Every time I come off a visit with my family, I feel like a teeny, tiny cartoon character who is walking around stomping my feet saying “WHY DON’T YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT ME??” “WHY ISN’T ANYBODY LISTENING TO ME?”
This could be the youngest child thing, where all we ever want is attention. My siblings are cool and wonderful people, happy with their lives in general, terrific parents to some terrific kids, but, where I feel I want to probe and ask meaningful questions of them, somehow, maybe knowing too much about the “baby” of the family is too revelatory. Or something like that.
I want to tell them that I’m SO cool and I’m SO funny and my friends LOVE me and men DESIRE me and I get sad, and lonely, and miss our mother and struggle to this day with the residuals of our common upbringing. I want to tell them that I’m getting “fan mail” about my writing and what I’m reading and what moves me and what inspires me. Each of them has their limits and boundaries of what they want to know about me, and what they want to tell me or deflect or when they want to change the subject. I value that I have easy access to one, at any moment of any day, and that my psychologist brother is there to let me vent about my issues and FEELINGS in a way that a caring professional can. Other group dynamics are far more complicated and leave me sad and hurt and questioning every time.
But, there is the flipside, friends, those who know me well, and despite that, still love me and hang in there with me, and newer friends who find me entertaining and often seem VERY surprised to see a glimpse into the “laughing on the outside, crying on the inside” me.
I LOVE being “known” I long to hear the words from a man “I want to know everything about you” (not in a gag-me kind of way, but in a way that really means it, a slow-unfolding of me.) And I LOVE knowing my friends. I am astounded by how much there is to learn about people as their lives change and grow, to observe their epiphanies, their joys and disappointments and to learn more about them by seeing how they react and mold to each and every one. This is the knowing.