Anyway, seeing Julie again got me thinking about the people that know me best. And it's a tough call. I'd put them in this order, roughly.
1. Declan. Don't know if he counts, as he's not really conscious of my "personality," but he definitely sees the real me, 24-7. I mean, he sees me in all states of undress, crying, talking to myself, swearing and jumping around like an idiot when I stub my toe on the playpen for the four thousandth time...
2. Aaron, duh. Lower than Declan because I do sometimes try to act sane around him. Aaron witnessed my full turn around from college party teenager to stay at home mom, up close and in person. I'd say he's seen me at my worst. Which means for all of you who think you've seen me at my worst... it gets worse.
3. Julie. Higher than my other friends mostly because of the length of time we've known each other. We're going on ten years now, which means that she was around to see me go through an awful lot of awkward phases. And an added bonus for going to camp together, because I am super genuine at camp.
4. College friends. I think I really came into my own during college. Became comfortable with my personality, my body, became more confident and had more good friends. We lived together, we ate together, we had many a deep, philosophical discussion. We also had many an argument, many a drink, and many a OMG-please-help-me-make-flash-cards-or-I-will-for-sure-fail moment. While I have changed a TON since leaving Grinnell, the person who I was while there is still a big part of me, even if I don't let her out of her cage very often.
5. Family. I am pretty much myself around my family, but I'm usually not put in situations in which I do anything noteworthy. I feel comfortable around them, but I definitely censor myself somewhat, and, lets face it, there are just some topics that I do not want to discuss with the same people who changed my diapers. Also, I never ever talked about boys with family until college. Sometimes I wonder if my parents thought I was a lesbian or something, and if they were surprised when I started talking about boyfriends. Because of all the things about myself that I have questioned, my sexuality was never one of them. Just, um, FYI.
6. High school friends. I honestly wish I could go back and have a do-over of high school. It wasn't terrible. But it could have been so much better if I had the confidence that I gained in college. I feel like high school friends got the watered down version of me.
Other people fit in there in-between numbers. Like, I thought camp friends were probably a 5.5, because I was more genuine and outgoing at camp than I was at school, but still pretty straightlaced... then I remembered that one trip to the beach, which bumps a few camp friends up a couple notches. Ah, the beach.