Half-way to Hell.

On March 21st, I turned 35.

I’ve never had an issue with my age as far as telling people what it was. I understood the fear of ageism but grew up in a household where “Screw it, this is me.” was a familiar mantra. I didn’t really celebrate this year which was a bit odd for me. I usually have some sort of epic gathering. (People still talk about our $589 bar tab). This year I wanted it laid back and quiet. After a bit of deliberation, Devo and I took a few days off and drove to Lancaster county to hit up this massive buffet and then some outlets, both of which proved to be a bit disappointing. Neither of us like shopping, Devo hates driving, and we’re both trying to watch our food intake.

So why do all that aforementioned crap?

I guess because I don’t care what I do with him. He’s a blast to be with. A rainy day driving through Amish country becomes a laugh riot.

My birthday itself was a bit of a non event. I went to work and hung with my awesome co-workers, came home, got Devo his dinner and played Mass Effect 3 multiplayer until we both passed out. I was a bit sad I didn’t have a party and that I didn’t really do anything epic, but in the long run I’m ok.

I think a lot about what I should be doing when I hit certain milestones. I never went to college, and that follows me around quite a bit as far as my career goes. I’m starting to get to a point where it’s going to be even more complicated for me to have children. All of my friends are married. I know these things could happen for me in the future, I’m just trying to be ok with however it turns out. With giving up control. Letting it happen naturally.

It’s a bit of a struggle to hold back my want to keep up with those around me. Doing things your own way is charming when you’re in your teens and 20’s. After 30 it can be a bit detrimental if it’s done in the same mindset. My weight holds me back. My lack of education holds me back. All these protective walls I built for myself as a kid crumble down steadily as my priorities shift. Are they my priorities, or am I just giving in to the pressures of the status quo? Is this what I really want, or what everyone expects?

This post is kind of all over the place. I’m kind of all over the place. I’m trying to breathe and just be. My apartment. Man I love. Fairly steady paycheck. All there.

I think I just get stuck sometimes in comfort zones. This may sound weird coming from a girl who got on a plane to Texas to meet the man of her dreams, but change does not come easy for me.

So we’ll see what this year holds. I’ve already started it with the assumption that folks may want to see what’s on my mind, so that’s something. We’re also joining a gym, Devo and I. We’ve both gotten pretty crap bills of health over the past few months from medical professionals so it’ll do us a world of good.

No real warmth or anecdotal tales this week, I’m afraid. I’m allowing myself a day of being overwhelmed and weird.

Advertisements

Just One Fix.

I’ve always found it kind of strange how we want so badly as humans to fit ourselves into such tiny little molds.

I’ve talked before about how being similar to the universe as we know it isn’t a bad thing. Unavoidable, really. Now I’m going to touch on our differences. I started to really think about this post after abandoning my original idea; three ways I cope with life that I feel make it better for me. Taking compliments, smiling, and not sweating the small stuff.

Simple, right?

I started thinking about what that meant. What makes -me- feel better. I had it sectioned off, planned, I’d been thinking about it all week. I’m going to impart my personal wisdom on to you, the reader, and give out warm fuzzies to everyone!

How dare I?

So I decided instead to post about the nagging feeling I had inside that kept me from my original post. People are wicked different, yo. Some of you may read this and think “Wow, she’s really got her shit together.” Others may think I’m being a preachy know-it-all, but bless their hearts for letting me blather on. Still, no one’s wrong there.

That brought me to music. Most everything brings me back to music. It’s a perfect example of how exceptional we are, and how our ideas of what makes us feel good differs vastly. I’ll use Sonic Youth as an example. Playing at Urban effing Outfitters.

I hate this band. Hate them. I didn’t dare say that in the 90’s because doing such would have you branded a heretic. I’d say something like “Well, I understand their contributions to the grunge era but I’m not a huge fan.” No. They suck. Sorry.

This doesn’t mean that folks that like Sonic Youth are a gang of brainwashed idiots, and it doesn’t mean they’re a bad band. And sorry guys, the same goes for Justin Beiber fans. People like what they like, and hate what they hate. What makes me happy and fixes my life up a bit may make you vomit with rage.

