30 July 2007

What do you see in your head?

On Sunday afternoon, DH and I and a few neighbors sat around outside after a meeting of our homeowners association wrapped up. We talked about all sorts of things and nothing in particular. My in-laws pulled up in their van, and my mother-in-law was sitting in the passenger seat just like I used to when I was a teen, with a foot propped up on the dashboard.

I smiled, because I suddenly remembered driving around in a friend's jeep, summer, pop music loud on the radio, singing at the top of our lungs, windows down....

A little while later, we were out to dinner with our neighbors, and talking about time passing and our various ages, and I remarked that often, when I run into someone I've not seen for a long time from my school days, the first thing I think is, "Man, you look OLD! I don't look that old. Do I look that old? No, of course I don't." Of course, most the time I remember to not say that sort of thing out loud. Most of the time.

But that conversation got me to thinking. When I look in the mirror, I'm surprised by the adult reflected there. Because in my head, when I picture myself, I'm still 17.

We then talked about Neil Strauss's book, The Game, which I fully intend to pick up today because I'm curious about it. My neighbor's friend was telling us about the premise of the book, which is a community of pick-up artists. This is non-fiction, and I want to read it because it sounds like it would be a fascinating look at human psychology. I minored in Psych @ University, and I've never stopped being interested in it.

We got to chatting about confidence, and traits that men and women both find attractive. Self-confidence is sexy, there's just no two ways about that. I didn't have much when I was a teenager, but 'round about the time I turned 20, I started pretending that I was very confident, acting a part. When I met DH, I said some very outrageous things to him, because I thought he was cute and I wanted him to think I was interesting. (Guess that kinda worked, seeing as we've been married now for 7 years and all.) But they were things that I wouldn't have normally said if I'd been retreated into my little shell as I usually was.

I started learning how to play that game while I still lived in Europe, which is a funny thing. I had to go to Europe to learn how to be a brash chickie. The reputation of Americans worldwide is that we're brash, loud, obnoxious...and I learned how to do all that while I wasn't in America. Life's funny like that.

I've said this before, but it seems such a truism to me. If 17 year-old girls had the confidence that 30 year old women have, 17 year-olds would rule the world. Because I've got confidence in spades now. Except for this: I gave the link to my book to someone new, an online friend, for a critique, because I'm stuck and feeling like it is worthless. So a real-life friend encouraged me to share it, and now that I have, I'd like to hide in the corner after I delete the site that's hosting the book. Instead, I'm going to stay offline for a while (if I can, you know my addiction is baaaad) and wait to hear what she says. I was awake at 2.30 this morning worrying about what she will think of it.

Of course I'll still write a Tuesday Brain Dump post tomorrow....guess you can see right there what my resolve is worth. At the very least, I make myself laugh, so that's something.

How do YOU picture yourself when there's no mirrors around?

Listening to: the voices in my head that tell me I'm not a good writer. Oh, and Amiee Man's Voices Carry.

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