I’m Not Moody (and Other Lies)
I’m beginning to worry I’ve been lying to myself for years about my fundamental nature. I don’t mean in the big ways “” it’s not as if I used to think I am a writer named Alison who owns a puppy and is about to get married but recently discovered that deep down I’m a retired black man named Fred who lives for recreational chess “” but in terms of the nuances of personality, I’m no longer sure.
For example, I don’t think of myself as a moody person. I think of myself as a good-natured, even-keeled person who’s been in a bad mood on and off for the last 30-something years. I was puzzling over this recently, about the fact that for someone who doesn’t consider herself moody, I sure am moody. And then I began to wonder why it is I cling to this notion when most evidence is to the contrary.
I think it’s that in college “” which apparently is the last time I revisited myself “” I wasn’t moody. For whatever reason, college really was four great, enlightening, fulfilling and enriching years. Everything else has been a little less thrilling, a fact I kind of hate to acknowledge. I don’t want to be that person for whom college was the best four years, though, to be fair, I’d rather be that person than the one for whom high school was the best four years “” that person was a cheerleader.
The problem with those college-wasthe-best people is that they peaked years ago. I want to peak shortly before I die. Or perhaps I want to live in a sustained state of peaking. I just don’t want the best to be behind me.
Let me ask you this: Do non-moody people sometimes feel like crying for no reason at all? Do non-moody people wake up and think, I just have to get through the day and then I can go back to sleep? Do non-moody people only answer their phone .5 percent of the time?
I realize what I’m describing sounds like low-level depression, which probably goes hand in hand with moodiness, and hence doesn’t apply to me.
And then I was thinking about the other ways in which I might not be who I say I am.
There’s who you actually want to be, who you are, and who you let yourself become.
For instance, I hardly ever listen to my favorite band. If someone asked me who my favorite bands are, I would have to reach far back into the memory reserves, as the first thing to go with age is the ability to keep up with current music. But the name I always throw out there “” Sunny Day Real Estate “” is a defunct group I hardly ever listen to because the music is too beautiful and too poignant, the same reasons why I love it and why I can’t listen to it. So should it really be my go-to favorite? In the same way that unromantic people say you marry the person you’re dating at the time you’re ready to get married, that it’s more about timing than anything else, your favorite band is probably the band you’re listening to at the age it’s important to declare a favorite. And don’t even get me started on favorite movies. At one point “” in grade school “” I used to consider “Ruthless People” and “Big Business” to be my favorites.
This is what I think: There’s who you actually want to be, who you are, and who you let yourself become. I want to be a stylish skirt and drses person, but I’m actually a bootcut jeans person who lets myself be a sweatpants person at home.
But I’m not moody. Hear more from Alison Rosen on her podcast, “Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend” or on the immensely popular “Adam Carolla Show” podcast. Follow her on Twitter @alisonrosen or visit her website at alisonosen.com. !