04 March, 2010

On Eloquence

For anyone who knows me, the last likely thing to come to mind when they think of me would most likely be eloquence (or possibly, tact).

When I write, it is not beautiful or elegant or striking, like so many well-read blogs are, and my poetry and short stories have always been abrupt, unkempt, and somehow... jagged. I'm not eloquent. I don't have a way of speaking or writing that draws the eye or mind to my side, that sounds smooth and fluid and like something you would want to look at and think about. I am less like honey.

A friend of mine for many years now, Adrienne Odasso, is a published poet and author, and she is amazingly eloquent. Her poetry and writing is just so full of wonder for me every time I read it, I can barely handle it. She is incredibly talented at turn of phrase, pacing, and has the ability to drive me to laughter, tears, or deep dread.
I am not like her.

I don't think I would want to be, though. As amazing as she is, she is a completely different person with different talents and it is that way for a reason.

I don't think I was meant to be a writer, not like her. With a gift like hers, I don't think she could bear to not be a writer. I, on the other hand, can go months without penning (typing!) a word that goes farther from business and standard communication and closer to genuine prose.

I have been thinking a lot lately of my abrasive nature. I am, as many people know, ridiculously hard to be friends with, to work with, to spend even the slightest amount of time with. Even when I'm trying hard to be the kind of person people want to be around, it does fall apart - and often. It is the same with my writing.

I realised a couple weeks ago that I don't speak in the same voice at work and school and with friends as I do at home. I even speak differently with family. I don't mean simply the words and phrasing I use, but my actual voice is different. From the moment I move from place to place, my voice changes. At home, alone or with TGW, my voice is deep. My brother once said I had the deepest voice of any girl he'd known - which was true, but I've heard many women since with much deeper, more rich voices (it is beautiful to me). I speak lower, my voice can be a little raspy sometimes. It's different.
At work, I noticed my throat hurt a lot, but then at home, it would be fine. This is because I start speaking in a higher voice. I enunciate differently, as well, and use more refined grammar, but more than anything, I try to speak in a higher pitch. I don't know why. I speak like this around people I know (friends and family) as well, unless I am incredibly comfortable with them (which is rare).

Why do I do this? I am not even entirely sure just yet, but I would imagine it is the same as why my writing and behavior changes depending on where I am and what I am thinking about. This, though, unlike the other things, I would like to stop. I just don't know how.

I feel as though I am faking who I am more of the time than I am who I believe I am. What a wreck of a sentence, there.

In a meandering way, back to my point.

I am not eloquent, not truly. I may sometimes do my best to fake it or pretend like I think I am, but I know in the back of my mind I am not.
When I say to someone at work that, of course I can scan that document for them, half of the time my mind is screaming "Do it yourself, damnit!"
When I say "I'd really prefer we'd stick to the schedule" or "Whatever works for you", I might be thinking "FUCK YOU! Do what I'm telling you!"

I still do my job. I still am polite. I acquiesce.

With friends, I speak more closely to the truth. Not necessarily exactly the truth, because I still have to curb some of the trucker-cursing that flows so quickly through my lips. I have to not talk about sex or religion or politics or how hot someone is or how I feel uncomfortable right now because I'm not allowed to talk about those things. I have to not say to someone "I feel like you're judging me", not say how much I wish they'd style their hair different or maybe they should stop doing that stupid thing they're doing, or say they should be more responsible or more respectful or less uptight.

It tears me apart. There is the person I am to everyone else - which could be a different person to every person - and there is who I am to me. It is a lie. Always a lie.

I am becoming more comfortable with acknowledging that if people can't accept who I really am, they probably are not my friends. I have started allowing my harsh nature to seep through to the fake me.
I think it will damage things and endanger things. But I will still do it - to a point.

The problem is that I am never going to be able to be myself in every way with everyone. I will always have to lie. This, in turn, makes me more bitter, more abrasive, more harsh. The more I open up and be myself and tell people what I want to tell them, the happier I am. It's beautiful. Knowing I'll never be able to be entirely that way makes me very sad.

I am not the kind of person who people want to know. I am not like the waves, I am like the rocky shore. I am not like the sun, but instead like hail.

But it's okay.


  1. My mom told me I have a work voice and a home voice just like my cousin. I don't realize this though.

    I'm pretty much the same boring self all the time.

    Nobody wants to get to know me either.

  2. It's so weird how people change upon passing through some glass doors.
    I'm trying to get to know you.