For lack of a better place, I am sticking this in my OCD category, but I’m not entirely sure it’s OCD-related.

As a kid, I used to lay awake nights wondering — ruminating over — why am I me instead of someone else? Why do I look like I do? Why has genetics conspired just so to create me instead of someone else? All of which leads to the big question: why am I here?

The odds against anyone of us actually getting to the point of being here are pretty astronomical. I would think about that and it would really freak me out.

I was driving down Mount Vernon Hwy. today after having been unsuccessful at finding the SAT testing site where I needed to fill out my I-9 so I can grade SAT essays all locked up. All of a sudden, I wondered why in the hell I was me, and why I looked like I do. I mean, when I am talking to someone, I am not really conscious of how I look. I don’t think about it much. But they associate my appearance with me. It is an integral part of who I am. It’s how they identify I am me instead of someone else. But not me. I don’t identify myself by my appearance. I identify others by theirs. And then I thought how unfair that it is we are judged by our appearances. I mean, I am stuck with gray hair, skinny arms and legs, and glasses. Sure, I could dye my hair, but then I’d have to keep doing it. I’m not sure if there is anything I can do about my arms and legs. I guess I could wear contacts. I have no problems with that. But ultimately, you still look how you look. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have any major problems with my appearance. I really don’t. The grande caramel Frappuccinos are going to my waist, hips, and thighs, but that’s the price you pay for sucking down fat-laden beverages on a near daily basis (430 calories per drink, 140 calories from fat — oy vey). Of course, I’m convinced they’re laced with pure crack, or I wouldn’t have to have one all the time.

So. Back on task, Ms. Huff.

What I was saying before I digressed over the frozen coffee is that I was driving down the road and the childhood thought about my identity resurfaced. It was like I suddenly popped out of my body, looked at me, and realized I was in that body, and it didn’t seem connected to me at all. It occurred to me that my body wasn’t part of me. I also recall thinking I am always looking out of my eyes, and I don’t see things in any way except mine — not really. So it’s kind of hard to look in the mirror and connect that person with me. I can’t explain this very well, but it was jarring. I really did kind of freak out.

I shouldn’t freaking read The Catcher in the Rye anymore. Holden Caulfield is not someone with whom I’d like to identify.


3 thoughts on “Weird

  1. When I was little, I used to wonder if part of me fell off (like I lost a finger, or a limb, or something), would it still be *me* inside that piece? I think what I was wondering was, would that piece retain consciousness and have its own intelligence but yet still be part of me like in a hive consciousness. Granted, that's an adult trying to guess what I was thinking as a child. 🙂 I also used to wonder how my body did what I did — if my *me*ness, my center of *me*, was focused right behind my eyes, how did my fingers know how to move to turn the pages of the book? How did my legs know how to walk across the room to get a glass of milk? I couldn't let myself think about it too much.

    I think the point I was trying to make somewhere in there is that it isn't just you. 🙂 And on another note, my hubby prefers them as caramel creme frapps. No, it isn't on the menu (I made it up one day), but they'll make it.

  2. I had these feelings as a child, also, and still do. Where you're just doing the most ordinary thing and suddenly you look at your arm or something and wonder how you exist there and exactly as you said, why you're you, why that arm is yours and not someone else's. I'm all too often aware of "me" – my voice, my appearance. It creeps me out a bit. I think too much about stuff as it is, why add "why" to the list! Oh, and caramel frappuccinos are the best – so are the vanilla bean ones…

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