The mask of conformity rarely brings joy to the elaborate sharade
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The fake is of far greater value. In its deliberate attempt to be real, it’s more real than the real thing. A mimicking pauper, clutching at the ephemeral.
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At this point I’m writing for the sake of writing.
That’s not to say that I am writing for a greater cathartic purpose or because I have nothing else to do. Well maybe it is. Maybe it is exactly like that. A blend of reaching out to some form of self-discovery far removed from the structures of today and yet also not having anything of relevance to do. I’m not really sure what there is to write about. I guess it’s more of a mind ramble, just writing away as the cursor scurries hesitantly and joltingly across the page. And yet I have an inkling about what I want to talk about. Surprisingly, and quite humbly I want to talk about Me! Not to say there is anything about me that warrants reading. And perhaps it is not for reading but talking. Just talking to myself.
It started today when Livy decided to play a game where she asked me to name my 3 favourite countries. I chose London (yes, I am fully aware London is not a country, however expansive its Tube Map may suggest), Singapore and Ivory Coast (in spite of her comical insistence that if I chose “Africa” it would be equally considered as a country). We had played a similar game before (only with Animals instead of Countries). She asked for the reasons I had chosen all of my choices. Having provided my reasoning she smiled and said “the first country is the one you want to be, in your case multicultural and artistic and vibrant. The second country is the one people perceive you as. Hence, as you reasoned, people see you as slightly conservative, Asian and varied in food (I admit I was craving some food at this point). The last is the country that you are. Ivory Coast as you say, is a country which is soulful and easy-going”.
Although the game can be likened to a horoscope, people reading parts of the horoscope that represent them and self-affirming their faith in it (the paradox of self-fulfilling prophecies); there was some validity to the inquisition. It made me think on some level about myself. I have nothing deep to offer, just an abyss of confusion. It made me realize I am a mish-mash of things. On one hand, there are the parts of me that are pulling me in one direction, towards London. Then there are the parts that others see, pulling me East (or if you’re dead set on a 30 hour flight, West) towards Singapore. And then somewhere in the middle comes a third party trying to fulfil some sort of holy trinity by pulling me to Ivory Coast.
And then I began to wonder, which part really represented me? London, Singapore, Ivory Coast? Neither? All? For some reason it triggered this attempt to vocalize a deep seated sense of unsettled confusion. Every part of me, every single part of me is dictated by each of these. The parts of me that wants to be like something (perhaps not even something else), the parts of me that others see, the parts of me (yes the lazy, procrastinating bits) which present my intuitive response to different things.
It is the vocalization of such thoughts that lead to aggrandization. Much like the self-fulfilling prophecy, the initial questions only threw open many many more. Do I like simon & garfunkel because I genuinely do? As Ollie always suggests snipingly, do I dislike Dan Brown books because I want to be like something else? Do people see me as a braniac or an athlete or just a sarcastic attempt at something?
It is worth (at least to me) examinging the role of each, yet I don’t think any attempt to compartmentalize myself, shove myself into boxes after being cut gaudily in half by a magician would yield any result. Moreover, there would be very little achieved out of figuring how much of me is me when in the end of th day any part of me which is not strictly “me” is still ME. To exlain simply, I completely disagree with the statement (almost a mantra for some) that “you should pay no attention to what other s think, put yourself first”. Namely, because I don’t know what I want! I have some idea of my likes and dislikes, I know im allergic to penicillin and I know I was embarrassed that time in 5th grade when I called my teacher by my mother’s name; but ive never had the drive to be a rockstar, politician or anything worth making a movie-out of. Of course fleeting moments have occurred in which the showerhead turns into a microphone, or I attempt to follow the United Nations to feel like some knowledgeable piece of a much bigger sphere; but there is nothing within me that makes me want anything with passionate despearation. I would be just as glad being a Pig masturbator as I would being a lawyer. ok maybe not, but you get the idea. But basically, there is no inner drive in me to BE something. And as a result I turn to what others think:
Parents: “choose a profession that brings money and prestige” Friends: “you are such a great debator, you should be a diplomat! Or a failed writer.” Law Firms: “err…you should be a lawyer! Betcha didn’t think we’d say that”
And so it brings me to London and Singapore. I want to be that diplomat, I want to have that money and respect, I want to be that lawyer, I want to be that rockstar, that ostrich babysitter (or was it snake milker?), I want to sell my soul, I want to save souls, I want to do so much. And yet Im back here at square one doing nothing. As unsure as ever.
Perhaps that’s where I get my sense of understanding. There is no point in compartmentalizing me. I know I have no burning desire to do any specific thing, I know I want to be something and desperately seek some approval as to this. what I don’t know, is how to find the thing that will make me genuinely happy.
As a person I am as dsyfunctionally normal as you can find. I laugh at the wrong times, i like to be alone and yet I am gregarious, I love rarey but deeply. I guess the best thing im good at is being confused. If there was a profession for hiring the confused, I would sign up. But I hear you need a philosophy degree to apply for such roles.
And so I offer the inquisition over to you. Partially at an attempt to confirm th sense of verisimilitude I know will be there, but also in the hope of something better. Some bits of London and Singapore to pull me from the middle in which I am sat. It may seem as unfinished an ending as any, but that’s the annoying normality of it.
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“ The Fruits of Victory would be Ashes in our Mouth”
John F. Kennedy
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