Wednesday, October 17, 2007

how others see you

I was thinking last night about how others see me. In talking with a classmate, it was clear that she felt I was outgoing and confident. Stunned, I told her I sat through 4 years of college without ever raising my hand. And that not one of my professors would even remember who I was. She said she couldn't believe that was true.

Yet it was. I really did. I was afraid to answer questions, afraid I might seem stupid, afraid I might seem too smart, afraid I was uncool, unpopular, unliked. Mostly just afraid to be myself. I don't remember when it shifted, and I have always assumed that I still appear that way to others, even though I don't feel that way inside.

Is it age that makes you more you? is it experience? Is it that way for everyone? or is it just me? I know I feel like I haven't changed in decades. My "mental self" seems pegged at 22. I have to do the math in my head sometimes to remember how old I am. Yet something unquantifiable has changed; there is a difference in there somewhere. What would it be like, I wonder, if for one fleeting moment, you could see yourself as others see you?

1 comment:

elsie said...

One of the things we get to do as we grow older is to grow into our skins. We learn that the things we feared all our lives are either not real or not harmful.

I love being me, and I want to give the me of my memory a big hug and tell her everything really is OK in her world, if she could only see it.

My mental age is about 23 - I think it's funny we're about the same mental age, too!