Je suis Laura, but people just seem to prefer Linda. Job applicants, sales people, colleagues, new acquaintances, old friends – at least once a week, often more – call me Linda. Sometimes, the mistake is realized the moment it is spoken, and the embarrassed apologies abound. Usually, though, the conversation carries on with none the wiser (except Linda) and I settle into my alliterative alter-ego for the duration.
Living life as Linda seriously complicates my lifelong identity crisis. Who is this Laura character, really – and could her life be described as meaningful or worthwhile? I am convinced that when I die, no one will notice or care much about my absence. Driven by the continuous urge to matter or at least not be normal or boring, I aim for outrageous – but settle for weird.
I dream possibilities. I’m an instigator, an alligator. I long to see the world, to be fearlessly swept along in the current of far-away cultures. I consult the thesaurus regularly, because I don’t like using the same old words to communicate what should be a unique expression. As much as I love the art of stringing the right words together, I believe visual imagery can be equally powerful. I dabble in both words and imagery to satisfy the need to create, to be uniquely me, to find purpose. I am compelled to form connections with – and deep down, to gain acceptance by – people, the world (in all its diversity) and drink in everything I can about how and why things are.
I’ve been meaning to start writing, really writing, for most of my life. I’m out of excuses, so here i am. This is a place where pieces of me can find a home, outside my head. It doesn’t matter if anyone visits, i just need to push these things out into the world.
I am the sum of every experience, each person I have known and all the mistakes I have made. If I live each day well, the sum of me will grow until my last breath.