I’ve heard women of European decent say that they have died their hair for so many years, that they no longer know what color their real hair actually is. That’s the way I feel about myself. My husband commented that there are at least two of me, and he doesn’t know which is real. My initial reaction was dismissive. I thought “what you see is what there is to see”, but recently I’ve begun to accept that he might be right though I wouldn’t admit that to him.
For all my life, I have been a chameleon. I change to fit the circumstances. I change my behavior, dress, hair and demeanor to align with my environment or the expectations of others, but doesn’t everyone?. So why did my husband’s comment feel like an attack. It was as if I was different from everyone else. He said “will the real you please stand up.”
What brought on this train of thought was the recognition that one of my BFF’s can best be described as authentic. She, like my husband, has always been the same person no matter where she is or who she is with. She’s a bright, intelligent, sales person type who is frequently dabbling in various religions, business ventures, herbal medicines, etc. In other words, you never know where she’ll be coming from next. As wacky as it may seem, it makes her conversations more interesting. The downside for her and my husband is that they are so busy being authentic and espousing on their own worlds, that they sometimes miss what the other person is saying. In other words, they are not good listeners.
While people like me (the perfect people) keep our radar spinning to pick up on the interests of others so we can align ourselves and our thoughts to meet their expectations. As with most things in life, the best approach is probably somewhere in the middle.
In the meantime, I’m working on finding my authentic self… whatever and whoever that is.