Friday, September 09, 2005

My Initial Thoughts

I wonder if my parents knew when they gave me the initials ME that they were making an individual, a child who marched to a different drummer?

Square peg in a round hole.” That’s what people used to call it.

Even as a kid I knew it was a silly waste of time to put a square peg in a round hole. That was just plain common sense. To make the peg fit, the peg wouldn’t be a square peg anymore. It would hurt the peg and the hole wouldn’t like it.

Yet when I grew up, I couldn’t seem to remember what I already knew. I kept trying to remake myself to fit whatever hole the world wanted me to fit. “Time I grew up” I would think, making excuses for what people were asking. I had no lack of the "eager to please" gene. Thinking of leaving behind childish ways, I’d leave behind part of me. Of course, it never worked. Every time, I became a copy of myself, a bad facsimile. I probably looked a like a cross between a Stepford Wife and Flat Stanley.

People can spot a phony—even when her intentions are good. They make it hard to stay. It’s ironic how much time I invested, giving myself away, constantly learning the same lesson. Sometimes I’m so fast. Other times I’m darn slow. The mathematics of my own nature took a while to figure out.

The growth came when I went back to reclaim those parts of me that I had set aside. I’ve quit trying to change shape to fit a box that wasn’t my own. Still, sometimes I wonder . . . what if I had my husband’s initials WE?

Do you suppose my son ever thinks about this?

His initials are ET.
—me strauss Letting me be


Anonymous said...

It hard to be something other than yourself. It wouldn't stick and just end up being even more unhappy. I gave up delibrately trying to fit what other people think I should be like and what I think I should be like in this world. In the same way, I'm getting to a point where I might give up trying to get the world to fit me.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hello Liz
What a great observation. First we try to fit the world and then we try to get th world to fit us. I hadn't thought about it that way before. Sounds right though.

Anonymous said...

My initials are MAC. As a kid I hated that. Why? I don't know, I just did. I guess when your a kid you’re supposed to hate everything about yourself that makes you unique and draws attention to you. That's also why I hated being a redhead. I was always conspicuously different than EVERYBODY else.

I’ve never fit in. I tried hard in my 20s. Moderately in my 30s and now in my 40s I’m popeye. I am what I am and that’s all what I am. You don’t like me? Tough! Get over it! :D

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Mark,
I think that's why they say "Life begins at 40." At 40 I decided they couldn't call me childish; they had to call me eccentric."

Names are the most important words we know. They are the first words we know about ourselves and each other. They have to have some impact on how we feel about ourselves. That's probably why they become such potent ammunition.


Anonymous said...

Okay... so I'm thinking, all this talk about conformity lately, something must have happened to trigger it.
And then again, maybe not.
What do I know?

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Melly,
Nah, nothing in particular triggeted. If you look back I like to do a couple of posts on the same subject and organization behavior/human nature is something that really interest me--especially since most of the time I don't get it right. :)

I figure other people have a curiosity about it too.


PS What until you see where I go next. (BIG CHESHIRE CAT GRIN)