. And some of what I do know, I’m not sure I like.

The only thing that keeps me from being absolutely mortified to admit this is knowing I am not unique. We all operate under misconceptions about ourselves. If we didn’t, suicide rates would be much higher. This doesn’t exonerate me, but at least it keeps me from feeling quite so alone in my confusion.

What I am not certain of is, have I been blind to some of the less positive aspects of me or have I recognized them and then lied about their existence? This is one of the primary reasons I decided to start committing some of the ephemera drifting through my mind to print and posting it for the world to see.

I don’t really expect the world to see my scribbling, because I don’t expect an actual audience. I only read what I write, because I kind of have to. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t. But I am
hopeful that knowing what I post could potentially be seen by someone at sometime, will keep what I say more honest.

Some would argue that knowing others might read what they write about themselves would make what they write less honest, instead of more so. But I’m one of those people that, while normally introverted and reserved, will, if given an audience and an opportunity, blurt out intimate details about themselves with absolutely no provocation. Details that are often completely inappropriate to the situation. Which probably explains why I am introverted and reserved. Limiting my speaking and interaction with others is about the only way I can guarantee I won’t suddenly confess something I would rather no one knew.

This blog, by forcing me to face that audience and opportunity, whether actual or theoretical, should assure that I will periodically reveal personal truths about myself, whether I want to or not. It won’t always be pretty, it may be embarrassing, but it will be me at my most honest.

I have several (meaning more than 5 but somewhere less than 50,000) specific examples of “misconceptions”, a more palatable way of describing the untruths, which have guided much of my life to date. For instance, I have finally accepted that I exaggerate far more often than I would previously admit to myself. Especially about numbers. If I say something occurred 60 times, you can be certain that it did occur. But the number of occurrences is probably closer to 6 … or 7. Maybe 8, tops.

I would die of mortification ( or maybe boredom) if I set out to provide a comprehensive compendium of all the internal lies I have labored under, lo these many years. And if someone else happened to come across a thorough listing of my internal fibs they would likely find childbirth or passing kidney stones far less painful and far more fun.

But my heretofore misinterpretations (read:lies) about Lulu will pop up, as they are unearthed. They will be inserted into my musings and rants over the course of these posts. When they are, I will disclose them as part of my ongoing effort towards honest introspection. At least I think I'm being truthful when I promise full disclosure. But “truth” and “lies” are such relative concepts. Aren’t they?

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