A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Knowing yourself

Years ago a teen girl in a small group that I was leading asked if there was anything good about becoming an adult.  "Aside from the sex, of course," she said.

I'll be honest.  It took me a moment.  At the time I had two toddlers, was back in college, and had a husband who worked a lot of overtime, so I wasn't feeling happy about adulthood myself.

I did eventually figure it out, however, and I still believe it.  The nice thing about getting older (yes, I know I'm not old - work with me here) is that you finally get to know yourself.

You would think that knowing yourself wouldn't take that long.  I mean, you've been there all the time!  But you have hidden depths you never suspected.  Frankly, once you figure yourself out it makes life a LOT easier.  Living with someone else can be a challenge, but living with yourself can be worse and is completely unavoidable.

Over the years there are several things I've learned about myself, and it's helped me to change my lifestyle so that I get along better with myself (and, consequently, with others):

  1. I have an uncontrollable addiction to Oreos.  This is not something to mess around with.  When I was first married we would blithely buy a bag of Oreos from the grocery store.  Then the next day Jacob would go to grab an Oreo and be unable to find the bag.  "Amy, where are the Oreos?"  Hmmm?  Suddenly I no longer habla'd the ingles.  We stopped buying Oreos after that.
  2. I must have clean kitchen counters.  Messy kitchen counters = irrational psychotic Amy.  I know it's stupid, but there it is.  So now I compulsively wipe down the counters and it's not a problem.
  3. Nothing must be on my bed.  Stuff on bed = irrational psychotic Amy.  I don't know why it bothers me.  I think I just need to know that at any moment I could go to bed and there would be nothing in my way.  I really love sleeping.
  4. I need a lot of attention.  And I will act out accordingly.  Jacob does a pretty good job of paying attention to me so that I don't have to resort to naughty behavior.  Every once in a while he gets busy, though, and then I have to write a blog post and pretend I have fans.
We do play with these quirks from time to time.  For example, every once in a while Jacob decides to live dangerously and will leave a notebook and a backpack or a load of clothes or something on the bed in the evening.  I think he wants to see if I'll come completely unhinged like last time.  (I do!)

We got stupid this last week and bought a bag of Oreos.  I started a new Biggest Loser competition yesterday, and there's a bag of Oreos in my kitchen!  How insane is that?  Yesterday I was jumping up and down with my arm in the cabinet above the fridge, desperately trying to reach the bag that Jacob had stashed behind the pancake griddle.  I wasn't able to get to the Oreos. 

However, this afternoon I reached up there and they had moved forward a good six inches.  I managed to toss three cookies back before the kids came into the kitchen and I was forced to pop a bag of popcorn in self-defense.

How about you?  What have you learned about yourself and what steps have you taken to make peace between the two of you?


  1. Well, I have learned that you and I have a lot more in common than I ever suspected. I'm with you on the bed thing. I, in fact, purposely put clean laundry on my bed because I know that I will have to get it folded and put away quickly or it will drive me bonkers.

    I don't know if this is something that happens when you hit 29 and realize you'll soon be 30 and there's nothing you can do about it or what, but I feel like just this year I've made a lot of progress toward knowing myself. Of course, I learned in developmental psychology that some aspects of a person's personality don't become set until around age 30, so maybe I just wasn't myself yet so it was hard to figure out. Here's what I know:

    Whether or not I ever actually make it into a real band (I keep trying), I will always be a rock star in my own head. (Rock star is to Meagan as best-selling author is to Amy. Make sense now?)

    I am not comfortable with emotions and cover with humor. This seems unlikely to change.

    The crush on Shaun Morgan isn't going away.

    Really, if it wasn't for the lack of sex part, I could be happily single forever. I like not having to deal with anyone else's ego.

    I have recently accepted that I just really like to dance. No matter how ridiculous I look. Damian calls it "awkward dancing" and every time I start dancing around the kitchen he yells out "No awkward dancing, Mom!" I just shake my butt at him. I blame Zumba for this.

    I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up (assuming rock star is out of the question), and I've recently made peace with this. I'm okay with learning a new career every few years, I suppose. Imagine the wealth of experience I'll have when I'm 70!

    I am a label that Amy Moran applies to blogs.

    Another analogy: Popcorn is to Meagan as Oreos are to Amy.

    I am an apathetic genius. I have a genius-level IQ but most of the time I don't care, and since I suck at math most people never suspect. (Gardiner's theory of multiple intelligences, people! Have you never heard of this? Sheesh!) I guess I like to keep the expectations low. Though I will occasionally trot that fact out when it gets me hired for a job I have no experience in.

    That ought to be enough trivia to make you feel like your blog has fans for now. :) Actually I really do like your blog. You have at least one fan.

    1. I am totally having a T-shirt made for you, dear fan o' mine. I just have to design it.

      We do have a lot in common, complete with using humor to cover emotion. But I really, really don't understand the Shaun Morgan thing. I like my men much tidier.