filling out my skin.

My dad does something that makes me think a lot – sometimes it drives me a little crazy, if I’m honest, but I know he doesn’t mean it – he’ll say stuff like, “I remember when you were younger and ________.”

and you listened to this radio station.
and you would go to this church function.
and you had these friends.
and you watched these movies.
and you would ask me to _____.

The reason it drives me crazy is because in my own head, I attach some sentence of guilt to it – that I’m supposed to be the boy my dad remembers and sometimes I’m nowhere near that. In some instances, I’m very glad I’m far from those memories, but in others, sometimes I feel a certain sense of doubt that I ever should detach from those memories. Should I distance myself from, for example, watching football all afternoon after church when I was a teenager? Should I distance myself from saying silly phrases that my dad remembers? Should I distance myself from certain people that I used to be close to, but I’m not anymore?

My dad doesn’t mean anything by it – he’s just being dad – but I, being a chronic overthinker, let my mind go places with things.

The weirdest sensation about all of it is filling like I have finally begin to fill out my skin, when all the while I was younger, I hadn’t even come close to starting.

By fill out my skin, I mean I’ve started to realize what I find important, what speaks to my heart, what I enjoy doing, etc. So it’s weird when I’m confronted with memories of who I was then, and to see the residue that’s still around, and the stuff I tried to brush under the rug that finds itself coming back up. For example, when I was done with my last play in high school, I told my mom that being an actor was a “poser phase.” That I wanted to distance myself from that time. No good reason why – I think mostly, I was sad that my acting days were over and I was too afraid to pursue it in college, especially when I didn’t know if I was going to college or not yet.

Hell, you could say that in general, I got a really late start on this whole, “what do you want to do with your life?” thing. I recently was chatting with my friend (she’s a veterinarian) and she told me she wanted to do that since she was a second-grader. I was jealous. I’ve never had that one thing I wanted to do. But, now that I’ve been alive for 25 years, I realize there are things I always have done. Like acting – I did that from 6th grade until I graduated from high school, at least a little here and there. Shoot, we even put on little circus shows for our parents in the back yard when I was a kid. I always played music – I started back in 9th grade or so, and I was in a band, and I was on the worship team, and I played at open mics from time to time, and I still dream of singing in a band. I always enjoyed when I worked at starbucks and people would watch me in the flow of making drinks and say, “that’s quite a show!” – the common theme is that I like to entertain. To a certain extent, even this blog is a form of entertainment – I love to produce creative content that people resonate with.

My Instagram is a show. I like to take aesthetically pleasing photos and write something meaningful in the caption.

It’s weird – I’m just now seeing how certain things have always been present: I enjoy writing, creating, informing, entertaining, and thinking. I always do it with a hint of naivete, because I have never quite identified as one of those or another, but it’s true that I have always been involved in them.

So I find myself in a process – a process of truly embracing all aspects of my story and experience: the parts that I have to throw into the proverbial trash with a sigh, accepting that they are valuable in their own way, but not something I need or want anymore; and the parts that I put away in a box, and have gotten out of the box with an excited gasp, realizing how much I miss it and how glad I am to find it again. It’s a bit like moving, actually.

Music. Writing. Poetry. Acting. Showmanship. It’s all part of my creative history, and I’m proud to identify as a singer, writer, poet, actor, and entertainer. And blogger.

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