Tuesday, April 29, 2008

to be or not to be

how can you really know what you're good at? or what you're bad at, for that matter? we are so inside of ourselves, our own perspective, that sometimes (most of the time), it's very difficult to take an honest look at ourselves.

how do others see us? we can only see ourselves in a mirror and from the inside. for all intents and purposes, we don't even REALLY know what we look like. what does our face show on it--do we tell all or do we hide everything? do we appear to be who we really are?

i'm pretty sure my face shows everything. if i'm not happy, i look unhappy. if i'm happy, you can see it. if i'm confused, or bored there's no doubt. if i think someone is stupid, they can see that on my face. (this has not always been a good thing.) i have had many an occasion to wish that i was more able to wear a mask than i am. i would make a lousy poker player.

i often find myself surprised when people tell me that i'm good at a particular thing. often it's something that i just take for granted and don't really think about. i suppose the things we're really good at are just second nature to us.

sometimes, i'm surprised when i see myself in the mirror...feeling a sudden sense of "who is that person?" like my outer self has nothing to do with the inner. it's like a flash of non-recognition. why does that happen? does it happen to everyone?

in recent years, several times, people have indicated that they think that i appear to be a person who can't and definitely doesn't cook. that has been the strangest one for me. what is it about me that gives off that signal? because i definitely can cook and in fact it's one of the things that i would say myself that i'm very good at and one of the major sources of joy and relaxation in my life. but why is it that i apparently look like someone who can't? what is it about how i appear to them that makes them think that?

what other disconnects are there between who i really am and who i appear to be? i'll have to ponder that one on another occasion because right now, who i am is really tired!


Jaime said...

I've wondered about this too. It's kind of like when you hear a recording of your own voice. It sounds so different from what you hear when you hear yourself speak! And I wonder...does everyone hear my voice differently?

I think it is one of those things that is different for everyone. What I mean is, how you perceive yourself is different from how another perceives you, which is different from how ANOTHER person perceives you, and so on. We all have different life stories and we observe from different points of view. No one, including ourselves, is right or wrong in our observations...just different. I don't think there is a definitive answer to who we are...and it changes constantly!

Wow, I hope this comment makes sense. I too am really really tired. Should have waited till morning to write this. yikes.

julochka said...

actually, it makes perfect sense. i've thought about that with the voice too...i always cringe a bit when i hear my own voice in a recording...i couldn't possibly sound like THAT!!

i totally agree that we all have different observations about ourselves and others and that they are not necessarily right or wrong. people are complex! i guess that's what makes life pretty cool! :-)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

I agree on the voice thing. Definitely. I don't like to hear my own voice and wonder if that's really how I sound to others or is it only to my own ears?
I think this will sound odd but I don't say my own name very often and so it sounds funny to my ears when I do so. Like it belongs to another person. As Jaime said there's no right or wrong, just different views of us from different people.
Great post, and I too need to think more on this!