And every time I do, I seem to have the same conversation.
And it feels like a waste of time, because most often, I never see or talk to them again.
And those I do see again never seem to remember the information I consider most critical to my essence of being. Maybe I forgot to tell them. Maybe they didn't hear when I said it. Maybe they didn't take me seriously.
I know we all think we're terribly complex and fascinating creatures, but I bet the summation of my self can be captured in one short, Cliff's Notes-style list:
- I was born three weeks late.
- I nearly went blind when I was three.
- My parents locked me in the attic as a child, often punishing me for things I didn't do.
- I haven't spoken to my parents in over seven years. I don't know what took me so long.
- My sister defriended me on Facebook last year. I still don't know why.
- I've never been to a prom.
- I lost my virginity at age 19 to my first and only boyfriend. We dated for a month.
- I was sexually assaulted by a dormmate in college, and then probably several other times in New York.
- I quit a job because I was not only being sexually harassed by the owner, but also retaliated against when I reported it.
- I lost 50 lbs in 2010 and am terrified of gaining it all back.
- I have fibromyalgia. I can't stand humidity and lack of sleep.
- I experience night terrors. I can't make them stop.
- I'm afraid of the dark, of heights, and of bees.
- I do not fear death. I fear being maimed.
- I think I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life.
- I hope it's all over when I die. I'm exhausted.
Any of the other stuff - where I was born, where I went to college, what I do for a living, what kind of car I drive - is ephemeral, incidental, though perhaps topical and relatable. It doesn't really matter that I hate cottage cheese, I voted for Obama, and my favorite color is hot pink. I evolve, as do my tastes. We are shaped not by our preferences or our comforts, but by our experiences, our fears, and our hopes - and, sometimes, more importantly, lack thereof.
Forget my name, but remember who I am.
Vast City of Forgotten Encounters
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