January 3, 2013

The Kind Of Girl I Am

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I hear a lot of sentences that begin or end with some variation of “I’m not that kind of girl.” There seems to always be two camps of women, one who does this horrible thing that we’re all collectively supposed to be embarrassed of, and one who has far too much dignity and self-respect to engage in it. It’s hard not to feel an expectation of classifying yourself in such a way as to put other women down, or to recognize that there are certain behaviors within us that we are supposed to be constantly suppressing. But you see, I am often afraid, when I hear these sweeping generalizations about the humiliating kind of girl all of these people are absolutely not, that I may be her myself. I am more afraid, it should be said, that I don’t want to change.

Because I am the kind of girl who will call you too much — who will fall neatly under the labels of “crazy” or “needy” because her emotions tend to spill out all at once, and in full color. I find myself unable to sit on my hands when it comes to waiting for the phone to ring, to allowing someone I am over the moon about to take their time and call me when they’re ready. When I am infatuated with you, all sense of basic social propriety flies out the window and my entire life is dependent on the sweet, tinny ringing of a cellphone. I will hound your message box and immediately regret every text I send, wishing that I were the kind of person who could exhibit that coy, sexy restraint. I wish playing “hard to get” were a game that didn’t elude me completely, that I could engage in a little cat-and-mouse, that I could obfuscate my true feelings just long enough to make you wonder if I actually need you. With me, there is never a doubt of “need.” I always have my hands outstretched.

I am the kind of girl who will love you more loudly than you love her and not know how to make it seem like she doesn’t. I am the kind of girl who will consistently paint outside the lines and still hope that you’ll be proud of her when she shows you the finished product. I have a heart which, beyond being worn on my sleeve, tends to beat loudly enough to deafen anyone trying to listen to me speak. Any half-hearted murmurs of “I’m fine” or “It’s okay” will be drowned out by the thud of what are clearly my real feelings on the subject. There will always be an urgency and difficulty in my love, because I am constantly trying to catch up with myself.

I am the kind of girl who will fight sometimes for no reason, who will create arguments out of thin air because she is frustrated and sometimes takes it out on the people who deserve it least but will stand for it most. I will know that what I am doing is wrong in the moment — that a label of “psycho” being flung at me will be as stinging as it is accurate — but be unable to stop myself. I will see in this a kind of pinch to remind yourself that you are alive, that you are fresh, that you are worth fighting for — even if it’s selfish and juvenile. I love things at top volume, at their most difficult, at their most needlessly complex.

I am the kind of girl who talks too loudly and curses too often and makes a habit of inserting her foot as far into her mouth as her leg can bend. I know that there is a delicate sort of grace that I should be striving for, an Audrey Hepburn-esque ability to be at once charmingly funny and undoubtedly feminine, but I will constantly strive for the former in complete negligence of the latter. Though I can see myself almost in an out-of-body experience, realize that I am being “too much” and “too intense” at yet another social gathering because I know no other way to be, there will always be a small voice in my head which encourages me to tell the dirty joke, to make the overly-frank comment, and to sacrifice the seen-and-not-heard beauty that we are raised to admire in a woman.

I often hear other women talk proudly of the fact that they are not like me. They are not “crazy,” they are not “needy,” they are not “loud,” they are not “bitchy.” And though I do not begrudge them their choice to be a different human being than I am, I wish that their premium and their beauty didn’t have to come at the expense of other women. I wish that we were free enough to be individuals, that there didn’t have to be two categories to fit into, and that the actions of one of us didn’t have to be so immediately reflective of us all. Maybe there is something wrong with being all of these things — notably all of these things at once — but I have never known how to be anyone else. And I would rather be too much of me than just barely enough of a proper lady. TC mark

 

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