I’m going to let you into my realm of thought this morning. This is about a lot of things, in no certain order. But I hope you’re encouraged by it.
We are (all of us) heroes.
There are definitive moments in our lives which become descriptors of our character. The moment you borrowed something and forgot to give it back. The moment you stood up for the child who walked just a little differently in school. The moment when you discovered something about yourself and ultimately realized there’s no going back now. Like when Clark Kent, discovered he could run faster than anyone, fly, or when he lost his father (he had so many moments). Like when Bruce Wayne lost his father.Your sense of self is defined by an accumulation of those definitive moments, how you tell yourself that you’re you and not somebody else. It’s how you remind yourself that you’ve got that something and nobody else has got that. Your conceptualization of yourself is largely tied to your happiness and the meaning you find in your daily/accumulative life.
That’s why the hashtag #stayweird spread like wildfire. I mean Graham Moore couldn’t have put it a better way.
We’re all looking for happiness, yes this is a fact, so many people are searching for the ecstasy that might transcend and deliver them momentarily from the daily wait and grind. Within that never-ending search, we are also stretching ourselves to attain the best version of ourselves. These two searches, though they seem unconnected are largely the same quest.
Michael de Montaigne wrote, “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself,” and I know many people would read that and automatically retort, that a person has so many qualities and versions of self that to belong wouldn’t be apposite fundamentally. Incredi-boy from The Incredibles jumps in my mind:
“You always say be true to yourself, but you never say which part to be true to!” And that little, freckled animation put it so profoundly, I mean even Superman and Batman had identity issues.
Michael Scallan wrote in New Philosopher magazine, about a student whose “deviant meandering” he was meant to reorient. This student was blackening his lips, wearing eye-shadow and scribbling lines from Marilyn Manson’s darkest odes. But, Scallan admits, “My own sense of self was too flimsy to fake certainty,” he then goes on to write that “…identity is complex, constantly shifting and there are too many self-proclaimed experts in the field.”
Whoever it is that we are now, that is a very fluid concept. It’s moving constantly and fluctuates between how people perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Of course it’s difficult to know which part to be true to. Autonomy and purpose tend to combat against each other in my mind. I’d like to say I’ve got the power to choose any alternative I’d like, but I’m wedged into the belief and knowledge that what I’d like and what’s out there are two vastly different things. It’s hard to have both simultaneously. And so what do I do?
Samuel Beckett, whom I’ve quoted before, put it well when he said, we’re always waiting. Waiting for this, waiting for that. Waiting. And if I let myself think about that concept, I don’t have to delve deep to understand that it’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been (and maybe you’ve also been) waiting to amalgamate autonomy with purpose, to accomplish something. Maybe that’s why I’ve made a definition and assigned it to myself. Perhaps it’s because I’d like to prove a few people right; I will make something more of myself? Perhaps it’s because I’d like to prove the cliches to be true. You know the ones I mean. Right? Even Batman and Superman had to struggle to prove those quotes true. But then maybe it’s because I lack perspective, and like Anton Ego I just need a healthy dose of it.
My inner narcissism tells me that the world depends on me and I can change it. My inverted narcissism tells me that if anything were to go wrong it’d be my fault, because after all I was the one who thought I could change it to begin with. Right? Because plain and simply I’ve lead myself to believe that I’m super human and flaws are inexcusable. Perfection is the only way (*#@%!).
And this, right here, is the junction in my thought process when I tell myself; I am human and perfection wasn’t meant for humanity. The only thing I can hope to achieve is to find the bridge from my sense of self to who or what I’ll be in this life-time.
So you’re saying…(here be the kicker)
While I am a hero, I don’t have to be a perfect one. Make sense? We don’t have to be the hero. We don’t have to have it all together all the time. We don’t have to do it all today (as my friend Sarah puts it). We shouldn’t have to, nobody should. I have to keep trying, but I don’t have to try so intensely hard. ‘Cause even I’ll admit I tend to face problems with a certain amount of intensity that’s given me grey hairs (don’t laugh, it’s true).
Guys, guys, guys…I’ve found the meaning to life. Well kinda and it’s much deeper than 42.
~Thank You and Good Morning