I want to be different.
I want to be myself.
A rendition of a particular quote runs through my mind every so often: We are all just an automat of characters. All reading from the same dog-eared script.
Have you ever been walking down the street, or standing in a line with a bunch of other people, all waiting for the same thing or walking in the same direction, and feel as though you’re amidst cattle? Sometimes I have to choke back a laugh, because I feel utterly (see what I did there) ridiculous. My dad will actually “moo” when he is put in this situation, which makes it much less frustrating.
Before I digress, the actual quote (because I loathe misquoting) is by Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl. And it’s important:
“I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
It is a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.”
Spending time alone is surely an eye-opening experience. And possibly my eyes have just opened after many years of being some strange mixture of hating solitude and being terrified of commitment. Being single forces you to spend time with yourself, lots and lots of alone time. Picking apart your thoughts, asking yourself questions, deciding how you honestly want to spend your time. When there’s someone else contributing, you don’t have to always or fully make each decision on your own. Does that make life easier? Probably. Does it make it better? Doubtful.
I feel that majority of my days I spend trapped inside a shell of what society expects of me. I work a 9-5, I wear my make up and hair and clothes in a professional manner, I say certain phrases like, “How can I help you?,” “Have a great afternoon!,” and “Thank you for calling!” Even when I’m feeling negative the worst I’ll say is,”that’s ridiculous.” Even with my friends I base my identity on how my friends view me. We all act differently depending on the people surrounding us and the situation we are in. But what if we were ourselves 100% of the time?
On dates I find myself answering questions solely based on what I think a “cool girl” would say or what I think that particular guy would be into. I dress to look skinnier and try to sit on their right because I think my left side is my good side. I try not to laugh too hard because I hate how my mouth looks. How exhausting! How tiring and worthless it is to continuously pretend to be someone you’re not.
How dull of a life you lead if all you do is follow the crowd. Why would we ever want to be like anyone else when we can so comfortably be?
Finding yourself is a long process. You don’t wake up one day and say, “there I am! Now I can live my life.” Finding who you truly are comes from a long series of situations and decisions that gradually mold you from the inside out. I constantly search for a man to validate me. But being alone forces you re-learn how to be yourself, by yourself, without depending on anyone or anything else to define you. You have to sit with your thoughts and question them. Reflect on them and make sure they are YOUR thoughts and YOUR words before they are spoken.
Speak your mind.
Do you want you want.
Have faith in yourself.
I’m not even close, but I can imagine that feeling of pure confidence and independence must be the most amazing feeling in the world.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” –Psalm 139:14