Don’t let the “Real Me” keep you from something great.
I am sure being married to me isn’t easy. Actually I know it isn’t. I’m not a genius (I think) nor some sort of deity (that I am sure of). However I do see things differently than my wife does. She is so incredibly amazing at organization, planning, routine, scheduling, serving, helping put things together, I am not, and when I have to do those things it really hurts my poor little brain!… Maybe you can relate to me to some degree. But the real me can almost feel lonely at times, largely because it can be very hard to put into words all the things I am feeling and thinking. In no way is one way of thinking better than the other, get that straight, we need both. If we were all one way this place would either be so boringly organised we would all just die, or so crazy convoluted that we would die too… There is an incredible danger here…
We hear a ton of talk about “The Real Me” and how we are the only person that matters, and that we should be comfortable being totally different. Great, it’s good, I teach it to kids, well, to a certain degree that is… Problem is we have let this go SO far in one direction that now what we have are a bunch of entitled people unwilling to get to know anyone else, because who they are, might not jive with who I am… And therefore I will only build any sort of relationship with someone exactly like me. But remember what happens when we are all the same? Right, we all die.
Now there is a crazy real me inside. All the pictures and vision, all the crazy twirling dreams and splashes of colors all tossed onto a canvas (if you are more like my wife that last part made no sense) can be extremely difficult to explain. And because it is I could fall into a trap of only spending time with people that think the same way. But we need the inverse. So how do we all communicate when we are all so different from one another? I really don’t have a great answer for that, yet. But what I discovered about, at least beginning to bridge the two, came from photography.
When I really started to dive into the art I felt a giant cap come off of me. I could somehow show people a glimpse of what I felt, or saw, or wanted to see. And it was awesome, it still is. I really want to help those artists out there that are really struggling with the thought “No one understands the real me!” It’s a dangerous question to play with to be honest. It leads to complete depression. Being alone (whether you want to admit it or not) is the WORST thing for a human being. We are not meant to be alone. Sure we can have some “alone time” but isolate yourself for a 10 years in a cabin in the woods and you have now become the weird dude that lives in a cabin by himself in the woods… I need to keep hitting the point that you CAN NOT just surround yourself with people that only think and act like you do! It will kill you all!!!
So let’s say you think like my wife does. How can the two personalities really relate? We are still working that out. It is a process, we both have to learn how to actually ask questions that the other person can answer. For example when I hear “How was your day?” I shut off, I say “Good”, not because I don’t want to share, but because I have thought of 12 million things up to that point and I have zero clue on how to start! Inversely I don’t come up to my wife and ask “Hey what sound does the color red make?” …(there is an answer to that)… But she would not know how to answer that at all!
Rather than trying to just communicate with people based on how we respond, or what we like, we really need to take time to care and listen to how people actually think. We need to want to find out what gets them out of bed in the morning. We really need to pursue a deeper level of relationship. ALL the people that see my photos are catching just a glimpse of me. But rather than hiding in a cave I have learned that putting it all out there, as weird as it is, will give someone, like my wife, the best opportunity to discover the real me. Only showing them to people that take the same kind of photos does nothing.
I really hope this can help someone that is struggling with either side of this coin, it can be very difficult to feel like “the real me” is being understood. Just know that you do have something unique to offer, from art to organization we all have strengths that are needed in the world right now. If what you are producing is at least genuine, not fed by greed or self-promotion, then people will start to see that heart you are pouring out, and see that you have something unique to offer.