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MEET ME.

“WHO AM I?”

While I type this I almost immediately visualize the scene from Zoolander where Derek is staring at his reflection in a puddle while making a dramatic exit from a fashion show gone awry. He asks himself the near unanswerable question and the reflection responds, “I don’t know.” and that, my friends is basically how I feel when I try to answer, myself. Wow, I just compared my personal outlook on self-identification to Zoolander.

That’s deep.

I’m from a small town in rural Saskatchewan and while I’d like to think that doesn’t play a role in who I am, it totally does. I can be disgustingly curious and tend to tell too many stories that are built on an opening line that often goes something like, “that time we were riding our pedal bikes down that dirt road.” And let me tell you, the plot only thickens from there because we build a wicked cool fort… almost every time. I should state that I had an incredible childhood and have only minimal complaints, the main one being that my mom wouldn’t take me to BINGO when she went with my Grandma and Aunt on Wednesdays. Harsh, I know.

I’m not a hipster and although my new round-framed glasses make me appear to be just that, I simply love Celine Dion too much to ever fully conform. If loving Celine Dion and knowing every word to each of her lyrical masterpieces ruins my chance at becoming a hipster, then I don’t want to be right – or however that saying goes.

On that note, I can’t handle house music. While you’re smoothly swaying, eyes closed, “feelin’ the synthesizer”, I’m in the corner feeling like I have an elephant sitting on my chest while battling a major Avicii-induced anxiety attack. There, I said it. I can now throw out my new round-frame glasses because my hipster cover is officially blown.

I don’t have a phony bone in my body. I not only royally suck at pretending but I fail miserably when it comes to small talk. This is both one of my favourite and least favourite personality traits. Possibly the most valuable lesson I’ve learned this year is that it is okay to like myself. It’s okay to look in the mirror and like what I see, or speak my mind and not mentally beat myself up about it for three entire days afterwards.

I don’t yet know exactly what I want to be when I grow up but I have recently learned exactly what I don’t have to be– a people pleaser.

Sincerely,

Payten

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