Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Wanted: Magic Mirror ...

On the 4th of July, my friend Gail was flipping through my copy of Sexstrology, reading excerpts from her sign, when she stopped and said, "Well, this is way off."

To which I replied, "No it's not. You just don't see yourself the way others see you."

But then, who of us does?

This morning, my mom's cousin Michael called me. I don't think Michael's ever called me before, but he wanted to tell me about his son Nick's blog because my mom had told him that I'm a writer and he wanted me to take a look, to "analyze" it, as if Nick, who is this family's own Doogie Howser, needs anyone to tell him that he can do anything to which he sets his mind.

We had a good chat, Mike and me. It was nice to catch up with the goings-on of his three kids, all of whom are entirely amazing. Nick, for example, has recently followed a girl back to her native Sweden. He's 27. If not now, when, right?

As our conversation was winding down, Mike mentioned that he should stop bragging about his kids, but that my mom loves to brag about my brothers, and about me, to which I replied, laughing, "I wonder what she could be saying!"

After we hung up, I thought, "My life is boring." And then a voice inside me said, "Well, do something to change that."

And then I thought, my life isn't boring. My life is really pretty interesting. I just rarely stop to think about that.

And modesty prevents me from asking others, "How do you see me?" Because I'm really hoping that they don't say anything negative, which means I'm really fishing for compliments. And I'm not that person.

But sometimes, I'm lucky enough to meet people who are secure enough in themselves that they have no problem in commenting on my qualities, unsolicited. And when that happens, I'm always rather stunned at how they see me.

And I think, Why, if I had such a good opinion of myself, I'd be unstoppable!

And then I remember Faye Rosner, who helped me land my first "real" job out of college – at the Chicago Tribune – who said, "Beth, we can't all be wrong about you."

So maybe I should spend a little more time getting better acquainted with the Beth the world knows and spend a little less time listening to the critic in my head.


Blogger Rick Hamrick said...

It is a delicate balance, for the you that others see is not purely you, but the you which you allow to be seen. The mask is always there.

So, the task is to either drop the mask or at least change to a less-concealing one. That way, the feedback we get when considered as a whole is closer to who we really are.

And, there is that whole, "finding myself" thingy. Solitude and self-reflection is also part of the equation.

Magic happens when the me I know and the me you know are congruent.

8:01 AM  

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