Every year comes to an end with all of us Queens residents knowing just a little more about ourselves and what makes us tick. And just as surely every year starts with us once again trying to figure ourselves out, ideally for all time.
I’m no different. This past year, for example, I came to see that the minute I arrive anywhere, I’ve already overstayed my welcome, that all I ever seem to do right is to make the wrong impression and that if I were a Broadway show, I probably would have closed the second night.
And that’s just for starters. I also recognized that if I had gone to charm school, I definitely would have flunked out, that I’m occasionally so unsure of my identity that I have to forge my own signature, and that I’m so terrible in relationships that even my self-love goes unrequited.
So yes, I have issues. Evidently only my limitations are unlimited. At last count, my emotional and behavioral shortcomings numbered precisely umpteen.
As it happens, I learned more this past year than ever about the never-ending puzzle that is me. Here, then, based on my private journal and revealed for the first time, are my key takeaways from this personal audit.
Take my mental health status. Though I’m now in my extremely late 30s — 67 if you must know — self-delusion remains my medication of choice. And if you ever ask me if I’m in denial, I’ll probably deny it. In short, fiction is still my favorite reality.
I admit it: My tennis racquet is strung a little too tight. I suffer from a condition known as acute hardening of the attitudes. It’s true. My skin may well be the thinnest of any known mammal. My idea of stress relief is often to punch a stranger in the throat.
I mean, I’ve long since stopped talking to myself, if only because I never listen anyway. Any time I feel good — really, really good — I know that if I just wait a minute, I’ll get over it. But no need to worry about me. I’d kill myself before I ever commit suicide.
I’ve also recently realized that I’m unable to resist people who find me irresistible, that I occasionally demonstrate an absolute genius for stupidity and that I always want to be invited to parties, even if it’s only so I can say no. And that maybe that’s why I’ve finally achieved the international obscurity I’ve always deserved.
I also lack even the faintest spirit of adventure. Over the summer I took my comfort zone in for an MRI. It turned out to measure only three square inches, the smallest ever recorded in human history.
Even so, I have strengths that run well into the low single digits. Politically, I now identify myself as a flaming moderate. Next year I even plan to come out of the closet as bipartisan.
At times, as a person, I actually approach adequacy. I also have no illusions about reality. I’ve come to understand that to expect anything in the universe to be logical is clearly irrational. And you can count on me for commitment. Believe you me, once I break a promise, it stays broken. True, some people might find me pretentious. But that’s only because I’m pretending to be. Some people just misunderstand me incorrectly.
You might tackle such self-analysis before the clock strikes midnight on 2019. Reckoning with your life can be profoundly therapeutic. Probably the worst that could happen is you’ll realize your suspicions are the truth.
Bob Brody is an executive and essayist in Forest Hills and the author of the memoir “Playing Catch with Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes of Age.”