Be True

Apr. 28th, 2014 03:03 pm
jmfargo: (me)
[personal profile] jmfargo
"Be true to yourself."

Her voice still echoes in my head when I least expect it to as though some deep crag of my brain released its hold on the memory at just the right, or wrong, moment.

She told me to be true to myself. She also told me to grow up to be the person she wanted me to become. She also told me that you can't save the world so I should stop trying.

Mom.

In another world I know exactly who I am so that I can be true to me. Every choice I make is straight-forward because I know my goals and my unflinching morals. Everything I do is chosen in a way to be true to the vision I have of who I am and how I want the world to conform around me. It's simple. It's true.

In this world things are muddied. Yes, I know who I am a bit better than I did in the past because I walked at least several hundred miles to figure it out, all the while fighting off the urge to just lay down and die. And sure, the people in my life now make it easier for me to be the person that I love. But who is the true me?

Is the true me the very overweight man who loves food, travels the world in search of their local cuisine, and doesn't particularly care about getting healthy? Or is the true me the man inside that breaks out every now and then, watching what he eats and getting in shape? The first man is happy except when he's thinking about how out of shape he is, the second man is happy except when he's thinking about all the food he loves that he can't eat.

Is the true me the man I am when I'm on my testosterone treatment? Or is the true me the man I am without the gel I slather on myself each morning to raise my testosterone to normal levels? The first man is sexual, more driven, and not as easily depressed. The second man is calmer, less angry with the world and more forgiving.

Maybe I'm the me who rises at 6 AM every morning. Maybe I'm the one who gets up only after 10 AM because I went to bed at 3. Maybe I'm the guy who cleans each room and keeps the kitchen spotless, or maybe I'm the guy who is more likely to leave the kitchen a mess and only semi-tidies a room or two every couple of days.

Or maybe it's much more complicated than that.

Maybe I'm every single one of those men, somehow. An amalgam of the flaws and strengths that meld and change on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Maybe I'm more than the parts that make up the whole.

Maybe there is no true me.

And maybe that's okay.

Date: 2014-04-28 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aiela.livejournal.com
One of the most important things I learned is that I *can* be all those people. I don't have to be one thing.

Date: 2014-04-29 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jfargo.livejournal.com
I've learned it. Then learned it again. Then relearned it.

I suspect it's an ongoing lesson, for me. As long as it wedges itself in there every now and then, I'll turn out okay once I'm a grown up.

Date: 2014-04-29 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] violaconspiracy.livejournal.com
Sometimes I wonder if Shakespeare understood this when he penned "To thine own self be true." Maybe it was intended to be empty advice from a pompous, wind-filled fool. How can we really know ourselves when we are so contradictory and constantly evolving? I think you're right. We are more than the sum of our parts.

Date: 2014-04-29 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jfargo.livejournal.com
I remember that I loved the line when I first read it but as a teen it seemed simple for me. I would figure out who I was when I became an adult! That's how you KNOW you're grown.

I'm slowly figuring out just how wrong I was back then, now that I'm 34.

Date: 2014-04-29 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bleodswean.livejournal.com
*hugs* This just is so raw and full of feeling.

Date: 2014-04-29 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jfargo.livejournal.com
Thank you. *hugs* It felt good, writing it out.

Date: 2014-04-29 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eska818.livejournal.com
Heh, you've come to an interesting conclusion. Maybe it's one I should think about for myself!

Date: 2014-04-29 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roina-arwen.livejournal.com
I like the thoughtfulness in this, and I personally believe that we are all more than the sum of our parts. :)

Date: 2014-04-29 11:24 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-30 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Really well done. The emotion in this really stood out.

Date: 2014-04-30 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dreamsreflected.livejournal.com
To thy self be true!!

brilliant reminder.

Date: 2014-05-01 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheshire23.livejournal.com
Sometimes when a well-meaning person close to us says, "Be true to yourself!" it really means, "Be the person I think you should be because that must be the real you, and all the rest that makes me uncomfortable is not really you."

Sad but true.

Date: 2014-05-01 09:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mistearyusdiva2.livejournal.com
" Maybe I'm every single one of those men, somehow. An amalgam of the flaws and strengths that meld and change on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Maybe I'm more than the parts that make up the whole.

Maybe there is no true me.

And maybe that's okay. " ....

Realistic .... And its true ... we can never be just one person ... aren't we always evolving .... And then I believe that's Okay :)

Date: 2014-05-01 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
Yeah.. i guess.. it's okay..:) we all go through that cycle of who exactly we are and where exactly we are heading..and sometimes it good to say to oneself..it's fine and it's okay! resonated with me..a good read!

Date: 2014-05-01 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] itsjustc.livejournal.com
Two very important things
- You can be all those things. You don't have to be just one thing or the other.
- It is okay to be 'you' in whatever way/shape/form/personality/way you think/whatever!, that entails x

I really enjoyed reading this :)
Edited Date: 2014-05-01 12:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-05-01 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
I think you are all of these men, including the "idealistic man" and the one who gets waylaid by realities or the vagaries of willpower (and boy, do I know those).

Finding the balance that makes you happy, even if it's being happy with a little inconsistency, is a challenge worth pursuing. :D

Date: 2014-05-01 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fodschwazzle.livejournal.com
Amalgamation used to be like a dirty word, but people may have been less willing to admit the messy ways in which we forge our identities. You're no more or less a man to yourself at any point of the day than I am no more or less of a man to myself--which is just about the only way I can reconcile the pressures we face from the inside and out.

This was a very eloquent post that gave me a thorough think. Well done.

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