31 for 31

Since the ripe age of twenty-nine, I’ve prepared an annual list of things I know or things I’ve learned from the past year only to learn that I know enough to know that I don’t know anything. Gulp. Vexing, right?

So what’s a girl to do if I don’t have any more answers about the way of the world? I guess the only fair thing is to turn the lens back on myself and just level with you. Thirty-one. A prime number, right? And a prime number, by definition, has no positive divisors other than itself. So if anyone’s going to break it down and do some division, it’s going to be me.

So here it goes. Thirty-one facts about me, ranging from lighthearted to cold-blooded. Nothing easy.  Things I like and hate about myself. Things that keep me up at night, well after the caffeine from my eleventh iced tea has worn off.

  1. Sometimes I laugh in my sleep.
  2. I’d like to be prettier, but I’m not. Most days I’m OK with that. Other days, I look in the mirror and think my face is a solar system of ugly scars and asymmetry and odd shapes. I worry that your instincts are to tell me otherwise, to defend me from my own meanness.  You’re sweet, but that’s not what I’m asking for. It’s OK to feel ugly and imperfect as long as you like yourself.
  3. I love the moment before something happens more than I love the moment itself. The promise, the hope, the optimism. The potential, the expectation. I believe what if? is better than yes.
  4. I’ve never had a bloody nose.
  5. I’ve never had stitches.
  6. I love small, meticulous activities like plucking eyebrows and copy editing.
  7. Aside from a passing cold, I haven’t been sick since I had my tonsils removed in 1997.
  8. I’m surprised and delighted how quickly people become meaningful to me. People I meet at races or during the World Cup, or friends of friends who eventually become more important than the original friend.  I think a lot of people romanticize the idea of not trusting anyone, of being hard to reach, of being inaccessible and skeptical and hardened and deceptive.  I’m over it.
  9. No matter how many times I have the conversation, I still feel weird explaining to people that I don’t drink. I never feel like my explanation fully satisfies anyone, leaving them to wonder or guess at my motivation. I worry that they think it means something it doesn’t. I worry they think something terrible happened to me or that I’m a Puritanical twat.
  10. I wish I would make more time to learn about science and practice Spanish.
  11. I resent privilege, which is probably unfair since no one can control the circumstances into which he/she was born. But I’m also pretty sure that people of privilege don’t notice how much I resent them, and I resent that.
  12. I don’t have room in my life for all these new things.  I don’t want things, I want experiences.  I don’t want a car or new phone or a whole new wardrobe.  I want to keep wearing the same clothes I’ve had since 2000. The only things I want are sneakers, cookies, and trophies.
  13. I love surprises. I think that people who ruin or foil or uncover surprises are annoying know-it-alls or scaredy cats.
  14. I want to look better and be healthier at 45 than at 25. I’m not sure if that makes me more ambitious, shallow, or naive.
  15. I wish I would move to the Equator (where it’s warm and sunny and where tropical fruits and darker skin are standard) to write the rest of my novel. But I’m scared of leaving behind the people and sports that matter to me. I’m disappointed in myself.
  16. I don’t like my seemingly involuntary, lazy instinct to check Facebook all the goddamn time. I envy people who don’t have accounts. I think they’re all cooler than I am.
  17. I worry that this list and other blog posts are just narcissistic over-sharing drivel. I worry that it’s simplistic and cheap and self-aggrandizing. I worry that I sound like Donald Glover in a Residence Inn, but then again, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with honesty and brutal disclosure every now and then?  Why do we feel like honesty is a cry for help? Why do I have this paranoid feeling that sharing, being genuine, and telling you about myself gives you the upper hand?  What kind of world do we live in?
  18. I like flawed characters.  Yunior, I’m looking at you.
  19. I have become more disillusioned and less heartfelt since high school. I think High-School-Me would think I gave up. Current-Me thinks I’m pragmatic, but there’s a nagging in my brain and heart that knows I’m just scared and distracted and lazy. I’m taking the easy route and if I’m not more careful, it’s going to completely ruin my big dreams.
  20. I want you to think I’m clever and funny and memorable and athletic and smart. God, I want to be those things so badly.
  21. If I’m talking to you and my ears wiggle, it means I’m being emphatically honest and probably very excited. It’s this crazy thing I can’t control. But my ears just emote sometimes.
  22. I love Thanksgiving.
  23. I read fiction probably three times faster than I read non-fiction. And I think that people who view fiction as useless are equally useless. Have some goddamn imagination, you pedantic robot troll.
  24. I don’t like sleeping and am obsessed with my own productivity.
  25. Sometimes I nod as if I know a band or musician that I’ve never heard of because I feel like I’m supposed to know that band or musician and if I don’t, I’ll be viewed as uncool or lame or stupid. But it is much more uncool, lame, and stupid to pretend like this.
  26. I am terrified of being average and mediocre and the same and unremarkable and unmemorable. Why else would I be so loud and wear so much goddamn neon?
  27. I look dumpy as hell in dress pants.
  28. My five favorite songs are as follows: “Cabron” – Red Hot Chili Peppers; “Love That Girl” – Raphael Saadiq; “This Must Be The Place” – Talking Heads (or MGMT, if you really want to have a good time); “Having a Party” – Sam Cooke; “All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey. Act like you don’t like that last one. I know better.
  29. I have strange compulsive rituals before going to sleep.  For example, I cannot sleep on a pillow that is under a blanket or sheet.  It needs to be fully “liberated,” so I can have my shoulder at a 90-degree angle against it.  My pillow must also be at a very specific height or I won’t be able to fall asleep.  I will add blankets and sweatshirts to top the pillow until they reach that very specific, albeit lumpy, height. To wit, I have never found a pillow that is naturally the correct height.
  30. I believe that snark, bullshit, and poor grammar are the most destructive forces in communication.
  31. Fuck dry cleaning.

8 thoughts on “31 for 31

  1. #6 – I laughed out loud.

    #23 (not the lame Jim Carrey movie) resonated loudly.

    I don’t relate to at least 20 of these. Like at all. But that’s why I love my friends. The variety in personalities of people I know is something to be cherished. Being different is the best part of being someone’s friend. You are a unique cat, Kelaine. I dig that about you. And happy belated!

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