who I am

Besides growing old alone, heights, the world running out of chocolate, and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes actually happening, I really believe my biggest fear is not being known.  In other words, being misunderstood, or if I may, {the perception of what others want me to be, but I’m really not}.

Please don’t think I’m talking about the concern of what others think of me, i.e. whether they think I dress in an odd fashion, or have put on weight, or don’t talk enough.  I’m talking about something deeper, something more life altering.  I read the books that contain the following quotes.  Both of them made me realize, “Wow!  If I’m not careful, I can become somebody I’m not.”  A lie, really.  A conjured up version of myself, based on assumptions, the needs of organizations, the perceived betterment of a group, etc.

“Looking out the window, I felt mostly lonely.  It was the kind of loneliness that cannot see past itself, a skulking suspicion that the world was not mine to inherit.  I listened as they spoke, laughed when they laughed, raised my glass as such moments presented themselves, all the while marking time.  I was sorry for the way everyone imagined my life to be my own, for the way they really did seem to like me, asking did my fish still have bones, and how pretty I looked.  I wished I could give something back.  But yet, I knew that all that they wanted from me was all that they needed from me, and that is a treacherous path to consent to travel, in the sense of suppressing things sought for the self.  That is to say, you being solely what others want you to be.” ~ taken from the novel Anthropology of an American Girl, by Hilary Thayer Hamann.

“The worst burden in life is what others know about us.  But maybe there is one burden even worse than this.  It happens when they don’t know about us, it is what they think about us when, in silence, they force us to be what they expect us to be.  Even worse is how we become it.”  ~ taken from the novel Zoli, by Colum McCann.

I’m learning [finally!] there’s a difference between being selfish and being who I am supposed to be.  No matter how hard I try, I will not fit a mold I am not created to fit.  I can change.  I can adapt.  Those are often necessary requirements.  But if I wake up one morning and realize, “Hells bells, I am an actress living in a shell of a person!”, I need to figure out who I am, and be me.

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