Yesterday and the day before, I spent much of my time reading. I finished two pretty intense books in the span of a few hours, and while the books weren’t perfect, they made me think.
The first was about a boy named Q whose neighbor and ex-friend Margo disappeared, leaving clues behind that seem to be meant for him. What was interesting about this book is that as Q searches, involving his friends and others who knew Margo, he realizes that she’s not who he thought she was. She’s not who anyone thought she was, because they all knew different versions of her. They all percieved her in different ways, but they realize that they never knew the real her. They were looking at her through something that was “more mirror than window”, as Q says.
The second book was, again, about a boy and a girl, except they were never friends and they didn’t even meet until the girl died and came back as a ghost or whatever to help the boy– well, the plot’s not important. What’s important is what she said about people. To paraphrase, she said that we’re too big. Too big to be fully understood by each other, too big to ever really fit into this world or our mortal bodies.
Both the books also talked about being connected to each other. The first used the example of grass, which is connected by the same root system though each blade is individual. The second had the girl talking about death/heaven, and saying that part of it is feeling connected.
It’s really lucky chance that I read these books in direct succession, because together, they present an interesting view of humanity, and one that feels true at least to me. First of all, I definitely think that we don’t really see each other for who we are. How can we? I act differently depending on who I’m with, so if all my friends got together maybe they wouldn’t know which version of me was the real me, either. When really all of them/none of them are. And the mirror effect that Q talks about is true, too, but it’s not entirely the viewer’s fault that they see me through a mirror and not a window. I perpetuate the mirror by acting like the viewer. Do you know what I mean?
And I definitely feel the “too big” analogy. I feel like when I die and shed my earthly body, I won’t look a thing like it. In my mind I look a completely different way so that every time I look in the mirror or at a picture of myself… It’s not that I think I look bad, just off somehow. Same way as if I hear my voice on a recording.
I feel too big for my name, too. But as much as I’ve scoured the internet, name books, other languages… there’s nothing I would change my name to. It’s like I must have a name, but it’s a word that’s never been invented and never will be.
All of this makes me wonder who I really am. It makes me wonder if I’m a combination of my mirrored selves or none of them at all. I wonder if I will be someone else when I grow up. I wonder who I would be if I, like Margo, tore off my old life like a band-aid and started over completely fresh, in a new place with new people. Sometimes I feel like I can’t really be myself around the people that I know because they might think less of me. Like they might see me through a window and decide that they don’t like me anymore. I know, I know, that’s weird and paranoid. And incredibly insecure.
I’m half considering not posting this at all, because people I know might read it. See? “Exhibit A: Subject is afraid to voice private opinion even on her blog.”
Is there any way to overcome this fear? Is there any way to really know someone else? Is there any way to really know oneself?
Whether I like it or not, God knows everything about me. I can’t be a mirror-version of myself even if I tried, because He would know who I really am. All the good things, all the bad things. Things I tell people and things I keep to myself. I suppose He’s the only one ever who can see me fully, beyond mirrors and windows, opinions, the way I dress or speak around different groups of people, beyond my fears or my insecurities. It’s a bit scary to think that God would know everything about me. Indescribable to think that He would love me anyway.
It’s more than just loving me despite my sins, it’s loving me for who I am. I don’t even think I love my own self that much; I can hardly stand myself oftentimes. Humans are such complicated beings; we have so many layers and that’s why the heroes in books also have their flaws. I’m sure God is the only one who can stand knowing everything, every detail of who we are and love us anyway.
Maybe I don’t make any sense right now– that’s all right. I can’t seem to say exactly what I mean, but I hope you get the general idea…
The Real Pen
(She’s here somewhere.)