Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Finding Myself This Weekend

I'm currently reading this book called "I Know I'm in There Somewhere: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living a Life of Authenticity" by Helene G. Brenner, Ph. D. which is about reconnecting with your authentic self, or as the author likes to refer to it, your inner self. The inner self is the real you, the person you were aware of as a child, before you became sensitive to outside opinions and developed the external self, or the facade we construct to show other people. I have always thought that the person you were as a child is the closest to the real you. All the things I enjoyed as a child are still often the things I enjoy now e.g. reading, writing, being creative and imaginative (as a child this was manifested through the imaginary friends I had and the stories I created for my many dolls, as an adult this comes out in the way I think and approach situations, and the way I dress or wear my hair).

My love of writing is something that I'm just re-discovering after many years of not writing for pleasure. For years, I was too self-conscious to show anyone what I wrote and slowly I stopped writing anything at all. I'm happy that writing in this blog has helped to gradually re-awaken that old desire. Now I can't wait to write entries and when things happen, I think about how I would write about them. Writing helps me think clearer - about my feelings on certain issues. As I write, I think and as I think, I like to write. Both actions feed-off each other in a symbiotic process. This is usually fueled by whatever I'm reading at that moment, which right now of-course, is "I Know I'm in There Somewhere".

Over the weekend, I was thinking about the feeling of not being good enough and the constant (in my case anyway) quest for self-improvement. One of the things that has bothered me the most is being introverted and for years I tried to work on it by putting myself in new and uncomfortable situations, so that I would be forced to be more at ease in these situations. And while I can now fake it pretty well (at least for short bursts of time), being extroverted is still not me and it never will. I think I've always known this (sort of-ish), but I REALLY realised it this weekend when I was out with my best friend Y and her husband and it wasn't really related to anything that was going on at the time. However, I remember very clearly the moment it dawned on me who I was. It was as they say, a moment of epiphany. And, surprisingly, I'm totally cool with that- strange as it might seem. I can make friends fairly easy for someone so reserved and I think that I'm quite fun to be around So, what's a little shyness between friends? I think I'm in pretty good company too. I was flipping through the latest issue of Ebony (as usual a very ho-hum issue, but I think they are trying to jazz-up the look and content) and came across the article "Hollywood's Sexiest New Leading Men." Articles like these usually send me flipping the pages as quickly as I can until I've moved onto something more substantial, but who should catch my eye but my latest (ahem) celebrity crush .... Idris Elba. (Honestly, there can hardly be anything as pointless on this earth as a crush.) The "heartwarming" fact about him is (and I quote him):
"I act for a living, so my personality is very different from the characters that I portray. I am introverted. It may come from being an only child, I will never be the life of the party.....I like to observe people."

Now, I ask you, can I be in better company than with this totally talented and interesting-sounding actor? Okay, I actually think it's dumb when people place other people on pedestals or identify with people they don't know- which, BTW, is not what I'm doing in this case. However, I have my group of inspiring female celebrities, none of who I know personally: Salma, Katherine Hepburn, Oprah, Chimamanda. When I hear what these women have to say in interviews, it resounds so loudly with me (well, maybe except for Oprah- sometimes she's so all-knowing that she annoys the hell out of me, but I think she has so many admirable qualities all the same) I that I almost cannot believe that I do not know these women personally and that these are not some of the isses that we have discussed over and over.

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