Thursday, August 16, 2007

Know Your Role

I am back in Smalltown after spending about a week at “home” in Wisconsin that was less than fun, although it did have its positive points. I was able to see my cousins, who I rarely see except on Christmas Eve each year. West Coast Cousin is a special events coordinator for a 5-Star hotel in California while her brother, Midwest Cousin, owns two pizza franchises in Wisconsin.

West Coast Cousin is a bit of an adventurer; she moved to Arizona for college. There she knew only two people. From there she moved to San Diego and who knows where she will move next. I admire her determination to live her life where and how she wants. For me “the Family” (headquartered back in Wisconsin) has an ability to influence my decisions, whether intentionally or not.

Midwest Cousin, although he has remained within close proximity to family headquarters, is also an adventurer; or maybe even a “gambler.” Running a franchise involves a lot of money and offers no guarantees, but it was a risk he was willing to take and now, after a lot of hardwork and financial investment he is slowly beginning to see the fruits of his labor.

Both cousins are admirable for these qualities.

Little Sister is the youngest of the "kids", so she is still making her way, although she has already shown signs of the “moxy” that appears to run in the family.

Then there is me.

While I was home, The Wise One, The Blessid Mother, and I went to the state fair. Every year that I have gone to the fair, for as long as I can remember, I have done two things – ate something greasy and made out of cheese, and submitted my signature for a handwriting analysis.

The Wise One commented that the analysis appeared to be a pretty accurate read of my personality, although he suspected some aspects of my personality that exist I may not share with my family.

I realized he was correct.

Unlike Little Sister, who will often have the same demeanor whether she is with Grandma or a friend at the bar, I am, in many ways a different person for my family than I am in my own life. I enjoy dancing and singing, I am not afraid to try new things and I can be rather pleasant (I think!) most of the time. But in the company of my family sometimes it’s as though I have not evolved all that much from the 14 year old I once was.

Why, I am not exactly sure. I think I feel like I know the role I am intended to play, and that is what I will do, for the most part.

Maybe someday I will feel comfortable being the same person for everyone, but I doubt it; I think people like that are very few and far between.