Thursday, January 11, 2007

Musing on Myself

Don't you ever wonder just why it is you are the way you are?

Driving in the country makes me contented. I love passing freshly plowed fields that are waiting for their next crop to take root. I loved that period of time on Tuesday when I was driving through the thickest part of the State Park on a road where light was only barely finding its way through the canopy of trees. I love getting my hands in dirt. I love the feel of tree bark under my fingers. I love to listen to a mockingbird running rapidly through his repertoire, even though he's been keeping me awake.

I like being alone. I'm not so comfortable being in a crowd, but I do enjoy mingling with people who share the same interests I do. Part of me would love to be a hermit, living in a mountaintop cabin and only coming down to town for provisions once in awhile. Part of me loves to get out and see new places and meet new people. I hate being with close-minded people. I love being with people who can discuss any topic at a moment's notice and be open to the opinions of others even if they don't necessarily agree with them.

I dislike politics and politicians. (Let's be more precise. I hate liars.) I dislike people whose only concern is the feathering of their own financial nest regardless of how many lives may be adversely affected by their actions. I dislike snobs, though I must confess that there is a bit of snob in me as regards education. (And I don't mean book learning - I mean continuing to educate oneself with copious reading and through life experience. Some of the smartest people I know have limited formal education. Some of the dumbest people I know have degrees running out their ears.) I hate phonies. I like non-conformists who can stand their ground and be themselves regardless of peer pressure, even if I find their life style peculiar as all get out.

I'm a tactile person. I love to knit and crochet, even though I have limited time to do so. It has little to do with the creation aspect and a lot to do with the feel of the yarn gliding through my fingers and the rhythm of the clicking needles. I like the feel of natural fibers and recoil at the feel of (most) synthetics. ( I do love rayon.) I love to sit on the edge of Black Canyon in Colorado and feel the breeze lifting my hair and the sun warming my face.

I love animals. They never lie to you and they never stab you in the back and they never treat you like crap just for the fun of feeling superior.

I'm religious, but I don't like going to church. I'm generous, but I don't like being taken advantage of. I'm loyal to a fault, but if I find you've been disloyal to me I will never trust you again. I'm honest. I'm sensitive to slights. I find it very difficult to let anyone know the inner me. I'd sooner die than lick anyone's boots. But I also play by the rules.

So I'm this weird combination of open and closed. I can look to some of my antecedents and spot where some of the traits may have been passed down to me. Multiple ancestors were weavers or did embroidery or crocheted. Many many of my forefathers were farmers. Many were teachers. There is a strong vein of Scot-Irish in my blood that may account for my reserve and inability to trust easily. There are numerous preachers in my family tree. I'm about three-quarters Southern, which may account for my liberal politics.

This is a big reason why I'm a genealogist. I find it amazing how all those who have gone before me have had a factor in the person I am just as much as the environment I was raised in. It's a complicated thing, how we come to be the person we are. I can look at myself and see my grandmothers and grandfathers and from stories I've heard from them I can see their parents and their grandparents in me.

Bottom line, I like me. I may drive some folks crazy with my fierce independence and refusal to conform, but that's just the way I am. Like it or lump it. I can be happy being with you or being on my own.

One last word on the subject. My grandmother once heard me relate a story about some difficulty or other and remarked, "The thing is, you can lead us all right off a cliff, but we don't push worth a damn." Hear, hear.


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