Friday, April 20, 2012

R: Really?

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. ~Kurt Vonnegut
When someone asks who are you, what do you say?
Are you mom, dad, husband,wife, nurse, writer, lover, fighter?  Do you give your occupation, relationships, characteristics? 
How would you answer this in an interview:  Why should I hire you over the others?  What makes you special?

Most of the time when someone asks, we say "Fine, how are you?" merely being social, not sincere. On more than one occasion, though, I've wanted to say "Horrible.  Let me tell you why..." 
How come I don't?  I know they don't Really want to know. 
But also, it comes from being afraid to share who I really am at the moment. I want to be accepted. If I Reveal myself I Risk being Rejected or Ridiculed.  I wish someone would see through the mask to who I am without me having to say it.

No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

We want to be accepted for who we are, but if we won't share how can we? How can you be Real?

  • Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde. Define yourself on your own terms.
  • Consider others opinions or advice, but make up your own mind. You are Responsible for who you are.  Don't give up that control to others.
  • Pause long enough to think about who you are:  what do you like? don't like? what music, colors, clothes?  Think about your style.
  • Learn not to compare yourself with others. This is hard since others seem to be and have what we want.  Seems to, but the grass isn't always greener.
  • Learn from the past and move on.  You can't change what's already happened.
  • Do unto yourself as you'd do unto others.  Be kind, forgiving, encouraging.
  • Be authentic.  Don't say it if you don't mean it.  Don't agree if you don't believe it.  Don't say yes when you Really mean no.
  • Choose to be yourself.
Originality is... a by-product of sincerity. ~Marianne Moore

Really?  Who are you Really?
In writing we would edit out Really and say it's better.   In life, we edit out Really and we edit out ourselves.


  1. Great post, love the last line, in life, we edit out really and we edit out ourselves. It is quite easy to lose yourself when all you do is pretend or never acknowledge yourself to yourself.

  2. I enjoyed your clear thoughts on this. Perhaps others will never really know who we are. My husband doesn't even know. Each person sees a different aspect according to what you present. Blog on!

  3. Excellent post. It really got me thinking about who I really am. Thanks for posting.