Confession: I've been masquerading for quite some time now. As much as I've tried to deny it, I am a complete hopeless romantic.
As much as I've had to say against the institution of marriage, as much as I point out gender politics in pretty much every situation I see, as much as I've told people that I don't hope for marriage because who can even predict what the future is, I'm a hopeless romantic.
The thing I want most in life is to be loved. I've come to terms with this instead of fighting it. The thing that helped me come to terms with this was, ironically, a personality typing system known as an Enneagram. It had this list of things like best characteristics, worst characteristics, what the type wants in life, etc. It said my greatest desire in life was to be loved. It took some thinking, but I have to admit it's true. I base almost all of my decisions on the people around me or ones that I hope to keep near me.
This summer one of my friends pointed out to me that if I am ever misinterpreted as "intimidating" by men it is because I have a "poise" and a "formalism" to my behavior. I've also gained a nickname-like description of "fierce" by another one of my friends as in the definition by UrbanDictionay.com of "being bold, displaying chutzpah, especially relating to fashion, clothes, hair or makeup."
Such assessments, especially the one about poise and formality, have stuck with me. I don't think they are necessarily faults, but what catches me is that it's helpful to explain why I have the relationships I do.
And then there's always the situation with my dad. Any contact with him has the chance to throw my ideas and emotions around like getting tossed on the sea in a hurricane. My emotions have a tendency to be rather violent. When I say "violent," I mean in the old school definition of being very strong and passionate, not in the dangerous sense of the word. Though I suppose they can be dangerous to my own peace of mind. My constant struggle is wanting to give in to my emotions and let them out and show the world who I truly am. But, that would make things incredibly awkward for other people. So I don't. They stir and brew until they simmer down or until they boil over, ready to explode.
The most dangerous part is when the emotions give way to thoughts that use the words: