So here are some of the words I found and/or thought of that describe me and my life right now that begin with Under & Over. I was going to leave them free-standing, but some really needed an explanation, and obviously I couldn’t just explain some of them.
Understanding: This is the most applicable one out of all of these, I think. Not only am I understanding new things because I’m in college and taking classes that are teaching me things I didn’t know, but also because I am understanding all of my new friends here at WWU.
Most importantly, though, I’m understanding (or rather, trying to understand) myself. Sometimes I want things one way and sometimes I want them another way. Sometimes I’m ok with something, sometimes it makes me angry or upset. Sometimes a subject is interesting, sometimes it’s boring as hell. Sometimes I’m really organized and clean, sometimes I couldn’t care less. And I have no idea why this happens, whether it’s normal, what to do about it, or what I really want.
Undertaking: I’m undertaking a lot of new things in my life right now. I’m living without adult supervision. I’m living in a city I’ve hardly ever been to before. I’m taking college-level classes full time. I’m creating a whole new circle of friends. And so on and so forth.
Underacheiving: This one is a little depressing, but I’m sort of failing at some of the previously mentioned undertakings, namely the school-related ones.
Underpaied: This one is weird cause I don’t really have a job right now. Really what it means is I have job experience and talents that I could be using right now to get me money, but I’m not.
Undergrad: This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I’m an undergrad.
Underfocused: I want to say I have Attention Deficit Disorder (I have been officially diagnosed), but when it comes down to how my brain really works, more often it seems less like a deficit of attention and more like a surplus of ideas. Like my brain is stuck on fast-forward and I can only watch helplessly as ideas come and then are gone in a flash, lost forever to time.
Underrated: This one is a bit self-indulgent, but I know I can do a lot of things better than a significant amount of people, or at least I could if I put more effort into it. But since I have no proof of that, people don’t think I can.
Misunderstood: Huh boy. This is the story of my life in a lot of ways. This ties back to Understanding myself in a way, because I don’t know what I want, and so I accidently come across as a certain kind of person to a lot of people, even though underneath (omg another Under word!) I am not that person at all.
So here’s the deal. Basically, deep down, I am a listener, a helper, and a comforter. Whether it’s helping someone understand their math homework, comforting someone when they suffer a loss in the family, listening when someone needs to let off steam after a bad day at school, or helping someone push-start their car, I will do it.
I do it for a few reasons, one being that it just makes me happy to know I helped someone feel better or get out of a tight spot. It also makes me happy to know I can be that one friend everyone can rely on when they need help, and I never judge them, no matter what they ask me to do.
I also automatically empathize with people pretty heavily, so that helps me to understand and help them when they are trying to explain why they feel a certain way about something.
And finally, I do it because even though I have my own problems that I am sometimes dealing with, I feel that I am blessed with a relatively easy life, and on top of that, I am a very emotionally stable person. Because of this, I feel obligated to be available to people who have big problems in their life or are emotionally all over the place, or both.
Now this is where things go wrong. See, I’m fairly certain that, despite all of my other nuances, this is who I really am. But those nuances are sort of in turmoil right now for me, and I don’t really know how to portray myself as the person I really am through all of them. And on top of that, there are other characteristics I want people to associate with me, but I can’t figure out exactly how to portray them correctly. In particular, I want people to know that I am a nice person most of the time, but when I am serious about something I want them to listen to what I have to say and take it to heart, because when I am serious about something it’s because it’s a big deal for me.
The problem is that my voice is really deep, and when my face is relaxed, it kind of looks like I’m frowning. This results in my default expression and tone of voice when I am talking to people coming across as somewhat threatening or annoyed, when really I am almost certainly neither of those things. I’ve been able to lighten the blow by having a pretty well-developed sense of humor, so I can crack some pretty funny jokes if the mood needs lightening.
Unfortunately, it’s one step forward and two steps back, because when a conversation is going on in a group of people, I generally don’t say anything unless I think it’s of particular significance. What ends up happening, though, is that I say almost nothing for a while, and then when I finally try to interject, people are surprised, because they thought I was being anti-social and just not paying attention. Basically people think I’m anti-social when really I’m just overanalytical.
