If you know me, or are just a long time reader of my blog, then you know the influence NBC's Ed had on my life. It's beginning coincided with (and even, perhaps, caused) my learning to appreciate coming from a small town. The residents of Stuckeyville reminded me that living in community, which is to say, sharing meals and conflict and stories and hopes and disasters, is where it's at.
Ed wasn't the first show that featured a cast of strange characters dead set on being themselves regardless of what society expected of them, but it was the first I fell in love with and that spoke into my psyche in ways I'm just now figuring out. I learned from these people that the little things about ourselves often referred to as "quirks," are what make people love us, in spite of our fears that they will drive others away.
Growing up, I always thought that once people were around me long enough, they would begin to see my eccentricities and be done with me. This is probably why I had a history of being possessive of friendships. I clung a little too tight, fearing they were already planning their escape from my life, and preemptively keeping them near.
I've slowly learned, however, that while these personality tics may not naturally draw people to each other, they are negligible in all of our quest to be near others. People may roll their eyes at Phil Stubbs when he cooks up another get-rich-quick scheme, or wonder what goes on in the mind of Shirley Pifko while she's staring off into space, but for the people who loved them, neither of these mattered when held against the place each of them had in the community.
This has helped me be myself a little more than I used to be comfortable with.
So, without further ado, I give you one of my quirks...
I repeat myself. I think this comes from my dad, who also repeats himself. He'll share a story or a bit of information, then make the comment "What I'm saying is...," and then repeat the same thing verbatim, all over again. I leave out the "What I'm saying is...," but I've slowly picked up on the fact that I do the same thing. I'll say something, then someone else will reply, then I'll repeat it again. I'm not exactly sure why I do it, but I think it has something to do with an ingrained feeling that no one understood what I said, or the significance of what I said, when I said it, so they probably need a little repetitive clarification. People may agree with or understand what I am saying, but I doubt it.
I hate it when I do this, but I still do it. If I do it, I'll usually glance quickly at the person I'm talking to. I want to see if they picked up on it. I really want to see if they are, now armed with the knowledge that I repeat myself, about to leave my life.
Insecurities abound. But hey, that's who I am.
Did I tell you how much I loved NBC's Ed because of my hometown and my repeating myself? Well let me tell you...