“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”
― Gillian Flynn
Who are you?
How do you answer a question like that?
How do you define yourself, explain your being, capture your identity… for yourself, for others?
What’s your synopsis for yourself?
Now, most of us have pat answers we give to that question – Who are you?
We’re prepared for this question. It’s a common question for humans, which others ask of us, which we ask of ourselves, which we ask of others, and others ask of themselves.
We have practised answers, and we may have a different answer for different people and diverse situations.
But all of us are fairly aware of the fact that who we are is a moveable feast. A cornucopia… but not everyone wants to taste all of us, they just want the part of us which they’re asking for, which tastes good to them for this reason or that… or something like that.
A prospective employer (or a date or a friend, a potential partner of some sort, in love, friendship or business and such) does not necessarily want to know everything about you, they just want to know you’ll be a valuable asset to their own Who Are They? They want to know who you are with regards to who they are. Does your identity fit well with theirs? Does your you support their them?
If they’re into one thing and not the other – ie. into science but not philosophy, into supposed facts but not fiction or the abstract side of facts – then they’ll want an answer from you which reflects their own proclivities…
This morning, the second time in the short span of a week, I was woken up by Jehovah’s Witnesses ringing my doorbell.
This happened when I first moved into this place, but hasn’t happened since then… so I thought the local chapter had put my address down as ‘unsaveable, so don’t bother’. Which was a relief – I really don’t want others trying to save me as part of them saving themselves, the intention behind their motives to help me seems a bit… questionable.
The first recent visit ended with the two fairly young male JW’s accepting my – Thank you, but no thank you – and not arguing with me about it. They looked a bit frightened by just woken up me who greeted them. Which was nice.
The second recent visit, this morning, as soon as I said – Thank you, but no thank you – the rumblings of an argument began because this JW was older than the previous ones, and me, therefore… checked out my exposed legs as though they were rather more interesting than my face (the guy was lucky or unlucky that I was dressed at all)… felt that I didn’t know what I was saying, thinking, feeling, believing because he knew better. He asked me if I’d read the bible, which I nipped in the bud with – I don’t discuss this kind of thing with others. Which scared him off… or maybe he saw the cloven hoof slippers on my feet (I wasn’t wearing slippers…).
What I wanted to say was – Dude, I don’t know who you are so I wouldn’t tell you if I’d read Bridget Jones’ Diary.
“Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I should probably mention at this point that even if I know you, love you, trust you… don’t wake me up, especially if I’ve worked through the night and have only had an hour or two of sleep. Sleep is my precious, and if you wake me up, I may look and behave as though I’ve barely escaped Mordor and am still trying to escape it. My eyes may be crossed and seem like one, that of Sauron.
I’m also on my period… no, you really didn’t need to know that, it’s TMI, but I’m on that horse, riding it like Lady Godiva on steroids… still want to save me?
Sometimes when I get woken up, especially by the doorbell, and forced to socialise, especially with strangers… afterwards I look in the mirror to see wtf random doorbell ringers were forced to face. It sometimes scares me too, other times it makes me laugh – I’m not pretty in the mornings, and not particularly pleasing even when I make an effort to be that way (my partner told me that this is BS… and asked that I include his objection to my view of myself in this post… he’s very sweet and deluded).
Do you ever look in the mirror and… think you’ve seen a ghost… of who-knows-what?
Are you the person you see reflected in a mirror?
Okay, I admit, that’s a trick question because who we see when we look in the mirror is elusive. That person, and what we see, can change in the blink of an eye, a shift in mood, a variation of thought which alters our perspective… or the mirror is flawed, ’cause mirrors have issues too.
And what we see is still only the physical, our view of the physical, even when we see beyond that… there is just so much to each and every one of us that eyes can’t perceive.
The title of this post comes from a search term which led someone to my blog, and which stood out because it was intriguing…
Why do we see something strange when we stare at ourselves in a mirror?
Strangely enough… what I see in the mirror when I look in it, which these days is less often than I used to… is a friend, a very old friend of mine who was there for me when I had no one else… someone who looked at me and saw me rather than what they needed to see in me, what they wanted me to reflect for them… and so on… those times between me and the mirror… were the only times I didn’t feel strange.
“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.”
― Laurie Halse Anderson
What about you?
What do you think?
What do you feel?
Who are you?