This is my life. As obvious as this statement may seem, it has never felt like my life.
I have never had the luxury of anonymity. I grew up in Ames, Iowa. I was born into a relatively well-known family. My father and his family had spent years in the area. My parents are upstanding and very involved members of the community and their church. In my hometown, I lived a fairly high profile life. I was known and there were certain things expected of me. There was a mold created for me and I had to fill it. After graduating high school, I moved to the very small town of Mount Vernon, Iowa where I attended Cornell College for four years. This small town became my permanent residence. In college I lived an even higher profile life. I had the incredible luck of dating the most popular, well-liked and influential man on campus. In a moment I went from an “unknown freshman” to “that one freshman who was dating the powerful, hot senior.” Due to that relationship and the job I worked in college I was known. When I graduated I decided to move to Braidwood, Illinois in order to stay close to my best friend and her family. I had been looking forward to starting a new and anonymous life in a town where no one knew my name or my past. I needed to be no one. I needed to slip in and be a normal 23 year old. In the nine months I have lived in my new home, I started dating an absolutely phenomenal man. This man happens to be the town sweetheart. In yet another stroke of bad luck, I became known again.
There are many positives of being a well-known person. You never have to worry about social gatherings; you’re either invited to everything or if you show up at the local bar you’ll find someone to talk to. If you’re bored, you can usually find someone to hang out with. In college I never had to stress about who to sit with at lunch; I always had options. If you’re having a bad day, there is at least one kind person who pretends to care enough to listen to you complain, or they are listening so they can dig up some fun gossip to circulate among the rest of God’s green earth. There are far more upsides I’m sure. I just don’t care enough to figure out what they are.
The down side to being well-known is the fact that people like to talk. I have always been talked about. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. Sometimes neither. Sometimes vicious. People think they’re sneaky and I don’t know, or they try to make sure I know. The point is, I’ve never really cared. I have always been of the opinion that people will talk, so let them. All honesty, I find it immensely amusing. The rumor mill makes my life sound far more normal than it actually is.
This is my life. Until right now, in this moment I am typing on my computer, the narrative that has been told has never been my own. My story will take many, many posts. I am willing to take the time to write it because I want to take control of my story. My life hasn’t always been my own and I changed that. Now I want to take back my story because only I can tell it.
I am a very private person. I don’t like to discuss my feelings. I, however, have no problems discussing events, choices, careers, memories, or facts about my life. I am not private about those; partially because those would be found out anyways. I do not lie about my life. I will not sugar coat who I am so that I look good. I am completely fine with looking like a cunt because sometimes I am. I have good qualities, and I have bad qualities. We all do. That is being human. I am not a one dimensional person and I don’t want to portray myself as anything less than the complicated mess I am.
If people are going to talk. Let them talk. But if they are going to talk. I want them to talk about the real story. Judge me on who I am and what I’ve been through. Don’t judge me on what you think you know or what you see on my facebook wall or what you’ve heard. You are wrong. You do not know.
My truths are so much worse than any rumor you could create. My truths are far more interesting too.
To those who want to judge: Have fun. There is more to judge than days left in your life.
To those who pity me: Don’t. I am here to tell my story and to help people. I have done so much good through the telling of my story.
To those who revel in my pain: I make better jokes at my expense than you can.
To those who have questions: Ask! I don’t mind. Really almost anything is fair game.
To those who think I’m a bad person: I probably am, but so are you. I have my reasons and so do you!
To those who want to fix me: I don’t need to be fixed. What I need are loyal, loving, true friends.
To those who want to help: I’m long past needing help. I appreciate your concern though!