Introduce Yourself – Week Two – Pay No Attention to the Nerd Behind the Curtain [#Blaugust2022]

Blaugust, as envisioned by Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut, is a festival of blogging, a celebration of content creation of the written word variety, and a community-building activity for people participating in a medium that many consider to be dying or already dead. Although Blaugust awards are granted for established blogs who put out at least five posts during the month of August, I’ve set my sights on the Rainbow Diamond award, and am planning a post per day for the entire month.

This is WEEK TWO of #Blaugust2022. The suggested topic for this week is Introduce Yourself. Writing on this week’s suggested topic will earn you the Introduce Yourself Blaugchievement.

In order to figure out what I wanted to write about for this week’s theme, I had to go back and look at what I’ve already written about. Because it was kind of annoying to actually do that, I’m going to link these here for your convenience and try to be better about putting my stuff in categories in the future. Hint: if you’re looking for inspiration of how to work on your own Introduce Yourself post, you could do far worse than to borrow the prompts in the second two links.

Most of the time, I don’t much care to talk about myself. Partially because I don’t think that I personally am overly interesting, and there’s an entire universe of things I could talk about that are vastly moreso. Partially because it can creep a little too close to self-promotion, which I always feel exceedingly weird about for no good reason. Partially because introspection is hard work, and while I’m not against hard work as a concept, figuring out who I am in such a way to be able to distill that into a peppy blog entry isn’t my preferred challenge.

Huh. All the reasons I don’t like to talk about myself sure seem to say a lot about me. That’s a bit awkward.

Spoiler alert: I am not *actually* a dog in a shower cap. It’s just that she’s way cuter than I am.

So, let’s go with random facts this year, shall we? I don’t know exactly where this is going to take us, but I expect it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

FACT: I hate having my picture taken

I feel like it’s a pretty good corollary to not liking to talk about myself, but I also really don’t care to have my picture taken. I have attempted to take a selfie a handful of times in my life, and I don’t know that I’ve ever managed one I didn’t instantly hate and delete. The pictures in the collage above are all at least five years old, with the oldest one being from sometime in 2008. I’m sure there are a few more pictures of me floating around from the Before Times – but if I had to guess, there’s probably not all that many. While I’m perfectly comfortable behind a camera, I do everything in my power to avoid being in front of one.

FACT: I don’t know a whole lot about astrology, but I identify strongly with my sun sign

Sure, I dabbled a bit when I was younger, but I never got really into astrology like a lot of people I know. I wouldn’t know how to start to figure out someone’s chart, and I really have no strong inclination to learn. In fact, it was only last year that I even bothered to figure out my own “big three”, and I certainly don’t read my daily horoscope anywhere.

I do, however, basically use my Instagram to share Capricorn memes to my story. Capricorn memes make me feel seen in ways that little else does. Which sort of leads directly into my third fact…

FACT: I have learned more about myself in the last couple years than I ever wanted to

There has never been a time in my life that I can remember that I wasn’t outrageously hard on myself. No matter how good I was at something, I always suspected I could do better if only I’d tried harder. If I wasn’t pretty much instantly comfortable with and competent at anything, I would either abandon it in a very short period of time, or never ever mention it to anyone and do it only in secret. I never much cared for any activity that drew attention to myself. I knew I was weird, and frequently wondered why people ever chose to spend time with me. I didn’t understand any of the reasons for being this way; I just vacillated between assuming everyone was secretly like this, or that something in me was just broken and I couldn’t figure out how to relate to other people.

I got by for most of my life through a combination of people pleasing, compartmentalizing to hide my emotions, and bluffing my way through horribly stressful situations. Then in my thirties, I got sick and never really recovered and it changed just about everything. I’ve talked about it a bit previously in the latter half of this post, but I tried really hard for a lot of years to avoid thinking about how this random bit of bad luck completely derailed my life, and made me change how I dealt with just about everything and everyone.

Well, for the past two years, I’ve had a lot of empty hours, and a lot of time to think, although I assure you, I tried just about everything I could come up with of to distract myself from it. I think most people have gotten used a life that is so busy and so full and forces us to split our attention in a million little ways every day, and I realized that not only did I not need to keep trying to do that, it also wasn’t sustainable for me any longer. I’d slowed down since I’d become disabled, but I still kept trying to do too much, and had been continuing to spread myself too thin. So I slowed down yet again, although just about every part of me resisted it.

In the process of trying to remember how to take care of myself, I ended up with the mental space to really start to figure out why I felt so different from most people I encountered in the real world. I mean, I had known for years that I suffer from some pretty serious anxiety, and that I was prone to occasional bouts of melancholy (I’d say periods of depression but bouts of melancholy is so much more poetic, don’t you think?). I knew that the immense pressure I put on myself to do more, be more, and chase perfection even though I knew damn well it was faster than I will ever be was continuing to damage me both mentally and physically, but until recently, I hadn’t allowed myself to consider what would happen if I just … didn’t do that anymore.

Actually listening to myself after years of sublimating my own needs was a rude awakening. I wish I could tell you all that there was a happy ending to this story, but it isn’t over yet. I’m still trying to teach myself that I deserve as much grace as I have always tried to give to others. I’m still doing research and trying to figure out what labels most closely match my lived experience, and looking for clues as to who I am now and who I have always been. I’m not sure that I will ever decide to chase official diagnoses – my prior experiences of being fat and female while seeking medical care of any kind make that somewhat unpalatable, and I don’t really see any reason why I would have to unless I feel the need to pursue medical interventions for my mental health concerns or possible neurodivergencies.

I’m not sure if this is what people talk about when they reference midlife crises, but since I have yet to be overcome with a burning desire for a very fast sportscar and a very young paramour, it’s not exactly unraveling the way I would have expected it to.

Well – that ended up longer and more involved than I ever intended. The things I do for nerdpoints.

2 thoughts on “Introduce Yourself – Week Two – Pay No Attention to the Nerd Behind the Curtain [#Blaugust2022]

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