Geez, we’re fickle creatures, aren’t we?
I wonder… if there could be some kind of average percentage worked out – as to how often we are 100% authentically REAL… as compared to how often we’re being something ‘other’ than our true selves…
What would the average would be? 80% “pretend-us”… and 20% Real-Us…?
What do you think?
I think that I am 100% authentically… honestly… without-any-reservations-whatsoever “ME”… only when I’m alone.
When I’m alone… I can squeeze my zits… pick my nose… snore / burp / fart… sit on the loo for hours while angry-birding on the iPad… and – you know – all that other every-day-human-stuff – that we all do – that’s just not very nice – or polite – to do in the company of other people.
I don’t embarrass myself if I let out a little bum-puff whilst lying on the couch… but I’d be mortified if it happened in the company of my father-in-law.
When I’m in my own company… I can pull faces in the mirror. I can sample pretend-accents… and not be embarrassed at how ridiculously awful my Russian accent sounds (in comparison to my rather impressive Indian accent). I can do a Bee-Gee’s jig – or any kind of uncoordinated, undignified dancing… arms flailing, hips gyrating – and have absolutely no shame – because I’m alone.
And I can wander around in my undies – or starkers… eat Nutella straight from the jar… and let loose on the piano (because I’m not over-thinking my playing).
Perhaps that is the only time I’m 100% free to be 100% me… when I’m alone.
Maybe that’s true of all of us.
Nick and the kids are the next best thing. They get to see me when I’m ‘almost’ me… but I’m definitely a little bit more restrained and dignified in their company. I don’t think the kids need to see Mommy nakedly pelvic-thrusting to “Staying Alive”… it may scar them for life. Nick too.
But – the reason I’m actually writing this odd blog post – is because I’m very curious as to how much we adapt ourselves to fit the company we’re in.
When I’m with anyone from my Christian circle of friends… I become someone else. Someone a bit more refined… “good”. I try not to say anything too offensive… (I definitely don’t swear)… I even occasionally bring God into the conversation (something I’d never do in the company of my atheist sister). I want the Christian friends to like me… and hopefully not to judge me… I want us to get along.
There’s other friends who bring out the Skinner in me. (Skinner is another word for gossip, by the way). In general, I try not to gossip about other people – because I just find it so… ugh! But sure enough… whenever I’m at the hairdresser – or if I’m in the company of a certain group of friends or family… I find myself joining in with their gossip! This isn’t very “me” at all. And I get cross with myself when I do it – because I always leave their company feeling as though I’ve betrayed myself in some, small way.
The company of other family members (no names mentioned) have me trying way too hard to impress.
Why is that?
I couldn’t give a continental crap about trying-to-impress people…. in general… but – in the company of 3 certain family members… I suddenly leap to attention and try to impress them with my ‘cleverness’ and ‘competence’. Why do I do this? Is it their approval I seek? I certainly wouldn’t adjust my actual LIFE to suit them… but why do I paint the world with a certain colour brush whenever I’m in their company? Does anyone else do this?
And work colleagues – well, of course, that’s a whole other story. My clients… (and Nick’s clients)… have no cooking clue who I am – and I’m sort-of-okay with that. I’m there to do a job – they don’t need to know The Real Heather (but I wish they wouldn’t pigeon-hole me, either). We dance this strange, corporate dance… everyone putting on their polite-and-professional mask. Everyone sharing only tiny titbits of themselves (because it’s considered very unprofessional to splurb your guts about anything remotely… personal). When I still had my graphic design business, there were clients I worked with for years – and I never knew a thing about who they really were… what they loved… what they were passionate about… what their stories were… who their families were.
I dunno. I don’t like it that way. I’m not really fond of this keep-everyone-at-arms-length thing that we do.
But – I guess it’s the human-way (and somewhat of a protection mechanism for many of us). If you allow people to get too close – they can hurt you. And yes, sometimes, they do.
But they can also hug you.
And maybe we’re missing out on a lot of hugs.
And maybe some of us prefer it that way.
So… I think I’ll get out of bed (where I’m currently lounging in my pink, fluffy gown)… get changed and face the world – and be as honest and authentic as I can…
and… that includes hitting the “publish” button on this blog post.
Because, dear Blog-Reader, you are also part of a group that I try-to-impress (albeit in a slightly different way to those 3 relatives I mentioned earlier). And… dear Blog-Reader… I also want you to “like” me (and my Facebook page)… and this whole morning, I’ve been saying to myself:
“Heather Costaras! Do NOT mention farting and poo’ing in your blog!! It’s uncouth! It’s TMI! People will get the wrong idea and they’ll think you’re vile! They will de-friend you!”
But then I thought to myself… “Nah! Bugger it….”
And I hit “publish” anyway.