Self help books are another perfect example of this. Perhaps that’s why there’s so many of them. Each preaching a final and perfect answer once you get to the last page. For this, let’s use “The Secret” as an example.

Apparently, The “Law” Of Attraction needed a reference guide. Karma’s got a brand new dress. You can have all the money, love, and happiness in the world as long as you are a little spiritual magnet of happy thoughts. Those of you that suffer from such medical conditions as anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression are obviously doing it wrong. An all too familiar sentiment. When a philosophical leap of faith isn’t working for you, it’s entirely your fault. You’re not trying hard enough. Buy more books, jackass.

To say The Secret is complete crap is very easy, and very played out. It is not, however, entirely true. Books like this help people sometimes because some people really, really like them. Not everyone does. To say that those who read this book and didn’t get it are just lost, stupid humans is just as closed minded as judging someone for disliking a movie. Listening to the wrong music. Going to the wrong church.

(Oops, watch it there tiger.)

Different strokes for different folks. I’m glad some of you get things out of what I write, but reeling myself in and understanding that I can’t fix everyone’s shit is something that keeps me grounded. As well as smiling, Saying “thank you” when complimented, and not sweating the small stuff. It sounds easy seeing it, but it’s still a daily struggle. I had a few days this week where drop-kicking someone sounded fabulous. I even got in minor trouble for trying to talk down another co-worker. It sounds barbaric, but whatever. Over and done with. NEXT!

Not everyone can let things go this easily, and not everyone has the ability to smile problems away. As similar as we are, our differences are tremendous when it comes to what makes us feel good, and what gives us faith. Attempting to pigeon-hole yourself into anything from a scene to a political affiliation is a way to feel like you’ve got people around who get you, but we need to stop using it as a licence to feel superior to folks who don’t.

So I’ll keep doing what makes me feel better, and I’ll keep talking about it, but I don’t expect it to work for everyone. I love human beings, and I love the things they do differently most of all. Of course I’m more than happy to accidentally make someone feel better about themselves, but I can’t write under the illusion that everyone’s going to gain something from it. So, I doubt I’ll be talking to any publishers about “The Three Things.”

Hmm….

 

Dear Diary and everyone else.

One of the best things about the internet is it’s ability to give us instant, peer-to-peer interaction. This could be anything from friendly advice to something more technical, like the various Live Chat programs many sites provide for instant help and information.

This is a double edged sword, however, when your peers aren’t interested in helping you.

One of the best things I did for my self as a kid was keep a private paper diary. I could say whatever stupid teenage crap I needed to say without fear of backlash from my parents who respected that privacy, or my friends who were on a need-to-know basis. Nowadays, these same typical teenage rants are often broadcast online under the guise of privacy by kids too young to understand the concept, and dying for someone else to empathize.

We all remember this video.

As out of control as this was, and as disappointing it was to see folks in either the “Haha dumb little bitch” camp or the “Lol your daughter’s gonna be a stripper” camp, this is an absolutely textbook teen tude. After this video was made, both the man and his daughter discussed the incident together, and his daughter made it quite clear she had no intention on becoming an adult performer. I won’t go into details on how angry I was that the world at large seems to think the fragile egos of teenage girls drive them solely to sex and ruin, or that exotic dancing is something to be woefully ashamed of, but that’s another post for another day.

Parents need to be wary of this stuff, and kids need to know where it’s okay to write this stuff down to blow off steam. Had I the ability at 13 or 14 years of age to write down my feelings for my small yet opinionated world to see as a kid, I’d probably be extremely confused.

I know this sounds odd coming from someone who has Blogged on the net in one way or another since 2002, ( I look at my LiveJournal and want to claw my face off) but there are certain things that are better off said on paper to absolutely no one. Kids as young as 10 or 11 are now turning to the internet with their worst fears, or their issues with self esteem.

Of course if you read the comments, you’ll find a mix of complete creeps, trolls and people who mean well. Welcome to the internet!

In my last post I talked about how hard it is to NOT struggle with self esteem and identity issues. Parents need to be all over this stuff. Kids are sneaky, and it’s very tough to keep them away from everything that will harm them. I managed to sneak my way into some rather dark tunnels as a kid, but I always had an adult to pull me out.