I dunno. I’ve started ranting, and that’s not what I intended to do. Let’s move on to the Overs!
Overprivileged: So this has two meanings. It means what it usually does, in that my parents are pretty well off and, despite what I might sometimes tell myself, I got a lot of good things as a kid. On top of that, I’m one of the few people I know with a really intact family tree. Nobody in my extended family has had a divorce, all of them are still alive, including all of my grandparents, and we are all on good terms with each other. My mom was born in Brazil, and all of the family on her side is still there, so we visit pretty frequently, which is another thing I have to remind myself I am very lucky to have.
And finally, since before I was even born my parents have been going to a really nice church on Mercer Island. It has a great kids program, everyone there is really nice, we’ve had very few problems with pastors, and until recently, we’ve never had trouble with people tithing enough, so we’ve always been able to organize things like church trips. The only trouble is, growing up in such a healthy, stable, supporting environment, I wasn’t ever really aware of how rare that is in the world, and I am usually not nearly as grateful to my parents, or just in general, as I should be.
But overprivileged means something else for me, too. Now it’s no secret that among my friends, I am usually considered the smart one. The only trouble with me being as smart as I am is that it’s caused two somewhat related things. One, it caused my ADD to go basically undetected by others until very recently, because I was doing so well in school that nobody suspected I was having trouble concentrating.
But number two, it cause me to develop really bad scholarly habits. Because I could figure things out so easily, I never had to focus on them long enough to realize I had ADD. And also, because I could figure things out so easily, it caused me to adopt a general habit of not taking school seriously, because if there was ever homework, I could do it really fast, and if there was a long-term project, I could do it all at the last minute.
Unfortunately, when I got into Junior, and then Senior year in high school, the homework actually started getting hard, and the projects started getting really long term. Long story short, my last two years of high school were an academic disaster. So yeah.
Overwhelmed: I think it’s safe to say that this ridiculously long brain dump is proof enough that I am overwhelmed by reality at the moment.
Overanalytical: So like I said before, a lot of times people think I’m being anti-social because I often seem like I’m ignoring a conversation being carried out right next to me, when really I’m just listening to what the people are saying and internalizing it.
Also, just in general, I overcomplicate and overthink things (that TWO holy crap), and it often frustrates people that are associating with me.
Overassertive: For one reason or another, sometimes I will ask someone to do something, but it accidentally comes across as a demand instead of a request because I will forget to say please, and I say it in a tone of voice that sounds demanding.
Really, though, the tone you’re hearing is just a matter-of-fact one, and I forget to say please because I’m not asking you to do it so much as I am pointing out that it needs to get done, and it would be nice if you did it cause I’m probably busy with something and that’s why I’m not doing it myself. And I know that sounds really passive aggressive, but really, I’m just asking you to do me a favor.
Overidealizing: This one is hard to explain. To give you an idea, I was going to have a separate entry on Overconfident, but I realized I’d basically be saying the same thing twice. Basically, whenever I imagine myself doing something, I always exaggerate how well I’d do at it and how much I’d enjoy it. Ok, maybe it wasn’t so hard to explain, it’s just a weird concept. I dunno.
Overheated: For some reason, I am basically ALWAYS too warm. And I’m not exaggerating. I mean that quite literally. It was snowing here a few days ago, and a couple of people were being crazy and running around without shirts on, so I decided to join them. I was out there for 10 minutes, and the only reason I went back inside was because everyone else had. I was actually sweating from running around while people threw snowballs at my bare chest.
And if that isn’t proof enough, as I am writing this I am sitting in my bed with just my underwear on and a summer blanket, and the window is open.
It’s about 28 degrees outside right now.
I also consistently go skiing in nothing much more than my snow pants and a t-shirt, and I love swimming in alpine lakes that still have chunks of ice in them. See, I told I wasn’t exaggerating.
Wow! That ended up being a lot more introspective than I was expecting. Hope it wasn’t too horribly boring, or long.
Deep down, I’m just a nice person, but because I don’t fully understand myself, I come across as…well…not that.