Something I’ve noticed about getting older is that figuring yourself out can be a mixed blessing. As the years have gone on I’ve become more sure about who I am, but this discovery hasn’t been without some regret. There have been a few times that I thought I could will myself into being a different kind of person, but I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I won’t. Here are some of the “types of people” that I am starting to accept I will never be:
Camper: Good lord, do I hate camping. I hate everything about it. But it’s kind of not enough that I hate camping; I hate the fact that I hate it. I want to be an outdoorsy person, and for years I tried to convince myself I was, but I’ve finally stopped trying. So, I’m sorry, camping. We’ll never be friends. You’re just too dirty and too hot-or-cold and it’s just too hard to do the things that are easy when you’re indoors. Oh, and also I usually have to go to the bathroom at least once in the middle of the night and I prefer for my biggest hazard on my way to the toilet to be stubbing my toe on a corner or something. Not being attacked by a bear. Or a zombie. Or a zombie bear.
Numbers person: I’m a word nerd, which isn’t necessarily exclusive from being a numbers person, but in my case the twain don’t meet. I dread figuring out the bill at restaurants, even more than a normal person, and I’ve probably lost a thousand dollars over a lifetime of saying, “Oh, let’s just split it,” even when I know I owe less. Also, despite my teenage self’s assertion that it this would never happen, I do find that math comes up in conversation often enough that it’s embarrassing. For example! Having two different dates and knowing how many days apart they are. I am terrible at this.
Early riser: I don’t have a lot of trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, because I go to bed at a decent hour every night, but I still don’t like mornings. To be more accurate: I resent them. It’s their fault I have to stop sleeping. It’s their fault that five days out of the week, all I can think about from the moment I open my eyes is, “Work, work, work. Gotta get to work!” It’s their fault I have to pretty much tear myself away from under the covers and my space heater of a sleeping husband. Maybe if I were an early riser I would have well-styled, dry hair when I walked out the door, or I’d actually get to fit exercise into my schedule, or I’d just feel like there were more to my day than working. I’d love to not have to back-load my day, where I have to try and get everything done between getting out of work and going to bed.
Handywoman: I yearn to be the kind of person who can fix or build just about anything. In addition to saving money, I’d also enjoy the pride and satisfaction of doing something with my capable hands. But this has just been a non-starter since day one. My parents were so non-handy that they just paid a neighbor (or, later, a professional) to fix things. So I never learned by watching, but I also never learned by doing, because things just got done. Now I’m married to the handiest guy ever and it’s dawned on me that the cycle of un-handiness shall continue. Sigh.
Traveler: I actually don’t believe anyone when they say they like to travel. No one likes to travel; traveling is terrible. It’s visiting other places that you like. But I’m actually kind of “meh” about even that. A couple I know just got back from a total outside-the-comfort-zone adventure trip to Thailand and Cambodia. As they showed me their travel photos, I nodded politely while I made a mental list of all the things I would rather do than go where they went. It’s nothing against those countries; it’s the distance, the cultural differences, the difficulty communicating, the stomach bug and/or food poisoning they both got, the “little mixup” that almost got them stranded in China. I guess the desire to travel–particularly to far-flung places–has to include a healthy sense of adventure. Which is apparently (sadly) something I lack.
How about everyone else? Any “type of person” you have finally realized you aren’t, even though you wish you were?