When I have company I make sure that every pillow is fluffed, every lamp turned on, and the vacuum has picked up any stray lint. In other words, my house looks pretty good. But, beneath that exterior lies the real truth. Look in any of my 4 small closets, or pull out any drawer and the truth will fall out on you.
As hard as I try, my basically quirky, flawed, uniquely me personality shows in everything I do. Organized closets speak of calm, order. My closets and drawers reveal what is beneath my surface. You take your chances when you open one of my 4 small closets that are stuffed to the hilt with summer and winter clothes, wrapping paper, gifts, picture frames, candles, ribbon, and other things I thought I needed when I bought them. Knowing how to organize them so I can find them is beyond my capabilities. I admit it. And, keeping my closets organized after the initial burst of energy required to put them in such fashion—well, I simply can’t do it. When everything finally fits, just barely, I shove the door on the precariously balanced pieces of me.
The analogies to my life and my house and closet are endless. The way I choose to live my life, and the things I surround myself with don’t lie. My basic personality is evide nt in everything I do, in my every word. On the outside, it appears my life is put together, that it is carefully planned and organized and neat. But, tweak the surface and the real me is revealed: the disorganized, scattered, push it back into the closet and shove the door shut person who works so hard to keep up the other façade.
This I believe. Whatever one’s basic personality, whether it is random, as I am or methodical and planned as others are—whatever it is, you can’t fight it and I am tired of pretending I am something else. I am a random, spontaneous thinker and doer. In my work, I am an idea person but I balk at the follow through. I can do it but it requires great reserves of fortitude from me to stay the course and complete the task. My office remains without description. Those who pass by are in awe that I can function in such chaos. I am happiest in that chaos. I could no more clean off my desk before I go home each evening than I could overnight lose 20 pounds. My car is the same.
Oh, I will continue to try to organize things—I’ve been trying since childhood, but, now I laugh at myself and don’t spend long on it. While I am not proud of my lack of skill in organization, I have come to realize that, truthfully, I just don’t care enough. My personality has stamped me over the years and it will win. The way I choose to live, the actions I take, the spontaneous and random way I behave and the things I surround myself with don’t reflect me, they ARE me: the good, the bad and the ugly. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.