(Thanks Mom and Dad)

As lame as they’ll probably think you are, encouraging your kids to keep a paper diary may be something you want to try. Understand that you as a parent will probably be the target of vitriol either way, but that’s ok. Every mother or father on the planet will at some point deal with a hormonal, raging child saying awful crap to them. When it comes down to it, they love you. Just shake your head, and love them back. They’re venting. That’s ok. The best part is, they can look at it later and  judge their behavior by themselves with a cooler head. Hopefully!

(Thanks Mom and Dad…again…)

I can’t imagine how awful my self esteem would be if I counted on the internet to make me feel better about myself or dole out advice. It’s ok for the small stuff like where to get Thai Food or whatever…but for big stuff?

Maybe not such a hot idea.

So call me old fashioned if you must, but there’s something to be said for keeping a private paper diary. Something comforting. Knowing you can get something off your chest without having it analyzed to death by your equally confused pals, or winding up pissing off your parents. Granted this isn’t just a teen phenomenon. I see some pretty embarrassingly personal posts on my Facebook by people my age or older. Each to their own, but man.

When something really important comes up and I really need help, I ask the people I trust to be honest with me. I do the same thing when I don’t feel so hot about my looks. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be complimented. It’s normal. People like to feel good about themselves. And for god’s sake, TAKE THE COMPLIMENT. You’d be surprised how much that action alone will change you.

So give it a try. If you’re 11, if you’re 80. Sometimes the best advice comes from your own head once you shake the junk out of it. This is a link to some extremely cute diaries by Kreativlink on Etsy.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/kreativlink

Make it personal! If you’re crafty, make your own!

There is something that’s also rather cathartic in reading old hand-written journal entries. 10 years ago I was so different. I can reflect on the paths that took me to where I am now. Picking up a book the 14 year old me poured her heart out into helps me understand how I’ve grown when I’m feeling stagnant. If there’s more growing to be done. There’s no confusing commentary, just raw me. I’ve been privileged to some of my own mother’s childhood writings, as well as my great grandmothers diaries.

Imagine if my great grandmother’s struggles with marrying outside her religion were plastered on Facebook 100 years ago.

In a nutshell, it is important to write down how you feel, because you can process it. It is not always smart to show everyone else. Approval is something we all seek in one time or another in our lives, and criticism is inevitable. Make sure you get it from the right people. Wanna know where to find a good vegetarian place? Yelp. Wanna know how babby is formed? Ask ur dokter.

Big Business

I wasn’t sure how to approach this topic. I’m still going in slightly blind, so we’ll see where it winds up going.

I’m overweight. Obese. I don’t remember a time in my life where I haven’t been. Until I was about 14, it caused huge issues with my social life and self esteem. The worse the teasing got, the more I ate to feel better. Even when my life started getting much nicer, I had 14 years of emotional eating experience behind me that I’m still trying to conquer.

I never considered myself “fat positive”, nor a “fat activist.” My size does effect how the world treats me every single day, and I appreciate the positive message these amazing activists send. I’m just not one for groups. I have some very beautiful and thin friends who suffered with their own bodily issues, too. Maybe that’s why. We’re just women struggling with what it’s like to walk around real while surrounded by unreal.

I used to look at skinny, pretty girls with..well sadness I guess. I liked who I was so it wasn’t exactly jealousy, I just didn’t like what I walked around in. I’d walk into a room and pray there’d be another fat person there so I wasn’t the only one. Being fat did teach me to be observant of my surroundings, and it’s due to this observance that I no longer compare myself. Two incidents stand out. One being a small bachelorette hangout with an acquaintance and her friends.

I was the fat one of course.

This acquaintance did a lot of work for women’s organizations, and considered herself a rampant feminist. The second we entered the club, she and her friend began to take apart every single girl there. Low rise jeans? Slut. Tank top? Slut. Afterwards on the ride home, I asked her why she felt the need to rip the other girls there to shreds. “Oh I know I’m a horrible person.” was the dismissive comment I got. She was beautiful, she was thin and about to get married. Why did she care? I just didn’t get it then.

The second incident was a few weeks later while I was hanging out with my old hairdresser, S. She was STUNNINGLY pretty, blonde, bright…the works. She was crying that night because she couldn’t keep friends due to them being nervous around her with their respective boyfriends, and she’d overheard a girl at her salon wishing she’d get fired because she looked better than everyone else there.

