I have been thinking a lot about perception... How we see ourselves, how we want to be seen, how other might see us... It started with a conversation about bathing suits--bikinis--and this friend was debating whether or not she could pull one off... I made her try it on and I could see that she didn't believe me when I told her that it looked good. That I would kill for stretch mark free skin, the type of ways that her body seemed perfect in the suit. She looked good.
But that is not what she saw--no matter how much I tried to make her see it.
One of things that moves me as a writer--why I focus on young adult fiction, why I like working in reality television, why love fashion the way I do... It is all about the idea of perception and who are and want to be. The biggest struggle in life--why bullies hurt, why judgement matters, how words and deeds can break people so easy is because they all tie into how we see things--see ourselves. And this is something that does and should change over time--from who we are at 16 to 26 to 35 to 41 to 57...
And yet I wonder how that works. How some people see themselves in such strong or weak light. I know that most of us want to be different things--the smartest or the sexiest, the creative or the witty. I know that there are days when I wish I was the guy who could just wear simple jeans and a t-shirt with a solid swagger--to have that confidence in the simplicity, the fuckabilty, the ease of just being.
And other times I want to be the muse--the guy who wears the most interesting outfit with the best stories who does the most brave and unique things. I want to wear headbands and roller skate on week nights while finding new bars and learning how to ride horses and motorcycles. The writer who makes the reader want more, to be more, to see more.
But at the end of the day i never see myself that way. It's not that I see a bad person but rather a bland one. I get too worried to push myself, to worked up to try new things, to scared to finish what I start. I worry that if I do what I want that people won't see the way I would like. They would laugh or be bored or wonder just who I thought I was.
I am--in someways--no different than my friend in the bikini. Seeing things that aren't there, being capable of so much more and so much better than I could ever possible imagine. I wonder how one changes that. How one can learn to embrace something more and let go of the unneeded. The truth in life is that no one will care if I wear a headband or hockey jersey, if she wears a bikini, if she wears whatever she want or I do whatever I feel.
But the perception of that seems off-kilter.