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>I Am Not Me

January 6, 2011

>I wasn’t going to post this…but I will.

I wrote this on the plane on my way to New York two weeks ago. It’s not the next War and Peace or anything, but I’m trying to share these days. (Warning: I realized in parts of this that it sounds like I’m “boasting” or something, but I promise, I was just trying to make sense of the past 24 and a half years)

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We are not defined by where we come from or who raised us, but by a combination of factors that add up to the “I” that is ourselves.

I am not me because I was born at St Vincent’s hospital on 7th avenue south in Manhattan. I am not me because my parents gave up their loft in Union Square to buy a house in the suburbs. I am not me because I have a brother three years my junior. I am not me because I am female. I am not me because I was one of two white kids in my first grade class. I am not me because I was home-schooled in second grade, sent to Catholic school in third and transferred to one of the best public school systems in New Jersey from fourth on. I am not me because my father is an atheist and my mother is a Buddhist. I am not me because my mother is a painter and my father a drummer. I am not me because my mother is a dancer and my father a film producer. I am not me because I went to school with primarily wealthy, Jewish kids. I am not me because I went to a small liberal arts college with primarily wealthy, New Englanders. I am not me because I graduated cum laude. I am not me because I’ve traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, and thirty-seven of the fifty states. I’m not me because my hair is brown or my eyes the same. I am not me because I am five foot, five and a half inches tall. I am not me because I wear a size 8.5 shoe. I am not me because I drink coffee. I am not me because I don’t like Gin. I am not me because my ancestors come from Italy, Sicily, Romania, Russia, and Austria. I am not me because my mother’s side of the family is Jewish and my father’s Catholic. I am not me because I have a brother eight years my junior. I am not me because I am allergic to cats and have never had a dog. I am not me because I lived in London for a semester. I am not me because I have seen King Lear performed by Christopher Plummer at Lincoln Center and Sir Ian McKellan in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I am not me because I speak a little bit of French. I am not me because I spent ten years working towards going to the Olympics for gymnastics. I am not me because I quit. I am not me because I’ve been in love. I am not me because I can’t play a musical instrument. I am not me because I wear tall tube socks under my boots. I am not me because I take soy milk, no sugar in my coffee. I am not me because my best friends have been the same two girls since I was ten months old. I am not me because they are an accountant and a medical school student. I am not me because I am an actor. I am not me because I’d like to be a writer. I am not me because I’d like to be a photographer. I am not me because I wish I was still a dancer. I am not me because I used to believe in Santa Claus, and I still fantasize that he’s real. I am not real because old Tim Burton movies make me feel connected to something special. I am not me because saxophones make me cry. I am not me because I know I belong in New York. I am not me because I live in Los Angeles. I am not me because I could listen to Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, and Fiona Apple all day. I am not me because the lyrics of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits make me rethink my entire life. I am not me because I have sprained or broken my ankles and wrists a total of seven times. I am not me because I run. I am not me because I do yoga. I am not me because I sing in the shower better than I’ll ever be able to sing in front of another human being. I am not me because my teddy bear’s name is Really Bear and he still sits on my bed, even though I have someone else to hold at night now. I am not me because I can put my legs behind my head. I am not me because I don’t speak Spanish. I am not me because I baked pot brownies in the basement of my on-campus house once [or twice] in college. I am not me because I’ve kissed girls, so I know I’d rather kiss boys. I am not me because I’ve been a waitress, a bartender, an office assistant, a file clerk, a production assistant, a retail sales associate, a temp, a receptionist, a sister, a daughter, a babysitter, and an actress. I am not me because my middle name is Rose. I am not me because I ski. I am not me because I want to learn how to surf. I am not me because I am always five minutes late. I am not me because I always have a good excuse. I am not me because I can talk to anyone. I am not me because I’m always reading a book. I am not me because I still try to finish the Times crossword puzzles after Wednesdays, even though I can’t. I am not me because I saw Hanson in concert…three times. I am not me because I wanted to be Morticia Addams for Halloween when I was eight. I am not me because I wrote a play. I’m not me because I’ve performed stand-up comedy. I am not me because I cried myself to sleep for months in high school. I am not me because I drove across the country in November. I am not me because I went to performing arts sleep-away camp. I am not me because I have too many pairs of shoes. I am not me because I rarely ever wear more than three pairs of them. (not at once…that’d be very impressive)I am not me because I’ve been dating the same guy for a year. I am not me because I always make scrambled eggs with cheese and no milk. I am not me because I love to eat frozen cheese tortellini. I am not me because I used to have my nose pierced. I am not me because I don’t have any tattoos. I am not me because I was an English major. I am not me because I have an absurdly small nose for someone with a Jewish/Italian background. I am not me because I love cliff jumping and rollercoasters. I am not me because I was on the diving team for one year in college. I am not me because I was born at the end of June. I am not me because the kids used to make fun of me. I am not me because my hair is curly. I am not me because I drive a Volvo. I am not me because I’ve been wearing the same silver necklace with a small “A” on it since I was sixteen. I’m not me because I’m a control freak. I’m not me because I hate being wrong. I’m not me because I’m competitive. I’m not me because I like naps. I’m not me because I take short showers. I am not me because I want to go to Brazil. I am not me because people have told me that I look like Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman, Keira Knightly, Christina Ricci, Eliza Dushku, and Rachel McAdams. I am not me because I don’t actually look that much like any of those people. I am not me because I don’t like to re-read books.

 I am not me because of any of these things. But I am me because of all of these things.
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2011 12:16 AM

    >All my favorite posts start with "I wasn't going to post this…"Thank you for putting this up.

  2. January 9, 2011 8:54 AM

    >Thank you for enjoying it.

  3. January 17, 2011 8:33 PM

    >Sorry for the deluge of comments – I'm catching up on posts I've missed.This is fantastic – we are the sum of many parts, and shouldn't be judged or define ourselves based on one single thing, but on the bigger picture, the collage created when all the small things come together.I wish blogs had a favourite button, I'd well add this one.

  4. January 27, 2011 8:02 AM

    >This shit is deep, yo. Hanson? Three times?

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