Well shit, it’s not just me!

Surprisingly, changing my attitude on how I felt about other women built my own esteem up tremendously. I have no idea what I’d do without the women in my life, and I’m sad that I shut them out for so long.

Some very strange things happen to you when you’re fat. People say very confusing and insulting stuff, most of the time without even knowing it’s insulting. I remember being on the phone with a blind date once and I gave him my speech. This what what I told everyone before a meetup. “OK, so just to let you know. I’m a big girl. If you have an issue with that, you can bow out. ”

“Really? You don’t sound fat. ”

I got sort of quiet for a second before running on about some banal crap while my head tried to process what I just heard. How the hell does fat sound? Are you surprised I’m not muffled by all the donuts in my mouth? Am I supposed to have a deep bellowing Santa voice? Shall the sounds of crumbs hitting the reciever deafen thine ears?

Needless to say, it didn’t work out.

This is just one in a slew of many comments that run the gambit from the classic “you have such a pretty face” to “oh you’re not fat” which is a flat out lie. I am fat. I may always be fat. Still, these folks mean well and I try to stave off the desire to eat them.

Another strange thing that happens. People assume you’re lazy, miserable, and devoid of intellect. Although I have some bouts of all three, they’re not who I am! People seem surprised when you can pull together a coherent sentence or a decent outfit. One of the things I decided to do in order to protect myself was attempt to have a sparkling and self deprecating personality. Wanna have preconceived notions about me? Well not if I do it first, pal. Part of me enjoys watching people laugh uncomfortably, while another part of me just wants to not have to do that.

I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves, “Well, why don’t you go on a diet and lose weight?”

…Holy shit. I never thought of that before…I’ve…I can’t believe…you’ve just made it all clear to me. IT’S SO SIMPLE! OH MY GOD! WHY DON’T I JUST LOSE WEI you see where I’m going with this.

I’ve been schooled, shamed, forced, stuffed, pushed in, told off, given pills, given advice, work at a gym for 4 years…I know what I need to do.

This is the part that’s hard to write down.

I have an eating disorder. Food is different for me. It’s been a friend, a comfort, and something I can always rely on to momentarily make me feel absolutely nothing but pleasure. It’s momentary, but it’s undeniable. It sounds silly to you probably in the same way Heroin addiction sounds silly to me. I know I’ll get picked on, I know I won’t be able to buy clothes as easily. It won’t be easy to make the money thin people make. Get the jobs thin people get. Walking down the street constantly waiting for that one comment. Wanting to work out, but being deathly embarrassed by the concept of others watching. Having everyone in the universe know what’s good for you and not believing you know the same exact thing. This is not a conscious choice for me, this body.

The only thing I strive to be is healthy and devoid of shame. No matter what size I end up. Right now, part of who I am is being the size I am. I choose to change this, not you. Trust that I am intelligent and strong enough to do what is correct for me, and we’re golden. I have an amazing support system of both friends and family who drive me in the right direction every day. I really want to fix my addiction, but I have no preconceived notions that my life will suddenly become whole when I do. I’m in an amazing relationship, and I’m happy.

So no, I’m not fat positive. I’m body positive. Positive my body does not embody me. Positive that no matter what size we are, we will deal with an over-present media that wants to make us feel like we’re these half-done creatures, ever-tumbling through life in a fog without their self help books, handbags, magic diet pills, eye cream, giant boobs, six packs, cellulite smoothers and Oprahs.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that stuff up up there. If any of it makes you feel better, then it’s serving a purpose. Just believe that you’re a work in progress making your own decisions, and ignore the slightest suggestion that you have to live up to anyone’s standards but your own.

Just a midweek pop post.

A few days ago I left my umbrella on the 95 bus. Blue, cheap little POS. Nothing to go into fits over, but the next day it was raining so it sorta sucked. I get on the bus, and casually ask my driver if she’d seen it. She’s my regular driver so we chat pretty much every morning.

“Oh yes I turned it in!”

I told her it was ok, not to worry about it and that I could grab another one somewhere. I thanked her for turning it in and remembering.

