The world is changing. There seems to be less depth to people and to life in general. Everything is quick, fast and easy. No one takes time to invest in their thoughts and ideas, their friends or in their everyday life. Everyone is looking for a fan club, either to be the leader of so people will follow them around and tell them how great they are, or to be apart of and try to relate themselves to death. There is a lack of self awareness.
Who are you?
Who am I?
I suppose I am vexed by people and their ignorance of who they are. Being self invested means looking closely at yourself, finding the flaws, understanding them and changing them. It means taking the time to find yourself, and that is the ultimate investment. Out of this investment we get confidence.
I write a lot about self discovery and self examination, it is because every day I discover something about myself, sometimes good and sometimes bad. The biggest albatross around my neck has been the lack of self confidence when it comes to believing in myself to complete a task successfully and with brilliance. That being said, I am not a sniveling scaredy cat who stutters in public and is afraid to be myself. No, I laugh loudly, crooked teeth and all. I am who I am, yes I struggle at times with exactly who that is, but never-the-less, I continue to practice the fine art of being me.
I recently observed a man, trying devilishly hard to relate to someone. He had done what this other man had done. He knew what the other man knew. He had a story to go with every little word that dripped out of the man’s mouth with whom he held conversation. When others tried to speak, he spoke louder. In fact he spoke so loud that people finally gave up trying to get a word in edge wise.
Upon closer inspection, I found him with no clue as to who he was and a lot of misplaced confidence. Sadly, I thought he could be a great person, I saw amazing qualities in him, if he only tried harder to be himself. Though it’s not so much about trying as it is about allowing yourself to be you.
Sometimes we miss out when we try to hard to be something we are not or to relate. We miss out on friendships and opportunities. We can not possibly relate to the whole world, nor would we want to. Part of what makes this earth such an amazing ride is our differences. I don’t want to surround myself with ‘like’ people, I want the challenge. I want to learn from someone whose take on life may be quite opposite from mine. I want to hear their stories of who they are, what they have done and where they have been and then pause to chew on every last word.
Relating is often started with an Interjection. An interjection is a great part of the english language. Great sentences have been said after “Wow!: and “That’s Awesome!”. But just think if we let everyone complete what they have to say without interrupting with our own bevy of thoughts, we might just learn so much more about them and about life. That isn’t to say we don’t discuss things with them, but letting someone finish their sentence and then thinking about it before we speak is a very insightful thing indeed.
I am not perfect. I interrupt. But I like to think that through the years I have become better at controlling my tongue and lassoing my thoughts. And more importantly I have started listening, instead of relating.
I think relating (there’s that word again!) takes the place of being ourselves when we try to hard to find a common ground. If we do not take measures to be ourselves we become like the painting by Rene Margritte. It shows a man in a suit and bowler hat. But where his face should be, there is a green apple.
I see the man, I see the apple in front of the man’s face. I think I see an eye, but where’s his face?
Who is he?
I can only eat an apple for so long before I get hungry for something else, something of substance.
As I tell my daughter, Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken.