In my previous entry — the one about discovering good music again — I alluded to an entry I never got around to making because I didn’t think I could explain it. I still don’t think I can, but it was and still is a really big thing, so I’ll do what I can to convey it.

I’m not sure if you should read this entry first and then the previous one, or vice versa, or if they really have anything to do with each other at all other than both being about me un-reinventing myself, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Or not, as the case may be. Perhaps that’s a feature.

Anyhow, right after my little revelation I was trying to explain it to Substitute on IRC. I don’t think I succeeded, but that’s as close as I could come, so here’s what happened then.

<mendel> WOWEE 
<mendel> wow wow wow WOW 
<ignatz> that is an excited mendel.  
<mendel> woweeeeeE 
<mendel> i just had a REVELATION 
<mendel> i suspect i cannot convey this revelation in text but i will try to 
<mendel> Begin with the understanding that my family is in the clothing 
        industry and I am painfully aware of the image I project at any moment 
<mendel> it's not /really/ pain but it's just a heightened awareness 
<mendel> so I went shopping today.  
<mendel> and I was just moments ago trying on things i bought with things i own 
<mendel> and I'm trying on this sweater, and I go "Oh! That goes with THIS 
        shirt" and I put it on and sort of disheveled and my hair's all messy 
        and I've got my Elvis glasses on.  
<mendel> and YOW! I'm looking in the mirror at ME!  
<mendel> This is probably not seeming that revelatory yet.  
<ignatz> no 
<mendel> See, here's where we go from describing what triggered the revelation 
        to describing mental processes, and things break down 
<mendel> But I've sort of seen a me from a couple of years ago that might have 
        disappeared when I started working full-time, or when I came to ottawa, 
        or when I stopped doing student politics, or when I had a round of 
        friends graduate and leave, or I dunno what 
<mendel> and i'm narrating this whole thing, WOW IT'S ME, WHERE'D THAT ME GO 
<mendel> and then it happened AGAIN, because I realize I don't narrate anymore.  
<ignatz> yikes 
<mendel> and I've been having trouble stumbling over my speech for the last 
      * ignatz dries to drag mendel out of the Proust novel he fell into 
<mendel> could be a few months, could be a year, could be more 
<mendel> and I realize that's because I'm NOT talking like I think, but rather 
        talking like people expect people to talk.  
<mendel> Which is to say unremarkably
<mendel> But all around I'm in a situation where i don't have to DO that.  
<mendel> is this seeming a bit revelatory yet?  
<ignatz> i'm getting a taste of it yes 
<mendel> a fashion-industry upbringing and a sociology degree has made impression 
        management more conscious for me than for joe random, I think 
<ignatz> yes 
<mendel> and it's kind of fun, but frustrating when I can't. quite. get. it. 
<mendel> And part of the problem is that I really dislike the idea of Geek 
        Culture on one hand 
<ignatz> as do I 
<mendel> but I'm pretty geeky on the other 
<ignatz> as am I 
<mendel> so anyhow, the difference is that there's the no-impression-management 
        geek or maybe even the norm-rejecting geek, like say stallman or esr 
<mendel> and that's what irks me, I think, 
<mendel> but meanwhile there's sort of a geek chic which you tend to see more in 
        women than men 
<mendel> and that's what I've been blindly ignoring all along, and working so 
        hard at being different from the first kind that I managed to miss the 
        second kind entirely 
<mendel> Anyhow, those last bits I'm guessing at 
<mendel> but i'm conveying now, I think?  
<ignatz> yes!  
<mendel> yes!  
<mendel> essentially I went HOLY FUCK I'VE BEEN SOMEONE ELSE FOR (long 
        period of time) 
<mendel> maybe?  
<mendel> I dunno.  
<mendel> there's no QUIRKY here 
<mendel> so i wasn't being quirky, or I was being less quirky at least 
<mendel> or maybe i'm just entering another cycle of 'ok, i'm slightly crazy, 
        and that's FINE' or maybe just manic right now 
<ignatz> mendel: i've heard of "false self" as an expression of what you're 
        talking about 
<ignatz> that "I'm fake" or "i'm someone else" feeling after big life transitions 
<mendel> ignatz -- oo 
<mendel> so the whole self-rediscovery thing is kind of scary 
<mendel> ign -- any interesting subtexts, warning signs?  
<ignatz> it's not like a _disease_.. it's just how people feel somtimes 
<ignatz> i think you just went through a shitload of changes and you're 
        suddenly re-seeing yourself.  
<mendel> yeah.