Little bumps and bruises are friendly reminders from walls, the floor and furniture that even they don't want me in their presence and that is I who is in their way and not the other way around. They're like rude subway passengers who smash into your being when they force themselves into the train car before everyone has exited, only spaces are stationary. How it is that after 3 decades of existence I still have not figured out how to navigate my body through space?
I've never been cool. I've never been that person who looks put together and slides through space like they belong there. I envy skinny people (besides the fact that they're skinny) because of how they occupy space. Always working with their surroundings, lithe and confident like cats on countertops. I love the way their hands look too. The way jewelry looks on their hands and slides between their fingers into the spaces between them much like air slides between their thighs as they walk. This air, this space is freedom to move about the world and not be reminded that your own body is the way of your movement. My rings always get stuck on my fingers which look like they have little pillows on the end, they look like children's hands and there is no stoicism or maturity in that. My walk is a bit funny too, thighs rubbing, feet dragging. This may explain the constant tripping. Lithe skinny people dance through spaces while I stumble in them.
This week's story isn't about bodies or self image, I have written enough about that. Its about perpetual clumsiness and awkwardness. Ever since my teens when my body was a complete mismatch for my mind, I have been awkward, corny and a bit goofy really. No amount of education or work experience have changed that. My love of change means that by 30 I had 3 careers causing new co-workers to be shocked when looking upon my round cherubic face and learning my actual age when birthday balloons get delivered to the office. Maybe its to my own detriment that I refuse to work in corporate and so I dress a bit young and seemingly thoughtless (though I have been known to change 3 times in the morning until something fits right that day) further conveying a perpetual immaturity. Being short and lazy does not help because not only do I look juvenile, my laziness means I don't hem anything and so clothes just kind of sit there, are too tight, too baggy or drag behind me.
Given my intellectual capacity and creative potential, I am a bit of a mess. I have on SEVERAL occasions heard that backhanded compliment "you clean up well" which really means that you are indeed a mess 99% of the time. At least I've got potential! I've also got a rule - however old you think I am add 7! Seven is a bit of a blessing and a cruse because while looking young is awesome, my life experiences have been 7 years or so behind everyone else's. Figured out what I wanted to do with my life 7 years later so many people in my department at my level are younger than me. Didn't really date til' years after everyone else started. Didn't go to bars until I started working AFTER college so my co-workers were like my classmates. Don't feel like settling down OR having kids and if I ever did it will probably be well into my 30s. I don't know if its the chicken or the egg, meaning if I look young and thus am slow to mature or if I am just taking a really long fucking time to grow up.
Back in High School it was already clear who was mature. I knew girls who dressed like bosses or runway models, did Ecstasy in clubs with no fear, and said with certainty that they want to have kids by 24. Kids? I had just put my Barbies away! I had just re-invented myself for my high school by dressing like an alternative chick with wide leg pants with chains, airwalks, black nail polish, long hair and band patches. I had a new identity and wanted to fit in to an image my school was known for. After being pretty severely bullied and sometimes beaten in Junior High for my obvious meekness, funny looking outfits and acerbic tongue, I decided to reinvent myself for High School. And it kinda worked for a while. I made great friends in the art program, never got into a fight or made a single enemy. I still have most of the friends I met there and cherish them dearly. Funny enough though thinking of my family's criticism for me to grow up, almost all the girls I knew and admired then who dated or married young ended up in horrible relationships and gotten divorced, never grew or changed their career and hate their jobs, or took leaps of faith with which I have become synonymous.
The truth is, I never grew up or matured, but I did evolve. I am not as painfully shy, I don't dress as badly as some of my experiments back in the day and I am now career conscious where as before I didn't give it much thought. However, to this day I miscalculate the width of my hips and round a corner only to smash right into it. I constantly slam my chubby fingers on doors and chairs, lose grip on everything and trip on even surfaces. The skin on my knees has never been smooth due to decades of wiping out as a kid and now as an adult. I knock things over in stores with my miscalculated gestures or odd shaped bags, periodically knock over my co-workers drinks, blush beet red at client presentations and single handedly keep Band-Aid in business. I am just a clumsy dork who treats a walk down the street as a battle of self vs pavement. I am a bull in a china shop. A child playing dress up. A smoothie made with power tools.
Basically, I seem to find ways to do simple, universally agreed upon things in the most difficult, long, and awkward way possible while at work, I figure out simple solutions for complicated things. Its a beautiful metaphor. Its all so clear now, I am not the bull, I am the China Shop.
Week 24 of 52 - Story a Week in 2014