The Great Puzzle: who am I?

It’s Sunday.

It’s Sunday and I went to church.

It’s Sunday and I went to church and I found out that I don’t know who I am.

Well, specifically, I was told that I don’t understand myself at all. Which is a partially true statement. The pastor said that the only person who completely understands me is the God who made me.

Let’s be honest: I can’t argue with that.

But this opens a lot of questions. If I don’t understand myself, how can I possibly live a life to fulfill goals that I’m not even sure that I want in the first place? What are my true goals then? What are my motives for acting the way that I do? Why do I experience emotions? Why can’t I pick just one favorite color instead of switching based on my mood? Why can’t I pick a favorite food instead of selecting all the food I would want for my last meal if I was on Death Row?

…see what I mean? Important questions.

But, for some reason, I’m okay with not knowing who I am. I think I’ll be just fine figuring it out as I go along my way. Usually I would be freaking out by this lack of information.

Why am I responding in a perfectly logical and calm manner?

Not sure. Probably because I have no idea who I am.

Look in the mirror and I’ll show you where the wild things are.

I’m a prim and proper girl, with preppy style infused between the two like the perfume that hovers on the hollow of my throat. I never venture out without lipstick or mascara, I prefer my nails painted and unchipped, and my hair languishes upon my shoulders in perfect ringlets. My clothes are always chic with a hint of modesty and I pride myself on creating an aura of sex appeal through mystery — the more you show, the less left to the imagination. Political correctness and politeness fall from my lips as easily as the words said.

Let me disillusion you.

I look like a prim and proper girl. But I’m a wild thing.

The perfume masks the scent of the flora and fauna that I used to slip between the strands of my unbrushed hair. Lipstick stains my lips like the juices of the berries and mascara darkens my eyes like the shadows of midnight as I sleep beneath the stars. Any desire I stir within others is simply an appreciation of the wildness that burns like a fire within my soul and is reflected in my eyes. Silence echoes from my mouth and words are precious few; if anything comes from my mouth, it is only the music of songs so old they are nearly forgotten.

I’m a wild thing.

You can’t control me. To do so is to ruin the beauty found. A gilded cage would kill the creature. I cannot be bound. I tried it once. I hated it. I gagged her mouth and pretended that she wasn’t there. Her face haunted my nightmares and I ignored her while I struggled every morning to cover the dark circles under my eyes. I tied her hands and tossed her into the dark recesses of my mind where I put things in order to lose them. Everyone has one of those places, as much as they try not to admit it.

She found her way back. She looked at me in the mirror one day and I was this close to tossing her back into the jail that she had escaped from. She was too proud to beg — and yet that was what saved her. Her gaze didn’t stray from mine, she didn’t incline her head to me, she refused to lower herself.

I’m a wild thing.

I didn’t give her hand to help her in; if I had, she wouldn’t have accepted it. But I did unlock the door. She came in of her own accord and sat down. We became acquainted with each other. I liked her a lot.

While I had let someone else carry my heart for awhile, I was very surprised to find out that she had too. Her lover combed his fingers through her hair and tangled it up in a knot so tight that she could barely get the brush through. He pulled at her clothes and tugged her along, but she was strong enough to speak her mind. He caused the roses in her cheeks to bloom and he kissed her lips raw. With a single movement, he could take her breath away and yet fill her lungs. Sometimes he was gentle, so quiet and still that she didn’t even know that he was there, wondering if he had left her alone for the night. Other nights, his passion would tear at the world around her and I was amazed how she survived his temper, though I shouldn’t have been.

She was a wild thing and the wind held her heart.

I confided in her. I loved the wind too. I would stand for hours on a beach listening to the way he whispered to the ocean and played in the waves. He tickled the sea foam before dancing with the palm trees and he would rescue the seaweed from drowning. The moon would come out to babysit the stars and we would talk long into the night about absolutely nothing. He was my best friend, the wind.

But then again, I am a wild thing.