A True Gemini

I’m not really into astrology, but I’ve always identified with my sign: Gemini, the Twins.  My mother likes to say she never knows which of me she’s going to get: Happy, bubbly Rachel, or Sad, Angry, Snaps-all-the-time Rachel.  Most days I don’t know myself which girl to expect.

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It’s a strange balancing act- trying to reconcile the two selves.  Happy Rachel is motivated, enthusiastic, and yes, happy.  Sad Rachel, well, she’s none of those things.  She’s a downer, really.

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A couple of weeks ago, when I wrote about using 2011 to write a second book and my write-an-hour-straight every week challenge, I was Happy Rachel.  I was excited and couldn’t wait to write.  But I haven’t done any writing since then.  I’ve been so busy with work that when I have had time, all I’ve wanted to do is relax- do nothing.  It makes me incredibly sad that writing has come to feel like more work.  It used to be a hobby, a passion.  Something I did only for me.  Now it’s like I’m trying to prove something to the world.

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I don’t know what’s changed, honestly, and therefore must attribute my inability to write to my destructive Gemini side.  See, I used to write about really personal things- people would tell me all the time that the quality they liked most about my writing was its honesty: the way I put myself out there on the page without apology, without embarrassment.  Well, maybe with some apology, but definitely without embarrassment.

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Well, lately I haven’t been writing anything personal because the personal things happening in my life involve other people and I haven’t wanted to splash their names or information all over the Internet.  It’s nothing bad, not really, I’ve just learned that while I can be completely open with my own feelings and beliefs and actions without embarrassment, that might not be the case for everyone else.  And I need to respect that others may not like my talking so freely about them, even though it has put me in a bit of a block, writing wise.

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I struggle a lot with wishing that things in my life were different while not really sure how to make different happen.  Like with dating, people like to give me all kinds of advice, but the two major things I hear is “You have to stop looking,” and “You have to put yourself out there.”  How do you stop looking and put yourself out there at the same time?  Don’t answer that- it’s a rhetorical question.  It’s just, I don’t know how to make my dating life different.  I can’t force a guy to be interested in me or want a relationship with me.  And I refuse to be anyone but myself.  What’s the point in lying or pretending to like things I don’t in order to get a guy to like me- eventually he’d discover the truth, right?

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I’m at this point where I feel like I need to make major changes in order to get the life I want, but I feel guilty about what those changes mean.  Mainly because I know that I’m going to probably have to leave one or both of my jobs and find one that actually pays decently.  I’m so freaking stressed about work and I never feel like I’m off-the-clock.  But I feel guilty because I know that both places depend on me and have done a lot for me.  At the same time, though, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for either if I left.  Which sucks.  I like to be indispensable.  I so rarely am.

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All this thinking about my life, career, dating, writing, making changes, made me think about the first piece I wrote back in March 2009 when this whole writing thing started.  I checked, and I’ve never shared it on the blog, so I’m going to now.  I don’t really want sympathy or advice, I want to get back to a place where I can write with honesty and share my deepest emotions without feeling self-conscious.  Because that’s the only way I’m ever going to write a second book or have the courage to go after what I really want for my life.

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Average

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I felt a sudden panic seize me as the words left my mouth.  I’d said these words before, to myself, to others as a joke.  I’d only believed them half-heartedly before.  Deep down, I’d always believed I couldn’t have such a strong desire for something I was destined to never have.  And yet, tonight, as I stared into the mirror and said those words again, the truth behind them threatened to crush me.  What is the point of living when you have no one to share your life with?

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I looked back at the mirror, trying to see something in my face.  Something worth caring about, something worth hoping for.  But I found nothing and the truth of my words stung as I said them a final time:

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“No one will ever love me.”

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Wow, what a melodramatic way to begin.  But, this is honestly how I felt, how I feel.  Sure, I guess I am still pretty young.  Twenty-five isn’t exactly middle-aged.  I know there are many people who will (who do) think I’m crazy for feeling so despondent that I am not blissfully happy with the love of my life.  But they don’t see it from my perspective.  How can they possibly understand how much my heart aches?  It isn’t so much about the fact that I haven’t found “the one,” it’s more about the fact that I’ve found no one.  No One.

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I guess you could say I’m average.  I think it would probably be fair to say that I have always been average. It’s not hard to be average in childhood.  You get along with most of your classmates, teachers, family, etc.  You have friends- even close friends.  Being an average child is not a bad thing.  You find your niche.  You grow in your interests, try and find something in which you are possibly above average.  And maybe you find it and it takes you into your teen years.

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I found my niche.  I did pretty well at school.  I always had good grades.  In elementary school, it never really occurred to me that other children didn’t have report cards that looked like mine- all A’s.  My niche followed me through high school.  And I did feel above average.  I thought I was special.  I had a knack for picking up what the teachers were talking about and understanding it.  I never felt uncomfortable raising my hand to answer a question or putting off a paper until the last minute- I always knew it would be finished on time and be returned to me with a bright red A on the first page.  I had friends and I was fairly happy.

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But at some point, the average person who thinks they are special is going to find out the truth.  They are average.

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I didn’t truly discover this until my last year of college.

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I glided through the first three years.  Almost perfect grades.  Friends.  Jobs.  I was constantly busy, constantly feeling the pressure to be above average.  And loving it.  Senior year should have been great.

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But that’s when the rejection started coming.  Friends who I loved, relied on, suddenly seemed to lose interest in me.  (Had they, at this time, discovered my inherent averageness?)  My plans for the future began to crumble around me.  I had intended to go to law school, but my near-perfect grades weren’t good enough for the schools I wanted to accept me.  (Was there something about my applications that screamed AVERAGE to the admissions committees who reviewed them?)  I remember wanting to get out of the town as soon as possible.  I felt like I didn’t belong anymore to the world in which I was living.

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All it takes is moving back in with your parents and working as the best-educated waitress at a local restaurant to realize how completely and utterly average and ordinary you are.  There is no way to feel special when the thing that has made you feel special your whole life is suddenly gone.

4 thoughts on “A True Gemini

  1. I always love reading your blog. It’s like listening on the other end of the phone; these things just roll out like we’re having a one-on-one conversation.

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