JUST BE YOURSELF? (screw THAT!)
Today I’d rather be SHANEEKA.
Sometimes the prospect of having to be one’s self for the rest of the day can be soul-crushing. At times like that, I just hit “record” on my soundcloud app, & pick someone ELSE to be. Temporarily. Just… U know… for the day.
You see, most people are shocked to find out that I have always been painfully shy, but it’s true. I am. YOU, Mary? Yes, me. I was so shy as a little girl that my mom’s next door neighbor told my mom that she thought I might be retarded. (Oh yeah, Mrs. Kravitz? Well guess who got an honorary MASTERS DEGREE this year? That’s right. Old Mary “retard” Birdsong. Bam! Eat it, Kravitz!)
Oh, and Mrs. Kravitz? Just curious… What’s YOUR little bundle of joy doing these days?”
Uh huh. That’s what I thought.
I really WAS terrified of people. But then when I was five, out of nowhere, I suddenly started doing command performances (that no one had asked for) in the living room- an impressive but bizarre range of characters. Talking in funny voices, and of course, WIGS. Plenty of wigs were involved. In hindsight, it was a coping mechanism. And after years of therapy, I can now say with relative certainty that I was just a couple of wigs away from a potential diagnosis of borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia.
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER, SCHYZOPHRENIA ……. ACTOR
Six of one, really.
I’m telling you, Mrs. Birdsong, that little girl is retarded!
The “real” me? Maybe. Maybe not.
The “me for today”: Shaneeka. She’s awesome. Why not let HER deal with the next 24 hours?