f I was a song, I’d be “Free Form Guitar” by Terry Kath. If I was a genre of music, I’d be experimental jazz–with violin. If I was a painting, I’d be a Picasso–albeit a very minor one. If I was a garden, I would be someone’s wind-swept, unkempt backyard. If I were clothes, I’d be a pair of unmatched socks with holes. If I was a sport, I’d… hmmm, I probably wouldn’t exist, as all sports have rules and organization. The point, of course, is that I am not symmetric. I am different than everyone else around me… or at least I tend to gravitate in that direction.

When I was a young whipper snapper, I used to like to wear suits. Everyone thought I was crazy, but it just seemed cool to wear one. Now that I’m a “professional”, I wear T-shirts and jeans virtually everyday. This would not be such a big deal at a university on the West coast, but hear in DC, I kinda standout. I’ve visited classes where students don’t know me, and they often think I’m a graduate student studying Japanese. I guess I just don’t like to be the same as everyone else. There is something unsettling about being just like everyone else.

Back in the 70s, I went to a private Catholic school and I desperately wanted to have long hair–we were required to keep it short. I kept growing it and then being told by my teachers to cut it, which I rarely did. When I graduated high school and everyone else had long hair, I cut it nice and short. Since my mid 30s, when all my peers were in suits with nicely trimmed hair, I decided to grow it again, and it’s been long(ish) for the past 12 years or so–except when I came to interview for my job. Okay, I admit it, I sold out to get this job, so sue me…

My office is a mess. If a tornado blew through here, it wouldn’t change much. At home, I’m just as bad. My desk is a mess. My closet has clothes strewn on the floor, and M hates this… with a passion. I eat when I want, work when I want and goof off when I want. I cannot keep a schedule. I do not check my mail regularly. I rarely check my email and I’m always getting in trouble with my boss because I will miss important memos. And it seems that the more she warns me, the more reluctant I am to read my email… not that I do it on purpose, mind you.

Every attempt to organize my life–take notes, use a desk calendar, carry a day planner–has failed miserably. It is just not me. I think M is starting to understand this, thank God. This is not rebelling, per se. And it is not a midlife crisis, as I’ve been like this as far back as I can remember.

It is what it is. And it is me… Asymmetrical.

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