Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Neverending Story Of My Life
A couple nights ago my good friend Adrian and I went to watch The Neverending Story at the outdoor movie. Neither of us had seen it in years, and it made for a highly compelling watch. The part that struck me the most was Atreyu and the Sphinxes. In order to pass the Sphinxes (which by the way are one of the coolest creatures ever) he had to have belief in himself. No amount of armor would prevent the Sphinxes from seeing self doubt, and if this were to happen he would be annihilated. Part two of his journey was to face his true self in the mirror which was said to often send grown men into hysterics. Both these challenges got me questioning myself. If my life depended on my self worth and self awareness would I survive?
The last few years have been rather trying. Trying may be the perfect word for it, because I feel my life has involved a great deal of effort in the most profound of ways. Infertility, adoption, reunion, and the the every day stresses of school, work, and marriage have forced me to try harder. I don't think my self confidence has ever before been this powerful, because at the end of the day I know exactly what I am made of.
Being confident however is not the same as facing our true selves in the mirror. I like to think I know myself well or at least well enough, but the idea of facing all of me is still a bit terrifying. If I was to face my demons with brutal honesty I would see a self involved, vain, shallow, frivolous, impatient, manipulative, controlling,judgmental, flirtatious, deceitful, selfish, competitive, gossipy, and arrogant woman. That's a small list of a much larger list of my glaringly obvious imperfections. Which reminds me I'm also a perfectionist!
I think if I were to look in that mirror I'd closely resemble Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. I think an honest look at myself would show that I'm really only half there and half presentable. I may not have a charming maggot living in my eye socket, but I've got time to work on that.
I think I'm both dark and creepy, and light and airy. I'm a dreamer and a nightmare, and depending on the day can be exceedingly mature, or a two year old in big girl pants. To be completely truthful I see myself as fairly nuts. I can't fix it if I don't own it though, so knowing is half the battle. I don't believe myself to be evil (although in the right circumstance I would probably scare the pants off you), but I have much room for improvement. I have some serious years of work ahead of me, but the good news is I'm not afraid of hard work. Ok, that's not exactly true, I can be extremely lazy at times.
So what is the point of seeing ourselves naked, in the harsh light of truth? I see it as integral to how I conduct myself. I know I have many wonderful qualities as well, but I'll never become a better person if I live with falsehood. I want to do better. I want to be the kind of person who can not only face themselves, but become a better person because of it. I want to be accountable for my own happiness and fulfillment, and in order to that I need to accept and illuminate every hidden and salient trait within me. I don't want to be content just knowing myself, I want to invent myself. Unlike Atreyu, my life may not depend on my ability to look myself in the mirror with warts, maggots, shadows, cracks and all, but my quality of life certainly does. I want my greatest artistic achievement to be an inspired life, and each day to reflect a better version of myself. I may be far from the woman I hope to end up as, but I'm a self involved, vain, shallow, frivolous, impatient, manipulative, controlling,judgmental, flirtatious, deceitful, selfish, competitive, gossipy, arrogant, perfectionist woman who's trying.
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw
Lots of love,