requiem for an enigma

This is a story about a girl who’s been called an enigma her whole life. And who very much realizes she is one, even to herself.

The truth is that I don’t fit well into any one box. I have already lived multiple lifetimes and most would consider these out of the usual order. Few would guess the things I have lived through, both good and bad. I am always honest, sometimes to a fault, but don’t feel the need to share everything. I don’t consider myself defined by anything external, and therefore I float easily between worlds and have a very diverse group of friends. I feel I belong everywhere and nowhere.

I was a child who grew up in her own head because I felt dissonance between the world I was born to and who I was. I was not affirmed, so I learned to affirm myself. I outwardly conformed to many things in order to feel safe but inwardly I stoked a hotbed of rebellion. I questioned everything, believed in everything and nothing. I was a risk taker and somewhat reckless. I still am. I ran outside in thunderstorms and tornados to experience their power and dared God to strike me down. I was in two major car accidents but I still drive much too fast. I learn from experience, and yet even after being burned I will take the same risks over and over. I am probably one of the most resilient people you will meet. Some might say headstrong.

I love power when it is used for good, but I hate the spotlight; I prefer subtle influence. I am a romantic and a perfectionist and tend to be a little idealistic. I am a passionate and sensual person, and highly attuned to my own body. When I love, I love with complete abandon, but my trust is not easy to win. I open up slowly, layer by layer, but try to force me open and I flee. I only ever give what I want to give, and I expect no more from anyone else. By the same token, I consider my greatest gift my intuition, and I likely know a lot more about you than you think I do.

I’m fierce and exacting about what I want from myself and my work. I’m obsessed with quality because I care deeply that people have a good experience. I will lose sleep if I feel someone I care about is not happy. I look up to no one and down on no one. I love human beings and I want to understand them. I crave depth. I ask questions of everyone because I need to make sense of the stories I see around me. Everyday life plays out to me like a movie, and every person and thing an interesting and complex character I want to know beneath their layers. I try to discover the soul in everything I see, no matter whether it’s a rock or a person. Photography has been a way for me to do this.

I am a deeply spiritual person. I believe in God and in Jesus, and I felt closest to him in a Catholic cathedral where my senses completely flooded. But I as well believe in reincarnation and many of my beliefs relate to different pieces of different religions. I dread people asking me certain questions, like: what is your faith? What is your political persuasion? What’s your favorite this or that? Because these questions I can’t answer. I have no favorites. I have many things I love and appreciate equally. I put things together and create my own version, but I enjoy entertaining other viewpoints.

I love to dress up. I have owned fabulous dresses that I never had occasion to wear. I would happily live in ball gowns every day. And yet I feel equally myself in sweats and a baseball cap. I am comfortable in many different hats. I know how to hunt and clean a deer and I also know how to mingle at a fancy party. I’m a good sharpshooter and archer. I have perfect color vision. I compose music and play piano by ear. I love decorating, but I change up my style every 2 years.

I am descended from both a notorious pirate and an English queen. I also come from peasants who kept warm in the winter by sitting in cow dung. I am fascinated by all cultures and I want to absorb them, eat them, wear them on my body. I don’t want to just travel and see places. I want to become everywhere I go. I am sometimes frustrated that the color of my skin, or the language I speak prevent me from completely fitting in. I feel a constant need to experience the full spectrum of human existence. This makes me always very restless.

My greatest fear is one I already know will come true, and that is reaching the end of my life and not having lived all of the lifetimes I believe I was meant to live. I don’t know if I will ever score that film, or write that book, or be an infamous spy, or dig up buried treasure. But I have such an ache inside of me to be so many things, to do so much more than I think I will ever have the capacity to do.