Saturday, February 28, 2009

The City Girl and the Country Girl

Things are different out here in the country. In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to get back in touch with the wild fundamentals of seemingly long-ago childhood. Memories of twinkling creeks, bullfrogs, and deer bones come rushing back as I explore the pastures around my home. Having spent the first 17 years and 11 months of my life in a small house in the suburbs, well, it’s a welcome change.

The changing weather means that it’s about time to get my horses back in shape. I’ve been riding all winter, of course—through mud and ice and snow—but the barrel racing season is almost here, and soon I’ll be able to do even more riding. The unsettling thing about all this is that I note a definite personality change manifesting itself. Call me schizophrenic, but all the same I must make this claim: People are chameleons.

Think about it. In every situation, with every group of people, we put on a different façade. We may not realize it, but we’re constantly acting and putting on a show—to impress, to fit in, to have fun…the motive is often irrelevant. I read a brief analysis by a psychologist once, saying that people have specific defined “roles” (that is, wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, coworker, employee, friend) that they slip in and out of as the day goes on. It’s interesting, and I think incredibly accurate.

For me, I’m slipping back into my redneck drawl. Don’t I sound all edjimicated-like? Yep, even my online discourse is fading from the stilted diction of an egotistical scholar to the conversational tones of poorly-educated cowgirl. Oh joy!

On a more serious note, the disparity between my “multiple personalities” is such that never the twain shall meet. They’re two totally separate mindsets, and when I’m fully engrossed in one, I can’t connect with the other. It’s strange. What would a “cowgirl” (I truly hate that word, and all of the negative images it conjures—I refuse to identify myself with its connotations) want with philosophy, literature, music, or science? And what would a dedicated student want with the gritty, physical, down-to-earth no-nonsense life of a horsewoman? Pshaw.

Only when I am alone in a neutral setting and free to reflect and meditate am I able to objectively evaluate the various manifestations of my self. Would that I could freely synthesize these many selves into a composite whole. The wisdom I would have….the things I would be able to accomplish….what I could learn from myself! But alas, I (and perhaps all of mankind) am cursed to live my separate simultaneous li(v)es.

On different subject, I added a new photo/header at the top of the page (obviously). Hopefully the happy yellow font will brighten the mood a little—the monochromatic brown tones were getting a wee bit stifling.


Anonymous said...

Maybe that integration of the different facets of you is still ahead? Because I think those different roles you describe a part of a well-rounded person - one who likes the phsyical joy of country life and the intellectual joy of scholarly life. That seems liek a good mix to me.

Mozart said...

That's certainly possible, citizen, and I hope you're right. I forget sometimes that there's nothing intrinsically wrong with being so confused at this point in my life. I'm young; I'm working on it--hopefully it'll start to make some sense little by little!