Who R U? Public Self v. Private Self

May 20, 2008:

Wondering: wondering about the self. Do we really want to know people? Or do we just want to know someone in as much as we want them to confirm our own self-worth, our own world-view?

And when do we stop being “us”? Do we even notice it ourselves? How many people really connect to themselves each day – the person they are after the façade and “social masks” are taken off?

Someone was telling me this weekend that I seem to lack a filter when it comes to approaching people. This certain person was reporting about how I seem to brazenly message or talk to someone of a more public status…I guess you’d say a “celebrity”? A writer, established. I don’t know…I simply see people as people, you know? So, I don’t put people on too high of pedestals, from which they are certain to fall. I mean, I admire them, sure…I respect them, but I don’t “revere” them. Reverence is for gods.

Anyway, of course, social filters ARE a good thing. We don’t want people running around department stores naked or you know, invading your “personal space” (something which I personally cannot stand– I treasure my space!).

I was reading from Joyce Carol Oats’ Journal today and came across this entry, she writes:

“Daily life, a matter of “and so on and so forth,” and one must force onself to consider, to examine, to see the person with whom one lives and blunders through these adventures”

Now, she’s talking about marriage and how, in daily life, you can kind of “blend” together….but when I first read it, I thought it very much applied to the SELF. Your self. Who you are, what your desires are, day to day. So many people I know kind of avoid the self, avoid feeling certain things…distract themselves with “stuff” or dissociative activities…Of course, we can all fall victim to just getting lost in a haze…especially when life seems to be too hectic and we don’t have the time to relax, etc…

I guess I just spend a fair amount of time thinking, analyzing, internalizing…and, in fact, too much of that can be harmful. I think I fell victim to that a lot when I was younger…and still do from time to time, though I think I’ve learned the tools to recognize the patterns. You know, how sometimes you can “dwell” too long on something or, you feel like staying in but deep down you know that you should probably go out, if just for a bit, and you’d feel better.

It’s all about balance. Anyway, but as I was saying – I feel like there’s a lot of people who just don’t know who they are, fundamentally. And I mean, I would go mad…I HAVE gone mad, from lack of being in tune with myself.

But what about getting to know others? I mean, why do people even read blogs? Do you really want to know what I’m thinking, do I want to know what I’m really thinking, etc.

I am interested in the people we play, the numbers of persona we inhabit, create. How aware are we of the myriad of selves employed form day-to-day, setting to setting?

Sometimes I shock myself. I do. I find myself writing something and going “did I write that? DID I?” It’s fascinating. There’s a whole other universe in me and I have only discovered perhaps a small percentage. Think of two people combined! That’s an infinite number of galaxies! Darkness, light, space, beauty, rage…lifetimes of selves! And what’s more, some people want so badly to “discover” someone else, but often times, once they do draw back that curtain, they retreat…because subconsciously, this desire to “discover” someone, to fall in love and “cure” another or somehow become “complete” by finding a mate…is really the desire to know the self…your own being – which is infinite. Think about it….you are infinite. I mean, of course you’re mortal, etc…but you have worlds of capabilities at your fingertips! And why is it that most people are more afraid of themselves than any other human being?

God, if I could become like the Galileo Galilie of human beings! But even Galileo, did he know the vastness of the self? Surely. But maybe not.

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