I hop on the bus this morning, and it turns out she’d went back to HQ and got the umbrella, hoping she’d see me to give it back.

It was very thoughtful, and pretty much made my whole morning. Thank you very much, 95 morning bus driver.

It’s the little things, folks.

Tip Toe Through The Technoverse

I’m home sick today, which means I really don’t have any excuse not to blog.

One of my main struggles with this medium is, of course, what to write. Some of my more established blogging friends have helped me through this rather inane struggle, having found their path in the Blogosphere (Is that a thing?) and settled into what they’d like to do.

Coupled with that struggle is a surprising bout of “What will others think?”. Will I offend anyone? Will any of my friends think differently of me? Should I talk about my personal politics or religious beliefs here? You know, the typical flame topics.

I’ve been raised to consider others, so I do. Sometimes to a damaging and infamous degree. I remember being pulled out of class by our Dean during my senior year to console a girl that had been targeted as bully fodder by some of the younger kids. I wound up missing a crapload of notes. Was that too self serving? Saying that?

SEE?

I’d like to be one of those folks that touts a “Devil May Care” attitude regarding the universe at large, but I’m just not built that way. I’ve never minded talking about how I feel when asked in person, but I’m well aware that not everyone I know is exactly like me and I’m cool with that as stated in my previous blog, (which I’m now reading with a scrunched face and becoming highly embarrassed about), I don’t particularly like being around a bunch of people just like me.

For this reason, I made a decision about my Facebook a while back. No massive politics, no religious talk, no deep personal issues. I’m quite comfortable talking about all of these things, but even the most carefully typed updates can be misconstrued and lambasted by those with the best intentions. See, now I’m feeling the need to tell you that I don’t mind if anyone else does it…but do you really believe me? It’s just me not being up for debate on a social medium that I’m not at all comfortable using as a pedestal. Do you feel better yet?

I’ve got no problem telling people how I feel face to face. Devo and I got into it last night about feminism and politics. He challenges me constantly with opposing viewpoints and I love him for it. There’s no guard, no anonymity. I can’t stop mid sentence and Google Bella Abzug on my smart phone without looking kinda stupid.

It’s not that I’m worried about random internet people, mind you. I’m fairly well versed on the way it works out here and there are certain battles best left alone. I’m more concerned about those I love or those I’ve just met (and linked to my blog like a shill) feeling alienated or offended. It does feel rotten and weak admitting that.

I wonder if I’m writing a catharsis blog.

Most blogs do one of three things. Take off, go nowhere, or cease after the first few posts. I’ve made it to post four, and I’m sure I’ll find my notch in the net eventually. I’m not sure how I’ll write, or what I’ll write about. Perhaps I’ll use this as a springboard to become more brave when it comes to the typed word, damning all possible judgement. Perhaps I’ll just write about benign internal struggles with acceptance.

Perhaps I’ll just post cute pictures of animals.

Maybe a little bit of all that. I’m a complex creature, damn it.

Until I settle into the routine I’m comfortabe with, I’ll preemtivly strike with a little something borrowed from The Bard.

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

Suck on that.

Collect Yourself

“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.” – Jorge Luis Borges

I’ve loved this quote for ages. It’s always resonated deeply within me and I’ve always felt like he got it when he wrote this. Like, really got it. Or got me. God, does that sound too fangirl?

I’ve always been a bit of a collector. I’ve run the gambit with inanimate objects. Comics, Action figures, books, movies…but my biggest and most prized collection to date is probably other people. I know it sounds odd, and it’s not like I feel like I own anyone’s soul or anything creepy like that. I just love people.

When I was young, friends were very hard to come by for the typical fat kid reasons. Those I did have as a child were fair weather, for the most part. Nice to me when no one was looking. In 6th grade, I learned what it was to have a best friend (We’re still sisters to this day) but still it was just one person among these hundreds of mean, nasty children who wanted little to do with me for whatever reason -unless they felt like making me cry, which was quite easy.

This was par for the course until I was about 14, when I decided to perpetuate the ongoing rumor that I was some sort of witch. This began when I did a report on the Salem witch trials, and drew a wagon wheel sized pentacle on the chalk board. I came to school dressed in black after the summer of 1990. When my main tormentor made a comment, I hissed at her! Thus begun my decent into isolation, and hopefully, finally being left alone. Bleak bleak. Doom gloom.

This was the 90’s when having a nose ring and black lipstick in school was still scandalous and horrible. The tail end of the “Satanic Panic” decade fueled the fire which kept me weird that year. Eventually, my new found balls wound me up in a Quaker School, which was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. A small school full of like-minded misfits was a good start, but I was fairly damaged goods. It would take a total of four highschools to finally get me where I needed to be intellectually. Socially, I was in heaven.

I had friends! Dozens of them!  So many different personalities. So many different challenging friendships. My collection didn’t really start until I was 16, when I discovered the various genres of music I listened to had scenes. Scenes! Imagine my bliss! I changed up the jewelry but the black remained. I couldn’t walk five feet without seeing someone I knew. Unfortunately, regression was right around the corner.

Who to be seen with was very important. Which shirts to wear. Which shows to attend. Which political party to associate with. Which brand of hair dye you used, and where you bought it. Hot Topic was a curse word. (A curse word the entire scene muttered under their breath, mind you.) You hang out with that guy? I hear he’s a skinhead. You hang with this dude? I hear he’s an anarchist. Oh my god…you kissed THAT GUY? I hope no one saw you. You’re friends with her? Dude she’s the scene slut.

So this was what it was like to be on the other side of the fence. Suddenly I found myself craving the solitude I fought so hard to remove from my life. Gradually I would age and mature, still enjoying the music but not so much feeling the need to dress the part. Besides, plus size alternative wear is usually absolute shit. I slinked my way back to the suburbs like so many of us turncoats do, occasionally coming out for the really good shows between the snickers that I was no longer scene, that I was just another weekend warrior. So be it. I’ve dealt with this teasing before.

Eventually I got a job at a well known woman’s gym. The gym was notorious for it’s right wing leanings, and more than a few of my friends barked at my decision. I justified it. It was money, I was broke. My boss was awesome, but I was also thrust into a roll where my uniform had to come off. Yes, Off. The black, the nose ring, everything I kept strapped to me like a Kevlar vest of dark protection had to go. I had to wear a white T shirt. WHITE. (I also had to buy new bras for this same reason.)

There I was, thrust into the world of all female gyms that sprung up in early 2000. At first I did what I always do. Size up my audience and act accordingly. Figure out how to fit in so my time with them would be effortless. Mostly older women. Wives, divorcees, working moms, doctors, teachers…

Only they didn’t care. My tactics were needless!

They just wanted to work out for a half hour, have a pleasant conversation, and leave. Incredible. I quickly got back to my collection. We’d talk about their children, their jobs, their lives in general. They were all wonderful and supportive and liked me. When I got a second boss, who for some odd reason decided that I was her enemy/project, they supported me then as well. The whole time I was collecting. Learning. They didn’t have to like the same things I liked or feel the same way I did.    They didn’t have to believe in the same religion, or political affiliation, or social issues. We didn’t really go there. I was too busy learning to hear opposing viewpoints. To listen to them. My collection got a bit eclectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I tried embracing difference. Staying judgement. It worked, and it felt great. It was like I had 150 aunts, sisters, and moms.

Eventually the gym closed, and I pretty much lost them all. I still have a big pile of notes and cards that I don’t want to get rid of. Thanks for being who you are, ladies. If any of you read this, I wish nothing but wonderful things for all of you. The care you had and the lessons you taught were indispensable.

So nowadays I have my core collection. All different, all amazing. We have mostly the same fundamental beliefs. I think it’s normal to gravitate to what you know, but I can’t imagine myself now without embracing what I didn’t.

The collection started out being about how many people I knew, who they were, and where it could take me. It ended up being about them changing me fundamentally as a human being. Even those that put me down, put me here.

We spend so much time trying to be individuals. Finding ourselves. Buying books by people we think have it all figured out. Meanwhile, it’s usually as plain as who you’re having a nice cup of coffee with.

Carl Sagan once said we are made of star stuff. We’re also made of people stuff. It’s not atomic or anything, but most of us, good or bad, are the sum total of everyone we have ever met. So maybe it’s not so bad to be a little bit like everybody else.