I’ll admit it.
I was not a cool kid growing up. Far from it.
As a child, the lack of peers and social group activities did not bother me all too much. I was content inhabiting the imagined world I created on the playgrounds and at home.
This peaceful contentment would eventually shift. Puberty brought with it a sense of self-consciousness around this lack of social prowess. That self-consciousness did not prove to be a temporary ailment.
As I matured, my perception on social relationships remained in this state of limbo. I wanted people to like me but I also wanted them to find me interesting, mysterious. How could I manage that with the upbringing I had?
If there is one thing my childhood alone taught me, it was creativity. I was, am, and always will be a storyteller. Truthful? Not always.
Thus begins the cycle.
Are we not all a bit dramatic when it comes to retellings? We crave an interest in our audiences whenever we hold the mic. What better way to engage them than with a riveting tale?
Let’s be real, though. Most things in life are hardly that exciting. Language lends to the monotony of daily routines. I am a skilled wielder of this tool and am able to spin a pretty tale for just about anything.
I began changing my location often after high school. With every new city, I molded myself into a new person. The words I used to define myself were pieces of me but never the whole picture.
Some versions stressed the mystery aspect more than others. Some versions experimented with different temperaments altogether.
The stories I told of life were fantastic and often falsified.
I always enjoyed fitting myself into different roles. Trying to preserve my real identity while playing this game was not easy. Enough time would pass and these iterations of me would crumble to reveal the true self hiding behind it. The shed identity left me naked and fearful.
After leaving Paris, I entered a bit of a spiral. It dawned on me that this method of existing is no longer sustainable.
As great as this tactic seemed, it complicated things. I would lose myself, try to bury her behind some cool projection. Then, the truth would burst from the walls I built.
No more, no more.
Embellishment is a nicer word for what this form of storytelling is and that’s, well, lying.
I am outing myself as a liar. Not to a grave degree. The type of lying I lean on is for self augmentation. This does not lessen the charge, mind you. A liar is a liar, after all.
I am putting this to rest with this confession. Life is too rich with experience for me to lean on this gimmick any further. Embellishing makes keeping stories straight difficult.
Honesty breeds authenticity and, for the first time in a bit, I have a clear idea of who I’m working with on the inside.
As I put this to rest, I am confronted by the younger version of myself. The one that had no layers of mysticism. The inner child.
I welcome her back in. We stick to the point.
Farewell, story Karl.