Thursday, November 29, 2012

My interior life-- Independent George v. Holden Caulfield

Most of you already know I'm obsessed with Seinfeld.  Big fan.

Most of you already know I used to blog (& post my updates on Facebook) for all my friends & family to see.  Then, I stopped.  Why?

Well, I think my fictional friend, George, can explain it better than I can.  Here he is expressing his fears and frustrations about his worlds colliding-- when his girlfriend and his friends interact.

And I guess that's what I felt like when I hit publish with my blog originally.  My worlds started to collide.  So I took a breather.

And after some time off, I decided I missed blogging, so I started again.  I blogged about a lot of things--  the kids, religious stuff, culture of life stuff, silly things, etc.  You get the picture.  So I kept blogging & blogging, and after a while I started to miss sharing my posts.  I'd write something and think, Kelly would laugh at this, or, Amy would love this one.

But, for some reason, I still couldn't hit that share button on Facebook.  So, I started thinking, and thinking, like I always do.  And I started thinking, maybe I'm not worried about my worlds colliding.  Maybe I'm not George Costanza.  Maybe I'm Holden Caulfield.  Maybe I'm afraid of being called a "phony."

So, I mulled that over for a week or two, and then I remembered a paper I wrote in high school about Holden Caulfield.  So, I re-read it-- my research paper on The Catcher in the Rye from 17 years ago.  Half a lifetime ago.  Sister Mary Catherine was my English teacher back then.  Ah, the memories.  Did I mention I got a 100% for content?  No joke.  I am so proud of my 17-year-old self.

Basically, I argued that Holden was not crazy (as so many literary critics labelled him).  Instead, I described him as unique and double-minded (open minded?), "enraptured" with authenticity and sincerity.  Yes, I'm really quoting my 17-year-old self.  Holden kind of saw the world as black and white; he was a person of extremes.  If anything or anyone contradicted, he would label them as "phony," which, according to the literary critic I cited in my paper, "indicates a contemptuous condescension toward the failure of his society to measure up to his expectations" (French).  So there it is gang-- Holden's tragic flaw.  His standards and expectations were impossibly high, and the world could never live up to his standards.  In fact, I'd argue that Holden himself couldn't live up to his own standards.  Having high standards didn't make Holden crazy; it made him sad.  For real.  At the end of the novel, he begrudgingly accepted that the world would never be perfect, and remained resentful.  In my paper, I actually called Holden a "hater."  Who knew that my slang would become a part of pop culture years later?  What a trend setter, I am.

So, long story short, I realized reading my old paper that, like Holden, my own impossible standards are holding me back.  I will never be perfect, nor will the world.  My blog will never be perfect.  Some readers will love my posts; others will hate them.  That's life.

So, friends, if you've never been here before (or if you haven't been here in a long time), welcome (back) to my blog.  I am so happy to have you here.  If you're one of the Catholic e-friends I've made along the way, thank you.  I hope I don't lose you here.  And if you're one of the people who have continued reading since the beginning (on the sly), thank you for giving me time to figure out what this blog is (I'm getting there; it's still evolving), and thank you for your discretion.


  1. It takes courage to let your worlds collide, and a level of confidence. I used to keep my different circles of friends separate because the idea of my worlds colliding was more than my control freak self could handle. I didn't know what different friends would think when they found out from my other friends that I hadn't shared certain sides of myself with them. Made me nervous! So I know what you mean. Kudos on blending your worlds! :)

  2. I am really proud of 17 year old Kate but even more proud of 30(something) Kate. The Kate that I always loved didn't ever care what the haters said.
    Your paper remodel should be called Kate and Holden. Kindred spirits........