I have this new obsession.
It is one that made my friends look at me with utter amazement and wonder if they’d ever really known me at all. It is one that is making me stare in the mirror and ask myself: “Who am I?” Because my obsession is….[insert drumroll here]…watching makeup and beauty vloggers on YouTube and buying and playing around with makeup and facial peelings and dry brushes and cuticle creams accordingly.
I will not get into the fact that makeup is apparently a whole lot more of an art and science than I had ever imagined. Neither will I spend time on proclaiming my frustration that even though I love makeup, it does not really seem to love me back (given that, I just had to link to THIS and it may just be the best joke I’ve ever included in a blog…).
Now, I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with an innocent guilty pleasure, but there’s this annoying little voice (appropriately shaped like a pointy finger) inside of my head that keeps telling me otherwise. Because this little bugger keeps telling me how he sincerely doubts that Gandhi worried about his ass looking fat in his dhoti. He also keeps telling me how Mother Teresa never wasted a second contemplating whether or not the powder blush made her look older than the cream blush. And he just keeps coming back to how unlikely it is that Nelson Mandela was ever too fussed about the state of his cuticles while he was sitting in his jail cell.
In other words, that little voice in my head is making me feel superficial and flaky.
(Btw, I do not in any way think that other people who love makeup are superficial or flaky…this is all me.)
Instead, he would rather see me in a constant hyper-focused state of creating, connecting, contemplating, writing, reading all books ever written on peace and living a meaningful life, and being otherwise ‘on’ the entrepreneurial World Peace hustle all day every day.
And in the middle of those 2 versions of ‘me’ there’s the actual me. The me that’s actually doing pretty well in this whole entrepreneurial hustle thing but that needs to seriously shut down her brain now and again as well. Or it will burn up…something I’ve done before and really don’t want to do again.
So, there we are. My 2 me’s (the person I think I am and the person I want to be) and myself all cramped up in that tiny little brain of mine. And it’s too bloody crowded!
Fortunately, I’m quite able to tell these 2 to shut their mouths as I know very well that I’m on track towards the vision I have for my life and in the world. Could I move a little faster here and there? Sure, perhaps. Could I pull on the brakes a and find some nature to walk in a little bit more often? Oh yes, undoubtedly. But none of those considerations should make me feel any less about myself and that what I do.
And that, my dear friend, is the punchline of this story.
The answer to the question “Who am I?” should not be dependent on who you think you are. Nor does it depend on who you think you should be. And, given that you’re always changing and evolving, does a clear “I” even exist? Or should there?
Should we really worry and spend all that energy on something that is technically not even there? I mean, isn’t that what we usually identify ourselves with not just a matter of that what we do, what we like, and who we surround ourselves with? And isn’t that who we actually ‘are’ not whatever there is in the moment you reflect on that question? Nothing more and nothing less?
Perhaps… But perhaps things just get a little too technical when we ponder such things…
Ultimately, all we want is to not constantly judge ourselves, feel guilty, or think we need to be something that we are not. Right?
At least, that’s how I feel about this because looking back at my life, there are countless instances where I felt the need to not be myself. Sometimes to simply fit in (I’m looking at you high school!), other times to prove the world that I am indeed worth a shred of acknowledgment and love (oomph, straight in the gut!).
But all that has done for me is that I drifted farther and farther from myself until I reached a point where I was not even able to feel happy for going on a holiday anymore. Or the need to cry when a 6-year long relationship ended. A point where I felt that almost every last bit of ‘me’ was simply an exoskeleton there to hold me upright because the tiny little girl inside could do nothing but be curled up in a ball and cry. Like I was wearing a ‘Linda-suit’.
And, euh, that’s not where you want to be. Trust me!
So what then? I could tell you to ‘just be yourself’ but that’s silly advice if you’ve got all these versions of yourself running around in your head. The only ‘logical’ thing to do would thus be to get out of your head and move a little further down to your heart and your gut and learn how to allow for that what you’re truly sensing and feeling.
Feeling like an evening with a blanket, a bowl of chips, and Love Actually for the umptieth time? Then that cozy person is who you are right there and then.
Feeling okay to be somewhere social but prefer to be a bit quiet and awkwardly talk to the cat instead of the people there? Then there’s the you in the then and there.
Feeling like jumping, and dancing, and running around? Go for it!!!
There’s really no need to pretend you’re someone that you are not. Nor is there a reason to be ashamed of who you are in that moment. The main thing is that you’re congruent in how you feel and what you put out into the world. Right in that very moment.
What do you think? Did that make sense? Is this something you struggle with? Let me know in the comments!