I am cool.
I know it. The people in my life know it. Even strangers can sense it.
I have purple hair. I have a nose ring. I have a certain Meleah-style about me that I am mindful of. It usually involves bright, saturated colors in the forms of skirts, dresses and shoes. And fabulous accessories. A very particular version of put-togetheredness with a friendly smile. I don’t think of it as something that I have to work hard at in order to present to the world, rather as a strong sense of being that I wear comfortably around my shoulders.
I am cooler than just I’ve-got-great-style.
I am intelligent and hard-working. I have a Ph.D. in Genetics from Duke University. I am humorous, in a dry sort of way. I am adventurous. I scuba dive. And not just as a fair-water scuba diver but a diver in the Pacific Northwest where the water temperature is a constant 42 degrees Fahrenheit. I am independent; financially and in temperament. I am genuine. People know where they stand with me. I have no qualms about sharing my thoughts with others. Likewise, people know when they have engaged my attention and interest. I am a performer. I’ve danced ballet solos to packed houses of nearly a thousand people. And have formally spoken about my scientific research to an audience of nearly the same size. I thrive when on the stage. I am a part of people’s lives. I love and value my family and friends. I would give them my everything, if needed. I am a craftsman. I bake. I cook. Some would even describe my kitchen skills as good. I re-upholster furniture and knit monsters. I know my way around a sewing machine. I am human. On occasion I am beyond silly. On most others I am serious. I am non-traditional. I went to hippie school for college. I worked for seven years in a dental office. I am now a biologist who studies the mating habits of fungi under stress. And I somehow convinced our government to pay me money to do it. I am joyful. When I laugh with my heart … there is no other sound like it.
I am myself.
Except right now, I don’t feel myself. I am not writing down all of my wonderful attributes (and knowingly omitting my less-than-stellar characteristics) because I am suddenly healed of my heartbreak. It still hurts to smile and my laughs are intellectual rather than joyful. No, I am angry. Angry at the boy. Angry at being without my own place, car or cats. Angry at myself for being sad, then angry at myself for being mad. Angry at the world. I know it’s all temporary; that it’s just a stage of grief. I am doing everything in my power to keep it all to myself and not lash my anger out on those around me, especially those who have been unyielding pillars of support.
So I write those characteristics of myself to remind me that I am more than how I feel in this moment. I am not just this poor cliche of a girl who has recently been dumped. And that, perhaps more than anything, is my motivation to get out of this slump. Because the one thing that I will not allow myself to be is cliche.
Except, of course, for this weekend. I am taking my awesomeness down to Austin, TX to spend the weekend with my dearest friend. No doubt there will be excessive hugging, crying, chocolate eating, wine drinking and Sex in the City watching.