I’m bored in a hotel, so I’ve picked up an old draft of a post of one of those wounded warrior meditations. Sorry.
Part of my problem with my source material is that so much of it smacks too much of “such a worm as I,” albeit in a new agey way, which probably makes it even worse. Take today’s topic. Please. [/rimshot] The point seems to be that “as boys, we learned we had to find out who others wanted us to be,” and then we had to become that person. “Now,” though, we’re ready to become our “authentic” self.
I know that a large part of growing up is figuring out what societal norms are, and we ignore those norms at our own peril. I’m sure most of my male readership, and probably the female as well, knows all too well the pain of not conforming. If I cared what my bucking those norms has cost me in my life, it would probably drive me mad. What, don’t you think, as I do, that one of the reasons NCTC never gained traction amongst the power elite in this town is because it was led by me? And I was, well, just a little bit off?
Who among us does not understand that we are many selves, that our true “self” is this amalgamation, did you know that amalgamation was synonymous with miscegenation many years ago?, of selves, and that we do not, can not show our “true self” to anyone because there’s not a single such persona to be shown?
Yes, I show different “selves” to different people. I share different things with different people. I’ve told things to Marc that I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with Jeff, and heaven knows Jeff and I have chatted about things in ways that would raise others’ eyebrows, and none of you knows the things I’ve told Ginny and withheld from you. And above all, there are the things that I’ve told no one, haven’t even put into private blog posts.
(Did you know there was such a thing? If you’re not the creator of a website, there could be all kinds of blogposts you never see, like little ghosts drifting between your reading, gazing knowingly out at you in your ignorance of the full measure of your host. So… back to your reading.)
So do I have a secret self? Dern tootin’. Does that make my public selves false? I cannot think how. I’m thinking that our wounded warriors have a problem with self in the first place. Grownups in the Lylesian sense don’t worry about that. (We worry about people finding our private blogposts.)