August 22, 2011
I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’
-Excerpt from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland
My boyfriend recently asked me how I can be two completely different people online and off. I was a bit startled by this question at first. Was it an attack? Was he saying I’m insincere? I thought about it for a second and realized he was right—sort of.
We all have different facets to our personality and most of us choose to show each one of these sides to people at carefully selected times. With him, I’m usually giggly and playful. Sometimes I think about what I’m going to say, but most of the time I don’t. He’s a safe place for me to be silly and fun, and so I am.
This blog, my writing, is a different story. It’s a platform for my most personal thoughts. Here, I ask questions and search for answers. It’s a safe place for me to be introspective, to breath, and to dream.
But it’s not that all the pieces of me are not the real me, and it’s not that they never collide. As human beings, we long for safety. We want to be protected. So we show what we show to the world when we feel comfortable doing so.
And then, one day the curtain is drawn, and the people in our lives realize there’s so much more to us then they knew.
August 5, 2011
An acting coach in LA once taught me an exercise that’s meant to get to the root of why we want what we do in life. It’s a simple exercise, but it takes a great deal of thought and introspect. Here’s how you do it:
Write down what you want. (Like in my case back then, I want to be an actor.) Then ask yourself why. When you come up with the answer, ask yourself why again, and then just keep asking yourself why until you can no longer do so.
For example—Why do I want to be an actor? So I can create. Why do I want to create? Because I feel most alive when I’m making something. Why do I feel alive when I’m making something? Because what I make is a representation of my thoughts and ideas … And so on and so forth.
I remember a few of my classmates quit acting after completing this exercise. They found that the reason they wanted to act wasn’t the reason they’d thought it had been at all. So they went on to do something that might make more sense for reaching their real goal—their sole purpose in life. I eventually did too.
I believe we all have distinct talents, views, and abilities, and we are all meant to share our uniqueness with the world. But sometimes finding clarity on how to do this is tricky. I need to do the exercise I just shared with you again, and this time I need to apply it to all areas of my life. Because, recently, when people have asked me what I want, I have not been able to answer them clearly. On a shallow level, I know what I want: a great relationship, awesome friends, a fabulous job, … and I even have some of those things right now. But I don’t have everything I want, so I need to dig deeper. If we are not able to articulate the things we want, we cannot start taking action to make them happen.
So I challenge you to apply the exercise to your own life and then maybe even share any insights you glean from it. Good luck! I can’t wait to hear what you discover.