I have some confessions to make. These may come as a shock to some of you, to others they may not. I have been doing some soul-searching, and I’ve had to come to terms with some things about myself. And I need to be honest with all of you, my friends.

I am not perfect. I have spent my entire life attempting to conceal my flaws, particularly from people that I respect and look up to, but I am able to do this no longer. So I thought I would just put it all out on the table.

I am a compulsive shopper. I buy things that I don’t need, and that tomorrow I might not even want anymore. But shopping is like a drug. Buying things makes me feel good. I am physically and psychologically incapable of going into a store without buying something. Anything. Anything to feed my addiction.

I am hopelessly disorganized. I have never been able to master the art of keeping things “nice”. From the time I was a child up until I moved in with my husband, my bedroom was always a disaster. No room to walk. Marrying a man who is somewhat obsessive compulsive has forced me to condense my disorganization a bit. But my closet and cabinets are just crammed full of stuff. The mess is just hidden now.

The only area in which I am “organized” at all, is really just another compulsive behavior. My CD and DVD collections are strictly alphabetized. There is no tolerance for anything just put back into an empty slot. Everything MUST be in its place. I can spend hours reorganizing them, and shuffling the entire collection to make room for a new one in its proper spot.

I am a smoker. I started smoking when I was 18, and I attempted to conceal it for a long time when I first started. Most or all of you probably already knew, but I include it in this confession because it is a behavior I am still often compelled to hide. I have quit several times, and once for a couple of years. But I have been smoking again for over a year, and don’t see myself quitting in the immediate future.

I am overweight. I don’t exercise. I don’t diet. I drink too much soda, and not enough water.

I battle daily with acne. Currently in the clear skin war, I am gaining ground. But there’s no telling when the enemy will make a strong comeback.

I cuss too much.

I have done some bad things in my life. I have made some very poor decisions. Suffice it to say that I have not always lived a wholesome, healthy, law-abiding, Christian life. Actually, I have made some very self-destructive decisions, and it is only by the grace of God that I am still alive, and I’ve never been arrested.

I am anxious and insecure. Frequently. Constantly actually. I worry about everything. I want to make people happy, and I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I want people to like me, and think that I am a good, smart, happy, normal, well-adjusted person. I want people to look up to me.

So I have spent my life doing my best to appear to be the person I thought you wanted to see. But I have come to the realization that I have probably been unsuccessful at fooling most people. And that anyone I have fooled doesn’t know me. They know the imaginary person I’ve been pretending to be.

In many ways, I’m just starting to get to know myself. And my new year’s resolution for 2008 is to be me. Just me. If there’s something about myself I don’t like, I can change it. But I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not.

I hope you all still like me, and still enjoy being my friends, despite all the flaws I’ve tried to hide. I may be screwed up in the head, but I love all of you very much.