Monday, December 07, 2009

I Really Wanna Know

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)  

Hello Again, Holidailies.

This marks my sixth year as a participant in the Holidailies December writing project. For those of you who might be new the news filled with little green fishes, it would probably be a good idea if I answered the question, "Who am I?" I say "probably" because the answer isn't as easy as you might think. But I'll try anyway, so here goes.

Q. Who am I?
A. It depends on who you ask

To my daughter, I am mom. Because she is a teenager, I am now both more and less important than I have been in the past. I am the gatekeeper of permission, which is a blessing and a burden for both of us. I am the chauffeur and the wallet. I am stricter than some parents, but not all, and I require (yes, REQUIRE) certain behavior day in and day out, namely respect and politeness. Most days it goes quite well. The rest of the time I attribute it to Satan. I am her sounding board and her confidant; a role I cherish and take very seriously. I am her biggest champion and support system. If she has a performance, I'm there. If she has a problem, I'll listen. If parenting is hard and decisions are difficult, I'll share that with her. I'm still her anchor, although over the years I've continued to let her roam a little bit farther on her own. It's wonderful, maddening and scary.

To my friends I am funny, smart, complicated and too busy for my own good.  I don't go out any play anywhere near as often as I should, but we all do our best to make up for lost time when we (finally) get the chance.

My cats see me only as a mooch-target and a warm bed at night. Any and all attention paid is on their terms only.

According to the nature and location of my employment (job #1), I work in a library. In the strictest sense, I cannot call myself a librarian due to the lack of a piece of graduate-level paper.  Title notwithstanding, I am a person who knows a great deal about my field of expertise: music and computers.  I know how to find scraps of information that don't want t be found, and organize things so that they will be found that much easier.  Other than that, I really don't fit the usual librarian stereotype.  I do not have super-strength SHUSHing power, I do not wear orthopedic shoes, have my glasses slung around my neck on a silver chain, or put my hair in a bun.  I work in a cubicle, but I even refuse to let that define who I am.  My tiny space includes three giant stuffed Peeps, 3 wooden monkeys, a VERY dead plant, a couple of demotivators posters and a 45 rpm record I found in the stacks one day with my favorite song title of all time:  You didn't like it because you didn't think of it.  If that doesn't say office cubicle I don't know what does.  My earphones are on every second I'm at work, and I'm just as apt to be listening to Gregorian Chant as I am to be listening to Eddie Izzard, The Steve Miller Band, Ella Fitzgerald, Mozart, or last week's episode of Survivor. 

My resume says I am a professional Soprano.  I have lots of cred to back that up, including all requisite high notes, glittery performance wear, breadth and depth of knowledge of composers, genres, languages and styles, and an unending love of singing.  What I don't have is the insanity, the explosive temper-tantrumesque personality or the mile-wide ego that is so rampant (and face it, sometimes necessary) in this business.  However, let it be known that I refuse to consider this to be a failing on my part.

To my students (job #2) I am many things.  Primarily a voice teacher.  Possibly a drive-by therapist.  Hopefully someone who pushes, inspires and opens up worlds of musical and vocal possibilities.  I am supportive and kind until taken advantage of, at which point sorrow and pain come a-calling.  Woe and Woah.  I praise liberally and criticize fairly, but never without cause on either account.

According to my Spam folder, I have a tiny penis, a high school graduating class of approximately 30,000 students all currently trying to find me, a desperate need for Canadian pharmaceuticals, a bumper harvest of Acai Berries and relatives in Nigeria that would like me to send them my banking information.  It may surprise you when I say without the Internet I would have been unaware of each and every one of these factoids.  I guess I haven't been paying enough attention.

According to the Wii fit (or "the insult box" as I have heard it called) I am a orange uniformed bean type person who more often than not is slumped over looking sad or stunned, or pounding my fists into the ground in the agony of defeat while the slow, sad "loser" music twinkles my demise.  In Farmtown (on Facebook) I have short brown well-styled hair and an ever-neat and tidy pair of bluejean overalls.  I'm not sure which "me" would win in a cage match; the Wii me isn't very skilled (OK, the insult box calls me unbalanced) but the Farmtown me constantly freezes up, needs to be rebooted or has run out of gas.  I suppose it would be a draw.

Judging by the appearance of my sixteen year old car, it is as plain as the rust all over the driveway that I am not defined by my mode of transportation.

If you looked at my living room, you would know I do not have a maid, If you looked at my basement you would think I was stockpiling for the rapture, and if you compared the inside of my refrigerator at 6:30 and 7:30pm this evening, you would wonder if my greatest skills were that of an exorcist or a chemist.  I'm not sure what the answer is, but whatever was in those mystery Tupperware bowls was either demonic or the cure for cancer.

An examination of the stacks of "stuff" here there and everywhere would tell you that music, reading, fiber arts, crossword puzzles and cooking are among my many hobbies.  The dust on several of these piles would tell you I have little time to do any of it to the degree I'd like.  A quick scan of my iPod is a clear demonstration of my severe multiple personality disorder.  My twelve other personalities tell me it's not their fault.

Who am I?  It's hard to say. Or maybe it's really easy to say because if there is one thing that I AM, it is diverse.  I do all sorts of things and like all sorts of things.  I wear many hats every single day, but I refuse to anybody or anything define who I am.  After all, the fun in life is finding out for yourself, and I try to do that with as much humor, thought and grace as I can muster.  I will admit that some days are more successful than others.  But in the meantime, I sort out my days right here in my own little corner of the Internet.  I'm glad you stopped by, and I hope you'll visit again tomorrow.  And if you see those Nigerian relatives, tell them I said hi.

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