November 2, 2015

What I wish others knew about me… #FridayReflections #MondayMusings

When we set out to meet a new friend or befriend a random acquaintance on a bus or train, what exactly do we share about ourselves - our interests, our background, our profession and passions ? Ever wonder how different it would be if we could tell these people who we really are. No, I am not talking about sharing our likes and dislikes. But things that matter to us, like who are the kind of people we despise, what are our personal traits - are we short-tempered about silly things, do we have an easy-going attitude when it comes to facing deadlines, our pessimistic approach to life when it comes to certain matters - in short, how different would it be to divulge genuine details about our inner self ? 

I once came across this Japanese proverb somewhere which basically said - 'Everybody has 2 faces - a good one and a hidden one. It’s the hidden face that truly reveals who we really are.'

It was kind of creepy reading into that quote but as I thought more about it, the more sense it seemed to make. Isn't it true ? Don’t we always put up our best faces in front of friends and extended family ? Other than, maybe the people who live with us constantly 24/7, who exactly knows our true self ? You may argue saying that we are as we are even with friends and family, which in that case, is good. But I fail to accept that we are a 100% ourselves when it comes to revealing our personality with friends & family. 

If there is ever a scientific invention in the future of the digital age, where gadgets could reveal our deepest fantasies and darkest secrets, I would like to own the one that helps me understand that hidden face of an individual. Likewise, I would love it if others knew the following facts about me and about my hidden side - 

  • Friendships matter to me, more than my family - Last year, while spring cleaning my apartment in India, I found a nicely wrapped bundle of letters and greeting cards stashed away in one of the old storage boxes. As soon as I laid my hands on it, I began to dig in and read through every letter. The exercise was painful and it welled me up like never before. But in the end, the affirmation was the same as what I had believed all these years. 'Friends are the family you choose.' Each letter was from a dear friend over the initial difficult years when I had moved to India for higher studies from the Middle East and adjusting to the new place was making it all the more impossible to like my life. In the past couple of months, I have come to realize that these are the relationships that go a long way even when you go for a long time without being in actual touch. On the other hand, for me, when family tends to go off touch, they go off touch. 
  • I stay away from self-involved people - During my high school days, there used to be this class-mate of mine who would obsess about how good she was at everything and how things always turned out to be perfect for her. Even though reality was far away from being true, what she said and how she said always stuck with me. I know, it was a childish experience but I learnt a lot from it personally. I just couldn't survive around such people for more than 2 minutes. No matter how hard I tried, the discomfort of being around self-obsessed folks always shows in my body language.
  • My life isn’t a Facebook story - Yes, it's true. Been there and done that. I know of a lot of people who have tried to figure me out with just my Facebook account. And that is frustrating. I use Facebook a fair amount - like to publicize a new location where I am teaching a class or keep my friends informed about an upcoming performance or glimpses of past shows but when people expect me to upload a 100 odd photos of my personal life which has no meaning to why it is being uploaded in the first place, I wonder - 'How does social media help these people?' Back in the late 1990s when the internet made a slow and defining appearance into our household, my mother would crib - 'This computer thing is the worst invention of all time.' I dismissed it like yet another complaint but over the years somehow her statement seems to ring true when it comes to maintaining personal relationships even with those who we care about. I am happy to remain a firm believer of simpler times and everything old-fashioned.  
Tell me, if you could wish for others to know some facts about you, what would it be ? 

**Linking with Friday Reflections and Monday Musings**

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