This morning while I was having my coffee I wrote down this idea —
“The important thing is to be yourself, even if it means pretending your are someone else.”
I know it sounds like a contradiction, but it makes sense to me. When I remember my own childhood I remember the sense of play, or play acting, and how important that was to me. One day I was a jet airplane pilot, the next day I was a baseball pitcher striking out the side in the World Series, another time I could be a clever spy keeping a watchful eye on my treasonous neighbors.
That playfulness was an integral part of who I was as a kid. It was a form of self expression, an exploration that allowed me to be more of who I really was.
I was also thinking about adults and all the masks we wear in life. There’s the mask we show strangers, our work mask, the family mask, the lover masks. There’s even a mask we wear to show ourselves.
So who are we, really?
We are many different people and play different parts at different times in our lives. Yes, there are times I pretend I am some other person — some competent, knowledgeable, take-charge man. Other times I pretend I am sensitive, astute, intuitive. There are other people that I “play” at being. The point is, they are all of me. Each character makes me who I am.
The trick is to allow myself to be all those different persons. It might confuse everyone else, but it makes perfect sense to me.