The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

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I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.

5.20.2007

Sunday Scribblings: Masks

In some ways, I'm not so much into matching. An eclectic set of furniture, cobbled together from different sources and time periods can add a lovely sense of personality to a room. I'll wear navy socks with black pants if the difference is undetectable at normal sock-viewing distances (a fashion faux pas that would drive my husband into obsessive-compulsive overdrive).

But when it comes to insides and outsides, I want things to match. Food should look just as good as it tastes. A good book really should have a lovely cover. And I desperately want my outside to match my inside. I want my appearance and demeanor to say something significant about who I am. I believe that first impressions count, even if they're not the only impression that sticks.

Think about someone that you've known for years, someone that you're really close to. Now think back to the first time you met him or her. Is it the same person? When I do this, I feel like I'm seeing two completely different people. Of course, people change. And our perceptions also change over time. But it's impossible to accurately portray ourselves in all of our complexities and subtleties simply by appearance alone.

I don't know what kind of first impression I make. My problem is that I have a handful of "insides" fighting for dominance at any given time. Do I want to be outgoing and bubbly? Or filled with the type of quiet joy that infuses a room with warmth? Do I want to appear professional and poised? Or just quirky enough to have "street cred" as a writer?

Yes! To all of it. I'm all of these things. But my struggle is how to put together an "outside" that can adequately reflect this. I imagine that when my friends think back to meeting me, they remember a completely different person than who they know me to be now.

I rarely feel like my external appearance, the mask I present to the world, matches my internal being. I blame it on my clothes. I blame it on my weight. Sometimes, I blame it on my hair. Most of the time I try to forget the mask and just be me, whoever that is at the moment. Because anything else is just too exhausting.

What's your mask?

Here's what others are saying at Sunday Scribblings.

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add to kirtsy | 9:40 PM

4 Comments:

Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

This is an excellent post! When I'm not at work i dress in ways that reflect my personality, but at work I find it difficult to do that and look 'smart and professional', so i feel as though I'm always wearing some sort of mask at work.

5/22/2007 6:23 AM  
Anonymous Evad said...

I am not sure if it is because the west is a bit more laid back but i wear the same thing to work that i wear in everyday life. I should prob dress more professional but find that it conflicts with the inner me. Plus who has time to iron (or steam) their clothes everyday and put on long pants and long sleeve shirts when it is over 100 degrees outside? When need be I clean up pretty well.

5/22/2007 11:47 AM  
Blogger Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

One of the nice things about working from home is wearing whatever I want. I used to feel the same way as Crafty Green Poet when I worked for someone else. Now the only problem is that I have to *find* my professional clothes when I schedule a client meeting!

5/22/2007 4:33 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

thats very similar to my blog, whos got the energy to do masks...lol

5/23/2007 8:18 PM  

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