What does it mean when you say, “Tell me about yourself.”
Do you want to know what my hair color is? What brand of contacts I wear?
Would knowing my favorite TV show or about my fanfiction writing past help you to put me into context? Does it matter to you that I ship Draco/Ginny or that I’ve been obsessed with the X-Men franchise since 2002?
What if I told you about all the places I’ve traveled, but left out the soul-sucking homesickness part? Would you think that I was some kind of travel aficionado because I’ve been to eight relatively small European countries and Israel, all of which are allies with America and not too different from home?
Do you feel like you know me better because you can name all of my siblings or because you know how often I don’t go to the gym? Are you an expert because you know what I do to pay my rent or because you’ve judged the outfits I wear?
I could tell you anything I wanted and you’d never know the difference so how are you supposed to understand my life, my character, my personality if I just tell you about myself?
Wouldn’t it be better if I showed you?
You could see my loyalty in the way that I put my friends and family first, my kindness in the way that I interact with others, my humor through the jokes that I make while watching late night TV.
You could watch how I cry over heartfelt family stories and laugh at fight scenes in blockbuster action films.
Maybe you’d notice how wide awake I am at three in the morning and how bleary-eyed at three in the afternoon or the way that I only straighten my hair in the winter because I’ve surrendered to summer humidity.
If you stuck around a while, you’d understand how awkward I feel when meeting new people. You’d witness the way I stumble through my words or how determinedly I rely on friends to help smooth over introductions. You’d learn to be proud of me for making the effort.
If you paid attention you’d know the difference between a picture taking smile and the one I make when I laugh. You’d know that some days it’s hard for me to smile at all, that sometimes I feel so anxious I could scream.
I wouldn’t have to tell you how much I love binge reading or how the last hundred pages nearly always becomes a marathon. I wouldn’t have to explain the laugh out loud lines or the ones that make me stamp my feet like an overexcited child. You’d just know.
Ask me anything you want and I’ll tell you the truth. But pay attention and you’ll learn more about me than you could ever think to ask.