While watching the film I Heart Huckabees I was struck by a scene with existential detectives questioning a client. He responded to their many prods with one answer, “How am I not myself?” The scene closed with the two detectives chanting the line as they mentally delved into all of its meanings, and I went there with them.
I am never not myself. I am intelligent and sarcastic, caring and strong. I am geeky and image conscious. I am assured and critical, methodical and creative. I am all of these, and even when they seem to clash, or aren’t obvious, they are still me.
In all of my teenage life, identity has always been about finding your unique personality niche, creating a character for yourself, and projecting it to everyone around you, really selling it. With this being the goal, appearing fake, or not yourself, is the ultimate failure, but I’ve come to realize it’s impossible to fail at who you are.
I put on my make up, trying to mold it into the style I had seen someone else wear, but I am myself. I am acting upon admiration, and creating an image less than unique, but that’s just who I am that day- a fan-girl doing my best to try something new. I am quiet and observant at an evening in with the girls. One girl says to me, “You don’t seem like yourself”, but reserved and relaxed is who I am that night, acting on those feelings, I have never been more myself.
“How am I not myself?” I ask. Without an answer I explain that I am always me when I’m acting on my feelings- whether they are only for the moment, or for the evening, or permanent.
We went on to discuss who we were that night, and who we are permanently. Though I can’t speak for them, I left feeling assured with myself, knowing that no matter what face I wear the next day, and what facet of my personality is exposed, I can never not be myself.
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