I don’t know who I am. I don’t know if others suffer from as complete a lack of identity as I do. I have a vague picture of myself, and I often find that other people have a diametrically opposite opinion of me. For example, I think I am an invisible, average, eminently forgettable person, but a friend who knows me from my blog thinks I am a firebrand. I think I am undemanding in relationships, while a friend considers me as being very demanding. Who am I? Am I what I think I am, or what others perceive of me ? Did that tree that fell in an empty forest make a sound or not?
There is a song that we sang in a musical in high school that never fails to amaze me at how well it suits me:
There seem to be several people
Locked up inside of me
Fighting a constant battle
For my identity
Sometimes they keep me prisoner
Sometimes they set me free
Is one of them my true being?
Is one of them really me?
I have an ideal image of what I want to be. Quiet, comforting, mature, emotionally balanced, neat – both physically and mentally, spiritual and strong. In the course of growing, I have achieved a few, but most remain elusive.
In working on my year’s resolution of eliminating clutter (boy, is that hard or what?), I have been spending a lot of time in introspection, in trying to make some sense of the mess inside of me – trashing unwanted negative thoughts and memories and filing feelings and opinions into defined slots that can be eventually discarded completely, in an ambitious route to nirvana. But that is an uncertain and evidently unrealistic future – as I see my grandmother grope around with her memories, mixing past with present, I fear for my own senile years – the less memories to confuse me then, the better.
So far, I have identified a set of strengths that must be further strengthened, and a bunch of weaknesses that must be remedied vis-à-vis the attainment of the ideal “me”.
- My mind has quieted down considerably. Back in high school, I was called the “jumping jack” not only for the constant physical state of unrest in which I existed, but also for the mental perturbation that both fired me up and burned me down. Now I am one baby-step closer to my ideal of ‘calm and mature’ – there’s still miles to go, but one step at a time is the mantra.
-A downside to a quiet mind is the mellowing of the fire inside. What used to be a blaze, is now a steady, dull glow that quashes creativity. Is there a way to retain the calm without killing the mojo? Needs work.
- I have never been a materialistic person. This has become stronger now. I feel no need to buy anything for myself anymore, except, perhaps, chocolates. I occasionally buy things for the kid, or for the house, but that’s only because I feel that my own Spartan-ness should not impose restrictions on others.
- The downside of being austere is that I become less interesting to other people. Is that good or bad? I don’t know.
- My emotional stability has marginally improved. Except for brief times when the brain chemicals are beyond my control, I am able to stay somewhat placid. The kid and dude would, I am sure, beg to differ, but as I said before, the improvement is marginal, and one that only I can perceive.
- I am less influenced by what others think of me, than before. There are some people in my life whose opinions of me still significantly matter, but such people are far fewer now than before. There are people who think well of me, and it doesn’t tickle me pink like it used to (why do I keep checking the site stats then?). I also know of people who wouldn’t stay in the same room as me without wanting to gouge my eyes out, and that’s ok too. The latter, in particular, is a liberating feeling.
- The downside of the above is that I appear to have become cold as a person. That is, in reality, not true. I don’t feel cold. I don’t feel hot either. Tepid, perhaps.
- I have come to terms with the fact that I am an average person . I am here by the roll of the divine dice that willed that I have everything I need to live. It’s ok to be average. This would probably appear banal to others, but it is a big deal to me because I have always been a narcissistic prick who believed that I was special and the world had better cater to my every need. I am appalled at the LG that used to be and given a chance, would go back in time, slap her and tell her “you are less than a blip in the blip in the blip of humanity and the world will go on despite you”.
- I am a clumsy person. Physically. I cannot do anything without creating a phenomenal mess. I trip when I walk, I stutter when I talk (especially on the phone with strangers), I spill when I handle, I scribble when I write, in short, klutz, is thy name LG? I am ashamed of it, especially since the general belief is that physical messiness is an indication of inner clumsiness. This is something I really want to correct, but the more I try to change, the worse I become. This is perhaps my cross to bear.
As I see it, the stables need more the drop of water I am using to clean it up. Someday, the drops may add up to Alpheus and Peneus and flush out the system completely.
Into that heaven of freedom, I hope to awake.