It’s been brought to my attention more than once the last 2 weeks that people really don’t know who I am. “More than once” as in, at least 10 times. Enough that it merits a separate blog post 😉
I get that it may be confusing for some…when you’ve lived life as I did for so many years, it’s really important to keep the core of who you are closed off from the public face you present. You know that cartoon that floats around sometimes? “Beatings will continue until morale improves”? That pretty much sums up my childhood.
When you’re raised in a very quirky subculture, one that’s convinced of its own superiority and righteousness, the pressure is on to always look happy and together and content and peaceful and holy. I’ve sat through far too many sermons on “look happy, so ‘the world’ will want what you have! look holy, so ‘the world’ will know you’re different!”
Am I advocating wearing every feeling on the metaphorical shirtsleeve? Absolutely not, because really, no one *cares* about every single thing another person feels/thinks/wants/finds shiny. There are some thoughts that should be kept to oneself. My brain tends to run on 50 different channels at any given time – the curse and blessing that is psuedo-ADD – and so I know that a good many of those thoughts should be relegated to brain-limbo without seeing the light of day.
However, I’ve always desired to be authentic, and tried to find ways to do so, even in the darkest days of religious fundamentalism. The longer I walk free of that, the more of myself I’m allowing to surface. This may or may not be a good thing, depending upon each reader’s personal perspective, but since I no longer fear lightning bolts from Heaven, here in no particular order are a few things that are The Real Rebecca Diamond.
I’m a Christ-follower –
that should go without saying, except, well, it apparently needs to be said. I am not a “backslider”, as I’ve recently been called. I’m not “areligious” or “anti-faith”. I don’t dislike Christians.
I am out of patience with a lot of church culture, and I am exploring the Jewish roots of my faith. But I very much love God, and my core beliefs have never changed.
My understanding of Who He is, what He wants of us, and how He desires to be in relationship with us is, hopefully, becoming clearer each day. But reject Him, I have not.
I have a weird sense of humor –
the world is a strange, strange place. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and my Gram taught me that what you can laugh at ceases to have power over you. Learning to laugh at painful things, I think, creates a bizarre perspective on life. I will sometimes find things hysterically funny that 80% of my friends will sigh and shake their heads at.
I am NOT high maintenance –
Yes, Amy and Andrea, I’m talking to you guys 😉 Yes, it’s true that whenever I leave the house, my hair is done, my makeup is on, my jewelry is in place, and I’m probably wearing heels. This, however, is only to offset the working-from-home wardrobe of “pajama jeans are cool! and I’ll shower after I answer 5 more emails!” that I have many more days than I should admit. I think we’ve decided that “medium maintenance” is about the term, right?
I’m not a goody-two-shoes –
This is the one I’ve run up against most frequently the last couple of weeks. Honestly, I’m not offended by your lifestyle-of-choice. Gay? This is me, not caring or condemning. Living together without being married? Really, I’m not your mother. You don’t have to hide it from me! Unless you’re a murderer or a pedophile, I really do NOT care how you live. You won’t hear me saying “hate the sin, love the sinner” – I trust that my friends are a) adult enough to come to their own decisions/feelings/beliefs and work that out with God themselves or b) you really aren’t into the whole God thing, in which case me applying my beliefs to your life is doubly offensive.
I don’t drink alcohol –
for a variety of reasons. Alcoholism is genetic, and there’s too much of it in my gene pool for me to risk it. I’m allergic to sulphites. The smell of beer makes me gag. I have sensory issues, and the thought of drinking fermented things? ICK! Notice, if you would, that none of those reasons have anything to do with my faith. I’m not offended if you’re drinking a glass of wine or if you have a beer when we go out to dinner. I don’t think you’re less of a Christian/Buddhist/Muslim/human being if you choose to drink responsibly. (Doing body shots off a stripper? If you’re the type of person who thinks that’s typical and desirable behavior, well, we probably aren’t friends.)
Sometimes I cuss, a little –
no, I don’t possess a pottymouth. I detest cursing as filler words (um, hm, eh, youknow – those are irritating enough. Substitute eff or effing too many times, and I’ll find someone more intelligent to talk to.)
If you combine God’s name with a swear word, or use “Jesus” as a swear word, I find it offensive. Not offensive to the point where I won’t have anything to do with you, and I’m certainly not going to call you out on it, but I don’t like it. I don’t use other people’s deities as a curse word, and I don’t like mine being used that way. But other swear words? I know them, I use them, I’m not offended by them.
Audience is everything – The Boy is a concrete thinker, and to him, all swearing is wrong. So, I censor around him.
I’ll censor myself around people I know will be offended by it – some of them will be upset to find out I’ve used “those words” even where they can’t hear them.
I’m not going to swear at or with my clients, or with most of my co-workers and colleagues – if you haven’t used it around me, I’m not using it around you. That’s professionalism.
But it honestly doesn’t bother me, with the caveats in the paragraph above.
I don’t dance –
but I do Zumba, albeit very poorly 😉
Some fonts will make me twitch –
Papyrus. Comic Sans. Scriptina. If you use those, I’ll still be your friend, but I’ll really try to convert you to proper typography.
I’m weirdly, hypocritically selective about what movies I’ll watch/books I’ll read –
and I’m going to expand upon that in another blog post, at least the book part. But the movie bit? I can’t stand certain kinds of violence – if a kid is being hurt, or even more twisted, is the perp? Not going to see it. Gratuitous *anything* makes me cringe – I hate syrupy sweet movies just as much as I hate gory ones. I’ll watch anything Joss Whedon past present and future, unless it has vampires in it (yes, that rules out Buffy and Angel.) I hate vampires, I hate books and movies about vampires, I think they are sick and disgusting and probably all of them use Papyrus.
Unless, of course, we’re talking Terry Pratchett’s vampires. I could read about them all day! <--told you I'm a hypocrite. I’m a geek –
Which will surprise some of you, while others doubt my geek-cred (see above mention of hating Buffy and Angel). But I love geeky things – anything internet, anything electronic, anything off-beat. While my friends were playing Little House on the Prairie when it was all the rage, I was trying to convince them that we could add my radio I’d just built, that it wouldn’t be too anachronistic.
I’m a word snob –
Who still makes typos, and sometimes doesn’t even correct them. But mix up you’re and your consistently, and I kind of want to hurt you a little for making my eye twitch so bad. I’ll never tell you that to your face – and I won’t mention it behind your back – but inside, where it counts, I’m mentally sending you this link.
I think that’s enough for today…at least, now, I have a blog post to send people to when I do something that shocks them and conflicts with their mental image of me 😉 People that know me well? Feel free to list anything I’ve missed 😛