She sparkles; that’s the best way to describe her. She is like a bubble bath for your soul. She giggles. She tells jokes. She compliments. She delights. Her is lovely.
Her is who I become in crowds – any size crowd, be it from two to 2000 people. She dances among people easily; slipping between shoulders and waists with waifish twists. When she needs to move quickly, she pulls in Her energy, Her voice, herself, into a tight ball and stealthily moves it like a briefcase carrying nuclear codes.
You would not describe Her as quiet, but that’s because you see what she wants you to see. She does not seem quiet. Outwardly, she is ballsy, brassy, bossy, and bawdy. She pulls laughter and smiles from people for the purity of the human connection. Part of Her magic lies in her guileless interest. She has no agenda. Her can see your magic and wants to celebrate it with you.
Yet, she crawls into dark corners for moments of quiet in order to refresh the fountain of effervescence from which Her soul drinks. She takes deep breathes and momentarily puts down the heavy weight of Her magic. She disappears into Me, curls into a ball and hides before deciding once again to come back out to play. But when she comes out to play…
“Her” pulls attention – but I’m not entirely sure why. She seems to stand out in a way that I can’t describe or analyze, and I’ve tried. She struts; the cadence of high heels is her drumbeat. Her body holds itself with more attention. Although still small, Her is bigger; commanding more attention, taking up more room, and breathing in an excess of air.
She is also impossible to catch – even for me; in that way, she is not unlike a fairy. She comes and goes in wisps of air and anything more is asking too much of Her. Her magic is only available in fleeting moments. She believes that she cannot linger or else her fairy dust will simply float away without her – leaving Her without her magic.
Her and I both have the same resignation to put confidence or responsibility in Her hands. She cannot be trusted to be the breadwinner. She is the talent – not the manager. She performs but dares not commit to a lifetime engagement.
You’d think that Me was the antithesis of Her, but that’s not accurate. She holds many of the same attributes but uses them in different ways. Me tries, often unsuccessfully, to keep her head down and her nose clean. She maintains a sprinkling of Her’s fairy dust although lacking the same unique sparkle.
She is smart. She is stubborn. She is a quiet. Yet she is a powerful being. She holds her power far from the surface, showing it only in the most extreme circumstances. She does not want attention. She does not want a reputation. She wants to be no one. She wants to be average. She wants to be normal. She tries very hard. Truthfully, Me is most often trying to disappear – a born wallflower in the high school dance of life. But she has enough of Her to make that an almost impossible task.
Me is also ingrained with basic, old-school rules from late 20th-century parenting. Rules that have apparently gone out of fashion, yet the impression they had, similar to the guilt of Catholicism, will never leave or forgive Me. Rules such as:
- You do not ask someone “what are you doing tonight.” That could be considered entrapment. It is more polite to say “I’m doing ‘this’, would you like to go?”
- You do not attend things to which the host has not invited you.
- Always arrive ten minutes early. (Mom achieved this by arriving everywhere a half-hour early.)
- School breaks are a time for dentist and doctor appointments – not vacations. (Nothing says Christmas like oral surgery.)
Truth be told, although they are often unappreciated, these are not bad rules to guide any person. However, as the fashions of the day have resigned into a relaxed etiquette, these rules almost act as a weight preventing me from moving with the speed and abandon I’d like.
Me picks up the medications, balances the checkbooks, sets the alarms and tries to compensate for traffic. She carries coats because she is always chilly. She is responsible, emotionally conservative, often silent and intensely introverted.
In My mind, there is a broad, lively playground filled with ideas. There she lives a complex, imagination-driven existence without boundaries, rules or inhibitions. But she does not accept visitors into her playground. As a result, Me is also very hard to catch, as she would not risk her precious toys with clumsy, uncaring hands.
We is the one-two punch of Me and Her.
When these two yin-yang beings combine the result is a multilayered, opalescent mystery of seemingly dissimilar traits and opposing intentions. One wants to be seen; the other doesn’t. One wants to be heard; the other insists on anonymity. They both feed off energy but one generates more than she picks up. When We need to be practical, Me appears. When We need to shine, Her comes to the forefront.
The same high-spirited energy that powers My internal playground comes out as Her infectious joy. Together they enjoy a deeply emotional life; one uses emotions as a tool, the other hides them as an outward disadvantage but internal fodder for analyzation. Still, the intense incoming information of the world acts as a dizzying cocktail for both to use. Like Native Americans, the two of them use all parts of any situation. Only one shares, but both put out equal effort. Together we’re exhausted.
The one incredible exception is anger which effortlessly blends the two in a way that has evaded me most of my life. In anger, the overwhelming swell of Her energetic power instantly blends with the internal intensity of Me. Defenses rise. Words become knives. We have learned after many years and mistakes to walk away when anger appears. It does no one any good to experience the severe, sharp, untamed response that anger warrants of Me and Her. We choose to take our power punches out of the arena opting for a peaceful life; perhaps out of fear more than anything else.
Together We make our way through life using our skills and strengths like an arsenal of weapons at the ready. Whether big or small, loud or quiet, introverted or extroverted, Her and Me have perfected a codependent existence, leaning on each other for support and strength where the other lacks.
Both Her and Me are scared to share ourselves with others, but we thrive on moments of shared glee. We accepted, long ago, that perhaps it was too hard to share with someone else the complexities of the roadmap to our soul. Even we do not fully understand the twists and turns that exist on these bumpy roads.
But regardless of if anyone else is enjoying the journey, Her and Me are on a wonderful road trip. We’ve run out of gas a few times. We’ve had a few flat tires. But we’ve laughed, cried, shrieked, sung, bellowed, and challenged with an energetic fury. By the time we get to the end of the road, our hair will be messed up and we’ll have a sunburn but we’ll probably have a few more interesting stories.