"My name is Ali Larsen. You may have known me as someone else. But, now I'm just me. I used to hide behind personas and false identities because I wasn't happy with who was. But the longer I kept that masks on, the less I recognized myself. When I decided to "be myself", I realized I didn't know who that was anymore. So I'm on a never-ending quest to reinvent myself. Like a Frankenstein monster, I'm pulling pieces together that don't quite fit. But I'm not worried about the end result being pretty. I just want to be able to recognize my own reflection."
A Never Ending Story
"I could tell you my name, but would my name tell you that I'm incapable of seeing the color orange? I just have to trust people. Or that I think moustaches are T-shirts for lips? Or that I wear ice skates to weddings? It's hard to dance. But that's just the type of person I am." - MPDG of Independent Movie, American Dad
I've written many different biographies over the years. Each reflects the time of my life they were written in so perfectly. Be it how I was feeling, or present circumstance, but always a reflection of everything I was denying to myself, and to everyone else. This is in terms of influential people, or places I've lived, stuff like that. Granted, I didn't know the truth, as I've had touch-and-go amnesia for as long as I can remember. But to be honest, every biography written before this one was wrong. Who I thought I was, where I thought I'd go. All of it. I had no idea in the pasts where the futures would bring me. No one really can. We just leave at the train station in Point A, hoping there's still an arrival at Point B. Some of us never make it to Point B. Some of us never realize we got lost a long the way.
"I'm not a concept. Too many guys think I'm a concept or I complete them or I'm going to make them alive, but I'm just a fucked up girl who is looking for my own peace of mind. Don't assign me yours." - Clementine Kruczynski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I've learned, in my many years, in many lives, that we're all lost. We're all confused. And everyone is just looking for something to make them feel like they've got a good bead on things. Be that from a romance, or a friendship, or a pet, or a career, or hobbies and passions. I've learned that we all find ourselves in the dark corners of a dimly lit bar/cafe, with people who hate/love the things we hate/love. Or, people who are just there to bid the otherwise boring nothing of a life with no purpose. I've also learned that people don't really have a purpose. That it's not about what you have in the bank - money or experiences - even though in the past I was sure what we experienced accounted for everything in life. It doesn't build character to be rich, or to be worldly. We are all our experiences, yes. But not what they were. We are how those experiences affected us. How we dealt with the short comings, or how we appreciated the lotteries.
"It made sense to pool our collective loathing for the opposite sex, and while we were at it, you get to share a bed with somebody at the same time. We were frightened of being left alone for the rest of our lives. Only people of a certain disposition are frightened of being alone for the rest of their lives at the age of 26, and we were of that disposition." - Rob Gordon, High Fidelity
And everyone should be looking to constantly refine themselves. There shouldn't be a static "about me", because someone should always be changing who and what that is. Not by a predetermined list of "should be"s, because they're all outdated. There is no perfect someone. We're all fucked up. Embrace it, make it your own. All that matters is that you're happy with the way you are. That you're building a better you, by your own standards. Really, no one can judge your character except for you. No one can discredit, nor encourage, your experiences. Only you can. Only you can truly know what made you who you are today.
So you want my autobiography? You'll have to live it with me.
I don't hope to have epiphanies, but I'm appreciative when it happens. And it happened while I was reading my old biographies. It occurred to me that no amount of re-wording what I had written before was ever going to describe me as a person. And really, I shouldn't- and won't - try. I mean, I can type out my life story for you. Everything I remember in anything but chronological order. I can hope to hit a chord with a well worded sentence here and there. Maybe write something insightful, and descriptive about who I am, and how I came to be this way. But, you can never truly know what makes a person who they are. No matter how many stories they may tell you. So, no matter how many lives I may write out, you'll never get to know me through the words on a page.
“I'm the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible...” - Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
I want to connect with you, and I want to learn who you are. And I want you to learn who I am, too. But let's do that together instead of trying to read an on-the-spot rough draft a life story that's never going to be written. I want to know how you handle situations by seeing you in them. I want to be a part of your experiences. Not to encourage, or discredit. Just experience. And I want you to be a part of mine, too. And that's the only way we're going to get to know each other, no matter how many words are written and read. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to tell you all my stories. And I'd love to hear all of yours. I connect best with people who retell their tales in a way similar to my own. When I hear my own heart in someone elses' stories, I know there's the potential to bond. I'd love to ask you questions about your life, and to answer yours about mine.
But that's just filler between our first experience together, and our next. Because that's when we'll bond the greatest. The strongest. That's when we'll get to know each other.
"I know what it's like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can't. You hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside. When you don't want to feel, death can seem like a dream. But seeing death, really seeing it, makes dreaming about it fucking ridiculous. Maybe, there's a moment growing up when something peels back. Maybe, maybe, we look for secrets because we can't believe our minds. All I know is that I began to feel things again. Whatever I was, I knew there was only one way back to the world and that was to use the place to talk. Declared healthy and sent back into the world. My final diagnosis: a recovered borderline. What that means, I still don't know. Was I ever crazy? Maybe. Or maybe life is. Crazy isn't being broken, or swallowing a dark secret. It's you, or me, amplified." - Suzanne Kaysen, Girl Interrupted