Staring at the person trapped in the mirror – I see you but no one else does

It’s a funny thing thinking about what you look like and actually seeing your reflection in the mirror and seeing someone else. It’s also strange when you meet new people and realise you’re not actually like the people in your books that you’ve been reading and the films you’ve been watching. In fact sometimes it may distress you to realise that you are nothing like you want to be. This is not true for all, since some people are exactly who they want to be, but I am not talking about those people and perfection. Who is that girl I see staring straight back at me? Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time? When will my reflection show who I am inside? Because I am too dependent on the opinions of others and I am too afraid to act, to be me. Why? I can only assume it is because I am afraid rejection. I must admit though I cannot conceal myself and I don’t try anymore, but I am still finding it hard to be confident in me.

When we meet people we see traits in others that we like and wish to emulate. This can have either two effects on us a) you feel jealously towards that person and resent them or b) you feel awe and appreciation. I love reading books and it is so easy to get lost in those fictional worlds living the life of that person for a few hours or going on your own fictional adventure. That’s why it can be hard to come back to reality when you’ve always got your head stuck in a book. Losing track of time is the usual, not feeling hungry just completely immersing yourself in the world of another character and their tumultuous journey. When you get caught up in these images and stories you start to live them as your character and can sometimes believe that you have those certain brave, courageous and strong characteristics. However, when you are faced with the reality it can be a shocking surprise to see yourself as not yourself if that makes any sense. You see yourself not as you thought and suddenly the truth looms nears and blinding. You are not like the characters in your books no matter how much you would like to be. This ladies and gentleman happened to me one fine day when I walked into a new job. No one could know how much I noticed the difference and how it doesn’t come to you subtly oh no, I don’t do subtlety! No if you want someone to know something, especially if that person is me it’s always best to say it loud and clear.  Like this revelation came loud and clear on my first day temping. The way I spoke was soft spoken, quiet and almost afraid of myself and my abilities. You could tell I was oozing a lack of self-esteem, control with a self-deprecating nature and shaky confidence.  The way I acted, cowering away from people, shying away, squeaking and hiding. Is that me? I thought could that really have been me? Why was I acting so timid? What did I fear? And then it hit me, I am not that person who is completely confident in myself and I never have been. I am hesitant and I may not realise it but other people do. They know instantly when they meet me that I am a hesitant person. I find it hard to trust my own judgement even when I know that I am right. I find it hard to make decisions and this is not a good sign. I’ve always felt the need to question myself and my actions since I was little.

When someone asks are you sure? Am I really sure? No always that seed of doubt. It’s a difficult journey and it’s a difficult task relearning and reprogramming yourself to think differently, to be certain and try and make decisions. Too much thought can be lethal and too little can be reckless. Let’s not be overcautious now. I’m trying to be more confident, more forward and less hesitant but sometimes its hard to break old habits. Habits that have been there with you for a lifetime.

Perhaps it is the way one views oneself they are a harsher critic- adamant not to admit they are confident and good. This self-sacrificing and subservient image of bowing down to authority and being trampled upon is wrong and perhaps too ingrained. It is an image we all seem to have, a part of us within us, but it just depends how much control you give it. If there was a fire alarm and a few people ran to one door assuming it was the exit, whereas one person ran to the opposite side knowing that it was the real exit shouting to be heard over the commotion. Who do you think people will follow? Will they follow the crowd? Or the one person running in the opposite direction shouting to be heard that he knows the way. It seems logical to assume you would follow that one person, but when your life is in the fate of one person and everyone else is running in the oposite direction it seems hard to resist and follow that one person. After all I’m sure people would prefer to die together rather than with one or two people. It is almost sociological that we would run with the crowd when the truth is the crowd is following someone else- always someone else but just someone who looks like they are in control.

When I speak to some people they say oh your presentation was great you looked really confident and you did really well. But when you examine my thoughts you understand that I felt nothing close to confidence. If you asked me how I felt I would tell you the truth. It was completely nerve-wracking and scary but I did it. When thinking about it I’m not sure why it is scary when people are there to learn when you give a presentation and training for others in the company.

So to the person trapped inside – how do I reflect you? How do I get you out? Time I guess and perseverance. Right now I keep staring at my reflection and keep wondering when I will win, when will I be set free and given a chance? Rather than locked away waiting for a chance to shine. I wear a mask but I am not fooling anyone except myself clearly. The time is nigh….

For now I leave you with a song which is close to my heart: Christina Aguilera – Reflection

When did I sell my soul?

There comes a point in life where you may have to sign the rights to your life away. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but if you decide to go skydiving that’s exactly what you have to do. It’s what I had to do when I went two years ago now. Any dangerous or adventurous sport may require that of you. If you’re future lays in the hands of a surgeon, signing the consent form 6 years ago overriding the consent of your parents is another option you may find yourself in. The option to leave your life completely in the hands of another, to completely sacrifice all control over your life for a limited amount of time. It could be argued people do that all the time, i.e when a person gets drunk, trusting in the stranger not to take them down the road to danger but ensure they follow safety, trusting a person not to break the confidentiality agreement. But at what point are you actually selling your soul? You see there’s a difference in trusting someone with your life and someone persuading you to let them take advantage of your life. There is the blindsided view and the secret trap where the ‘devil’ won’t let you go easily once succumbed.

I have a Facebook account but now I know I can never escape. Is it the corporations controlling me or just my own self? Who is enslaved here? Who gets my photos with unlimited access to do as they please with them? Once you join, it becomes addictive like a drug which you need to survive, when in reality you need no such thing. It doesn’t benefit or help in any way except to stay in contact with family and friends – that is if you actually do that. How many times I’ve deactivated my account, had a few months away, felt all the more better for it, happier, free. But every time I keep coming back because I know deep down I can’t give it up. Like taking a respite from prison, from torturing myself with the images of others living,Why do I self-inflict myself with this pain, knowing it’s bad for me but not leaving the abusive relationship. Why do I look and compare and feel envious of the lives others are living? I don’t do that anymore because I couldn’t care what others are up to, but it is what I used to do. I used to see happy images, fun adventures, people with smiles plastered on their faces. Until you discover the truth, that images can be deceptive and don’t always tell the full story. Like the pain behind the smile masquerading the unhappiness within. Photos of “fun times” when in reality it was a living hell. It was all for show, to show others you were strong, you were having fun and you are fun, free and happy. In truth, you were disappointed, sad and breaking.

Why do I keep the account? What are my excuses now? So many memories, to keep in contact with family and friends. But how many people do I actually speak to on there? 2 or 3 friends every few days or so and once in a blue moon 2 or 3 others out of how many? 300 friends, well are they really friends? What do they want from you? To watch your life unfold on Facebook, to see what you’re up to. What if I don’t want you to know what I’m doing. What if I don’t like anyone knowing my business and I simply want to share the photos with real friends! Then Facebook is obviously not the best place to be. If I want to contact someone I’ll call, text or even email. So what’s stopping me? And now I am on the cusp of joining a new social media site; twitter. Do I need another burden on my life? Another load to add to my heavy load of baggage and create an even bigger online presence. Do I want random people I barely know following me, wanting to know my thoughts. No I don’t, but perhaps I shouldn’t have a blog then, but in my defence it’s a personal one. I don’t advertise it, I just write when I need to vent, when I am frustrated or happy with the world, though it mainly is the former.

Truth be told, I hate this online presence, I hate this social media and keeping up with it. It’s tiring and keeping the online facade is tiring and useless. Its not the real me. Embellishing and creating the perfect version me is a burden and it is not real. This self-perpetuating and fragmentation of the self is soul destroying because I don’t know who I am anymore. I end up losing bits of myself which are scattered across the internet and I’m finding that I have to pick up the pieces. The imitation never matches up to the reality. The only reason I am considering joining twitter is for the benefit of my work. Learning to use it properly so that I can improve using it at work, develop and find out how I can entice followers and keep them interested. But I suppose there are some benefits like it’s a great place to advertise jobs, to find jobs, to find out the latest travel news, to find out about events happening in your local area etc. so many benefits and yet it is different from Facebook. But how do I know I’m not selling my soul? When Twitter first emerged I swore I would never join. It was about the principle, and it seemed useless at the time, there was no need because I was studying, I didn’t want followers, I didn’t want to write what I was thinking all the time and advertise it to the world and even if I did, I had Facebook for that.  People don’t care. But things have changed and priorities have changed. Social media has expanded and become imperative for businesses, to promote, advertise and raise the profile of a business. It has changed the future and now I can see no escape. Sooner or later I will be joining and I will have no choice, because how can I stay stubbornly stuck in the past wishing for the traditional while everyone flies at an alarmingly fast rate zooming into the future at full speed ahead. I am fighting a losing battle, and who do I deny? Only myself, I hinder myself by not catching up and getting up to speed with the technology. Its so easy to leave people behind, to lose people, but that is what the future holds. It has no time for those who are slow, tired or stubborn, because time stops for no one just like the world stops for no one. The only way to go is forward or be left behind and everyone has to make the choice. Well I think the choice is already made, because being left behind is not a choice and we all have to fight for our place in the future. Those who don’t will fall behind the times, and those who do will excel. I am being harsh, but it is the truth, because that is exactly how it is moving.

So the question is at which point in my life did I sell my soul? Was it when I signed up for Facebook which started the famous trend or will it be when I sign up to Twitter?