I don’t know where or who I got it from, but I am a bit of a drama queen, and quite a bit of a thrill junkie. If my life is quiet, as you probably have assessed from this Blog, I do get really itchy and try to weave my way into new adventures. When I get bored, my writer brain runs out of things to write about. So I decide to make MYSELF interesting. At least, that’s what I used to do as a kid :
1. When I was six, I pretended I had fainted in the stairwell. Everyone rushed to my aid. One by one people would shake me , and I tried to remain immobile to convince everyone that I was seemingly dying. This caused a huge uproar because at the time I was at a party. However this quickly changed when I heard my mother’s voice “Oh for goodness sakes Maryam get up”
2. When I was eight, my best friend convinced me that the slime in the caterpillar was poisonous, so I spent a good amount of time rolling around the grass in agony and planning my funeral. Everyone would wear long black veils and eat porridge. The kids who bullied me would regret the day they had di this.She did out of revenge because I spooked her deer. Yes, she had a deer for a pet….
3. When I was 10, I was convinced that maybe I had an identical twin somewhere waiting for me and I just didn’t know it.
4. When I was 12, I kept getting into detention so I decided to write long and torrid horror novels where an undead zombie kept body parts in jars in a long pit in hell and secretly plotted his revenge…
5. When I was 15 I convinced the people I was with who were ignoring me at the time that I was going crazy by splattering sugar on the table and laughing uncontrollably and talking about my “friend” right next to me named Pebbles.
6. When I was 16, I had a friend who would start to sing just as badly as me and would dance wildly in the streets.
6. In college I had the odd habit of “singing badly” ( Quite convincingly , it is a mixture of a drunk muppet and a seagull). I probably could have been an overnight sensation with it 🙂 One day, a nice Indian engineering student knocked on my door and told me to be quiet. But at least he was smiling! I have a friend who still thinks I sound a little like this :
My mother did not take these bouts of dramatic and bouncy energy very lightly. Her British sensibility did not really appreciate it, nevermind the fact that in Latin America you really are supposed to be discreet and quiet. But I missed that devil-may-care – laugh and dance in the rain innocent attitude I once had. It was frantic energy and ecstatic joy that filled me up in those moments.
Needless to say, I stopped intentionally doing those things when I realized that people don’t really take you seriously if you do it. It’s not like I needed incentive for people to think of me in a certain way, I mean I did get myself into comical situations unintentionally anyways… so really there was no need to seek out fake drama.
I also have a very odd, goofy sense of humor. It means I will sing at the top of my lungs or dance in the streets or laugh hysterically over nothing. In some countries I grew up in, this behavior was not looked at well. But it made me happy. There was something so completely liberating about it…
It means that I can do accents really well and when people do not like “americanized” accents, I can create a fake one so that they will help me when I get lost. ( It actually works… tried it various times in London.) I also developed an English as a second language persona, because I felt bad that I was the only one in my school who did not have an accent.
My friends also tell me , especially the more serious ones, that I keep thinking that my problems are bigger than they are. I tended to also seek out dramatic relationships . Sometimes it is hard to find out what was my real memory and what was something my writer’s mind invented.
As I grow older, I realize that the drama is not worth the struggle of it. As I grow comfortable in my own skin, I have no need to put on a show, but I still love dancing the streets once in a while.