A week or so ago I approached G, a friend of mine, to ask her for a guest post for this blog. I suggested something like "Why it's OK for girls to be into bloke stuff" because I have at times witnessed entertaining discussions within this sphere on that subject and G is well placed to comment on it. I received more than I expected, not one but four posts, for which she has my sincerest thanks. So here's the first post, the other three will be published over the next few days.
I thought I’d start by introducing myself in much the same way Jenny did. But then I realised that I could be dissected in a hundred different ways, and each would show someone completely different. Slice me one way, and you’d see the only daughter of a family three- quartered: my mother, my father, me, minus my older brother who died three years ago. Cut me another way, and you’d see the live-in partner of a man whose intelligence is seemingly limitless, but who nevertheless found something in me to raise me in his eyes above the herd. To friends, to co-workers, to managers, to strangers… again and again different versions of me.
It’s quite hard, therefore, to think about defining myself outside the views of others. Quite simply, beyond the actual sperm-meets-egg moment of my creation, my whole life has been subjectively fashioned. This makes it tough for me to pull down a list of characteristics that I can simply point to and identify with. I suspect that most people don’t think that hard about themselves: they just are. Lucky them to be free of such existential gnawings! But my point is, which me would you, the reader, actually like to find out about?
Anyway! I’m called Gray and I live and work in Kent, the south-eastern-most county of England. I’m an IT trainer for a mental health charity, and a Skills for Life tutor (basic English and maths for adults) in a prison; so you could surmise (correctly) that I’m quite an altruistic person. I’m loyal, kind, generous, fun; temperamental, obnoxious, garrulous. Most people don’t ‘get’ me; I do feel very square-peggish. My one biggest chip on my shoulder is when people call me ‘weird’. It’s never used in a positive way and I’m far too sensitive to let ungracious comments, be they inadvertent or deliberate, slide over me and away. Barbs dig; they dig deep and stay in. So, yes, I’ve learnt to be pretty private about myself to people who I call ‘the peripherals,’ ones who won’t ever be more in my life than co-worker or pub acquaintance.
Jenny asked me privately not to reveal her female world to our mutual friends; in respect of this, and to prevent people stumbling across this blog through searching for me and identifying Jenny, I’ve given myself a new name. But the rest of it will be as true as I can make it, bearing in mind what I said above about subjectivity. If you have any questions, do ask. I might even answer! :)