www.geoffmitchell.com

Can You See The Real Me?

There’s a great song on the opening of the Who’s “Quadrophenia” titled “The Real Me“. “Quadrophenia” is the story of a young man coming of age and struggling to find himself and his identity. The lyrics have been running though my head lately. Not out of a need to find my identify, but to convey it, and to do so in my posts and writings.

As I stated in my ‘About This Website‘ post when I resurrected it in late 2005, much of my desire in doing this is to capture my experiences, history and observations for posterity. I’m enjoying doing so, and I was recently in a conversation with my brother-in-law, who was giving me some very positive feedback on this site. But something he said stuck with me; he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that it was interesting to read because he knows me, and it’s further insight into thoughts he might not otherwise be aware of.

But does he know the real me?

My wife knows me very well, probably better then anybody before ever has. A few close friends have come to know me well over the years, and my mother has a historical perspective few have, but how many people really know the real me, or the real you? Even when i’m writing these entries, knowing it’s for an unlimited audience and relatively unrevokable, am I putting everything on the line and out in the open, or do I try and keep a reasonably positive spin and perspective? What do and/or don’t I want to declare to the world as ‘the real me’?

It’s difficult some times to write about political issues, or opinions on social issues such as the ‘white flight’ and cultural changes in the area I live and work in, because the bottom line is, a post here is more of a ‘statement’ and much less of a dialog. And if a statement is misunderstood, I’m not in the position to easily clarify or defend it at that moment. I could piss somebody off pretty easily. I probably already have and don’t know it.

In addition, with the intent to have some ‘journal’ and ‘memoir’ aspects to this, how much do I put in writing about so many chapters of a life; how much do i reveal about relationships, affairs, drug use, fears, cowardice, violence, insecurities, regrets? It’s rewarding to capture the high points, humor and positive stories, but i’ve started a draft or two that take you, the reader, a bit deeper into who I am or things I’ve done, and that’s not always comfortable.

I was in a discussion with somebody at work about something music related, and ended up going to my website to show them something, but we paused momentarily on my post about the shootings in a schoolhouse in Pennsylvania and they read it as I sat there, becoming terribly self conscious that so much of my own feelings, statements of having wept at the news, were being read by somebody that knows me in a work environment. It was awkward and made me uncomfortable. Fortunately, it did not make me so uncomfortable that I won’t continue to write and post as honestly as I can, because the positive feedback and praise I’ve received from friends about some of those more personal statements is more rewarding then I can begin to describe.

It’s nice to be on the receiving side of somebody saying ‘I thought I was the only one…’.

I’ll continue to try and be as accessible as possible in my writings, and challenge myself to be as honest about some of my own negative and/or embarrassing experiences or feelings, with the hopes that others will laugh, learn, or hopefully both, from it as well. Pro and con, ultimately, I would like to ensure I present a reasonably balanced set of observations and recollections that reflect the real me.

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Written by gsm

11/06/2006 at 8:08 am

Posted in  Journal 

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